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What can I do if my dog is sneezing (and reverse sneezing)?

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

If your dog is having a reverse sneezing episode, it will probably be a little frightening both for you and for your pet, especially if it is the first time it has happened. The most important thing you can do is to remain calm. 

You can gently massage their throats, which may cause them to swallow and clear the irritation causing the reverse sneezing. Any type of more serious intervention can actually increase the stress of the episode and is unnecessary. It is best to simply remain calm and wait for the episode to pass. 

The vast majority of reverse sneezing episodes are temporary and considered normal in an otherwise healthy dog and they will resolve on their own. The episode will pass and your dog will have no lasting effects. Stay calm and reassure your dog that everything will be ok.

If the reverse sneezing episodes become more frequent or lasts for longer periods of time, see your veterinarian to rule out any serious issues that could be causing the reverse sneezing episodes. 

 

How can I reduce the amount my dog is reverse sneezing?

Pay attention to when your dog reverse sneezes. If your pet is being triggered constantly by the same external factor or is seasonal, you may be able to manage these triggers and reduce the frequency and severity of the episodes.

For example, a reverse sneezing episode in your dog could be triggered by being startled from sudden loud noises, or when they get super excited when you come home. Perhaps your dog is triggered by your new hairspray or your perfume. Each dog may have their own individual triggers, so pay attention and try to figure out what sets your dog off.

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