Back to News

Published: May 23, 2012

Dogs make plenty of strange noises. From grunting and snorting to dog barking and whining, living with a canine may feel like living with a loveable hog at times. Owners are able to identify most noises dogs make, like sneezes, but others, like reverse sneezes, are less common and can be frightening if you don't know what they are.

Reverse sneezing in dogs is characterized by rapidly pulling air into the nose, as opposed to sneezing, which is the rapid exhalation of air through the nose. During a reverse sneeze, a dog usually makes several loud, long, gurgly or labored-sounding inspirations and will usually extend the head and neck.  It can be alarming to witness a reverse sneezing episode, as it may almost seem like seizures in dogs. However, reverse sneezing is not a harmful condition and there are no ill effects that result from it, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Although the cause of reverse sneezing is unknown, the problem is often exacerbated by smoke, perfumes, potpourri or other environmental odors.  Most cases of reverse sneezing require no treatment at all. reports that if your dog is having episodes daily or several times a day or has other clinical signs like nasal discharge, a bloody nose or difficulty breathing, you should bring it to the vet to ensure there is not a more serious issue to blame for the sneezing.