My 2-year-old rescue Pomeranian started having short daily reverse sneezes when I first adopted him. His episodes stopped after a week and we assume that they were triggered by the new environment and new odors.
What is reverse sneezing?
Reverse sneezing is a common respiratory episode that occurs when your dog rapidly pulls air into the nose, instead of a regular sneeze where the air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. The dog seems to inhale while sneezing which makes a snorting sound.
Note: this is not an asthma attack.
What are the main triggers?
The main triggers are caused by inflammation or irritation in the nose through airborne allergens such as pollen, seeds or grasses, allergies, smoke, odors, or a change in temperature.
Should I be worried?
Although it may sound worrying, reverse sneezing is usually a harmless condition that lasts between seconds to a minute (longer durations have been reported).
However, your dog may be frightened and pick up on your worried energy which could lead to a panicked response. Here are some tips to help calm your dog and stop an episode:
Gently stroke your dog’s neck and throat
A change of environment may help, i.e. go outside
Trigger a swallowing effect by either lightly blowing in their face or briefly holding their nostrils closed (the swallowing can stop the reverse sneezing)
Most cases of reverse sneezing do not require medical treatment, but in certain cases your vet could prescribe anti-inflammatory or antihistamine medications to help your dog.