Expert Q&A

My dog made a horrible sound the other day and a friend told me it was a reverse sneeze. Should I be concerned?

My dog made a horrible sound the other day and a friend told me it was a reverse sneeze. Should I be concerned?

BY: The Dog Daily Expert

Reverse sneezing in dogs happens every so often, and is more common in corgi and beagle breeds. It usually begins with a loud snorting sound, followed by heavy breathing. Just like a regular bout of sneezing, this may occur several times in a row. Also like sneezing, the event usually ends almost as soon as it begins, with your dog acting like nothing happened.

The technical term for a reverse sneeze is “laryngospasm.” According to Dr. Liisa Carlson, a veterinarian and the co-author of the Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, reverse sneezing is sort of like the tickle that humans sometimes get with postnasal drip. Mucus might fall on the vocal cords, leading to a temporary spasm of your dog’s larynx muscles.

Carlson suggests this easy trick for stopping the reverse-sneeze attack: Gently massage the front of your dog’s neck just below the jaw. This will induce your dog to swallow, likely ending the reverse sneeze. Keep in mind that dogs will also snort and behave in a similar way if there’s an obstruction in the larynx. If the attack doesn’t stop, be sure to contact your veterinarian.


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