Dogs not only sneeze, but can reverse sneeze, as well. A reverse sneeze, also called a mechanosensitive aspiration reflex, causes a dog to pull air into its nose, as opposed to a regular sneeze, in which air is blown out. Reverse sneezes often cause dogs to snort and make noises that sound like the dog is choking. Reverse sneezes typically go away on their own in about a minute or two, although there are a few techniques you can try to help your dog.
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Encourage your dog to swallow. Gently rub the dog's throat or briefly pinch its nostrils to stimulate it to swallow, suggests the Pet Place website.
Place one of your hands on the dog's top jaw and the other on the bottom. Gently lift the top jaw up and pull the bottom jaw down to open the mouth. Carefully grab the dog's tongue and gently tug on it. Doing so will often stop the reverse sneezing episode.
Offer your dog food and water. Eating and drinking can often halt reverse sneezing, if the dog is able to focus.
Take your dog to the veterinarian, if the episodes are frequent. The doctor may place your dog on medications that might be able to stop the reverse sneezing completely.
Tips and warnings
- Pay attention to the times in which your dog has the reverse sneezing episodes. If your dog tends to experience the sneezing during certain months or seasons, it could be due to an allergy. Antihistamines or other allergy medications may help to solve the problem. The dog also could have an object lodged in its sinuses that is causing the problem, and the object would likely need to be extracted by a veterinarian.
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