Health Topics  >  Respiratory

Sneezing and Reverse Sneezing

By Natalie Sacks, RVT.  Reviewed by Dr. Elizabeth Davis, MVB

Sneezing (and reverse sneezing) is a normal bodily function in dogs, usually a response to an environmental irritant in their nasal passage like pollens or dust. Brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs tend to be more susceptible to reverse sneezing episodes due to their shorter, compressed nasal passages.

While most dogs will experience a (reverse) sneezing episode at some point, any discharge, mucus or blood accompanying the sneeze, difficulty breathing or an increase in frequency and duration are all signs a more serious issue that needs immediate veterinary attention.

Differentiating between a sneeze, reverse sneeze, cough or gag can be hard to dog owners (especially if it’s the first time it’s happened). Taking a video of your dog during an episode can be very helpful for your vet to help determine whether there’s a more serious underlying issue.

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