Home PET CARE Why Is My Dog Gasping & Honking? It Could Be a Reverse Sneeze!

Why Is My Dog Gasping & Honking? It Could Be a Reverse Sneeze!

by Philip Mckinney
Dog Gasping & Honking

Although a reverse sneeze by itself is harmless, it can be unsettling for dog owners to see and could be a sign of a more serious issue.

A spasm in the soft palate and larynx causes reverse sneezing, also known as Pharyngeal Gag Reflex or Paroxysmal Respiration, which is a very frequent respiratory condition in dogs. Since the dog is strongly inhaling air instead of just expelling it, as in a typical sneeze, the movement is frequently referred to as a “reverse sneeze.”

Dogs generally lengthen their necks while gasping and groaning loudly and forcefully. They will probably turn their elbows out during the incident, and their eyeballs may even protrude.

It is significantly more challenging for dogs to receive adequate air into their lungs since the trachea narrows. As a result, their chest may expand when they attempt to breathe.

Most owners would think their dog was choking, suffocating, or suffering a seizure during the occurrence.

The duration of each reverse sneeze is only a few minutes or so. Usually, the situation resolves itself without endangering the wellbeing of your dog.

Common Causes

Reverse sneezing can be brought on by a wide variety of irritants and different kinds of dog allergies. Pollen, dust, mites, viruses, postnasal drip, nasal inflammation, odors, and household cleaners or chemicals are a few examples of known triggers. Other contributing factors include unwillingness to exercise, overindulgence in food or drink, pulling on leashes, and even enthusiasm. Episodes of backward sneezing may also result from sinusitis and other respiratory conditions.

All dog breeds are susceptible to this very widespread respiratory disease, but smaller dogs are more likely to develop it. Short-faced dogs are more prone to reverse sneezing, including Boxers, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzus. In some situations, a hereditary component is thought to be involved.

Therapy Alternatives

Dog Gasping & Honking

Dog Gasping & Honking

Antihistamines: All antihistamines are the same. Antihistamine medications can be provided if allergies are determined to be the cause of the issue. Your veterinarian can suggest treatment if the larynx region of the dog is found to have mites.


Massage treatment: Another approach for treating backward sneezing is massage. Fido’s neck can be gently touched to assist in reducing spam.


Somebody else: To help your dog swallow, consider covering his nostrils, which may eliminate the trigger that’s triggering the occurrence. If the issue does not clear right away, you can also try depressing Fido’s tongue to make his lips open wider and let air flow through his nasal passages.

Have your dog’s throat and nasal passages checked by your veterinarian if reverse sneezing occurs more frequently, is more intense, or is accompanied by other symptoms. When possible, try to film your dog sneezing backwards so you can show your veterinarian. This will help him or her decide whether the incidence was a “reverse sneeze” or whether more inquiry is necessary.

The video below demonstrates how to cover your dog’s nostrils to quickly put an end to an episode of reverse sneezing.



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