How do you stop an episode of reverse sneezing?


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Our question this week was:

How do I get my dog to stop an episode of reverse sneezing?

Patty O.


Hi – thanks for your email. A reverse sneeze is something particular to dogs. In a regular sneeze, your dog pushes air out through the nose; however, in a reverse sneeze, air is pulled rapidly in through the nose producing a noisy inspiratory effort.

I have an article about it on our site – go to Reverse Sneezing in Dogs. The article says it well – but this is what it looks like:

To Stop a Reverse Sneezing Episode – you can try the following:

  • Stimulate your dog to swallow by either massaging the throat or briefly pinching off the nasal openings.

  • Sometimes opening the dog's mouth and gently pulling on the dogs tongue can help stop an episode

  • Give your dog something to eat and drink can also stop the reverse sneezing episode.

    Some dogs have reverse sneezing episodes so frequently that various medications may be needed to reduce their frequency.

    Best of luck!

    Dr. Debra

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    About The Author

    debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

    Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.