Although this can look and sound very scary it really isn’t! Reverse sneezing is a common cause for concern in many older, small-breed dogs. It is not life-threatening, and while its causes vary, the signs and treatment are the same.
Reverse sneezing, also called paroxysmal respiration, commonly afflicts older dogs. It is not a serious problem and usually does not require treatment.
Allergies, dust, mites, inflammation and post-nasal drip can cause reverse sneezing, as can rapid eating or drinking, being pulled by the leash and excitement.
Any breed can experience reverse sneezing, but it is most common in small dogs and short-faced dogs. Breeds such as bulldogs, boxers, Boston terriers, pugs, Shih Tzus and mixes of any of these breeds are prone to reverse sneezing.
Reverse sneezing will appear as a spasm with your dog’s neck extended while he issues a loud, snorting sound, like a gasp. He also will turn out his elbows his eyes may bulge.
Your dog may have the appearance of choking, suffocating or having a seizure. Dogs do not lose consciousness or collapse after a bout of reverse sneezing.
Reverse sneezing can be stopped by massaging the throat or quickly pinching the nasal openings. Frequent bouts of reverse sneezing may need medication to reduce the frequency.