View Full Version : Reverse Sneezing

18th February 2008, 08:16 PM
I've noticed Avery does the Reverse Sneeze when she's over stimulated about greeting people..... anyone else experience this?

Avery, being as adorable as she is, has never known an unkind person. Everyone stops to pet her and sweet talk her (don't get me started on what golf carts mean to her - oh boy, they remind her of one particularly doting individual and now she thinks ALL golf carts are affection dispensing machines) :luv: So, naturally, she views all people as friendly and wanting to give her affection and she really lights up when she see's people. Which is great... I'd rather her friendly than aloof. But, if she gets too excited then it triggers that reverse sneeze.

It's most common when we get out of the car at the dog park and start walking toward the entrance...... she just gets over excited at what's coming.... If it were allergy related I would expect it to trigger more randomly, such as when we go for walks, and it doesn't.....

I keep thinking she'd make a super therapy dog someday, then I think 'well, maybe they won't pass her b/c that reverse sneeze'. LOL.....

18th February 2008, 10:10 PM
holly does this all the time! x

Daisy's Mom
18th February 2008, 10:48 PM
It's the same with Daisy. When we are going into the obedience class or Petsmart, or Petco, or.... Whenever she is very excited to meet people or dogs she starts in with that reverse sneezing. It's kind of embarrassing. I always think that people think she's sick or something and won't want her around their dogs (or kids or themselves.)

19th February 2008, 12:34 AM
LOL. Glad to know we're not alone! It is kinda embarrassing....We get some funny looks too from people that don't know what it is...

19th February 2008, 03:41 AM
LOL. Glad to know we're not alone! It is kinda embarrassing....We get some funny looks too from people that don't know what it is...

I still haven't figured out what the heck this is. I guess that means Mika doesn't do it.

19th February 2008, 01:32 PM
It can look quite disturbing - often the dog will sound (and sometimes look) as if it's choking. Some dogs get really upset and frightened by it, whereas others just carry on as normal. It doesn't actually sound like a sneeze at all, it's more a wheezy sound, I think.

19th February 2008, 02:10 PM
Yes, it's a distrubing sound and they suck their tummies in really tight and spread their legs apart kinda far and seem like they are choking. They aren't, but if you don't know what it is, that's the first thought that comes to mind. Then, 20 seconds or so later and it's gone.....

I've been told to pinch her nose to stop it, but that doesn't work for Miss Avery.... so I just tell her she's ok and wait it out...

One of my close friends is a vet and she says it is physiologically like a backwards sneeze... thus the name.

19th February 2008, 05:36 PM
Yep -- Pickles does it too and I really don't know what's going on but a knowledgeable friend of mine told me about the "reverse sneeze" so I just go with it and it always passes.

Once Pickles did it when she saw another doggie and the other dog freaked out when she did her reverse sneeze. I guess he didn't like being snorted at.

Bruce H
19th February 2008, 06:12 PM
Yes, it's a distrubing sound and they suck their tummies in really tight and spread their legs apart kinda far and seem like they are choking. They aren't, but if you don't know what it is, that's the first thought that comes to mind. Then, 20 seconds or so later and it's gone.....

I've been told to pinch her nose to stop it, but that doesn't work for Miss Avery.... so I just tell her she's ok and wait it out...

One of my close friends is a vet and she says it is physiologically like a backwards sneeze... thus the name.

What we have always done is push the dog's nose down so it points at the floor and hold it that way for a few seconds. Have you tried that? I know some people plug the nose while doing this, but it works for us without plugging the nose. People we know call it the "Cavalier Snort".

19th February 2008, 06:21 PM
I rub the dogs' throat - always works for Cazy and for my 1st Cav, Misty, who used to be a pro at the snort! :)

19th February 2008, 07:18 PM
I used to lift the head and rub the throat with my Yorkie but I think it was Cathryn who told me Bruce's way, hold the nose down. Dylan does this too and it really frightens him and he runs to me poor fella. He has a few snorts in a row.

19th February 2008, 08:34 PM
I haven't tried just pointing her nose down. I'll try that next time! I'm sure it will happen sometime this week. Thanks for the tip!

Well, there are worse things than cute little dogs who get excited about being friendly huh!!! :rolleyes:

19th February 2008, 10:11 PM
Both mine do this - I just pint their noses down and cover their noses - within seconds the snorting stops. It doesn't seem to upset either of them - its just part of normal day to day :)

20th February 2008, 01:51 AM
The first time Bentley did that it scared me so much....I had no idea what it was, and I was afraid he was having a seizure or something. But I posted on here about it and I learned what it actually was, and it sure was a relief. Altho Bentley seems to get a little worried and upset when it happens to him, so I hold him and point his nose down, and rub his throat...it goes away after a minute or two.

Cathy T
20th February 2008, 02:01 AM
It doesn't phase Shelby when she does this but Jake completely freaks out. I know it was because of how I reacted to it when he was a puppy. Neither of mine does it much anymore. But.....Shelby has a major sneezing fit when she gets super excited and does a lot of barking. Cracks me up!

20th February 2008, 03:32 AM
All of my girls do this, but to varying degrees. Holly is the worst, but she also gets the most excited/worked up about things. Willow does it periodically, and of course, she's quite skittish so it freaks her out. She sometimes goes and hides in a corner when she starts it. It might sound bad, but the first time she sought me out and came over to me for help when she was having an episode I was quite touched. :)

20th February 2008, 08:33 PM
The reverse sneeze is also known as "Cavalier Snort" and it is actually caused by them having an overlong palate and it starting to go into their throat when they become excited. Best thing to do is put your finger on the bridge of their nose and gently push their chin onto their chest, this will "flip" the palate forwards again. If this doesn't work try popping a finger into their mouth as this will stimulate the gag reflex and again, flip the palate forwards into the correct position!! HTH??

7th March 2008, 09:56 PM
Our cav. has reverse sneezing. He is about five months old. At first we thought he was choking or trying to clear his throat or something stuck in his throat. Then I came across the term "reverse sneezing", had no idea what it was. I typed "video of reverse sneezing" in Google and saw some clips in youtube. Now I know that's what our cav. has.

1st January 2009, 11:26 AM
My Tanner has just started doing this (1yr old) - really scarey the first time he did it - I haven't quite figured out what his triggers are but he generally just gets on with it in his own way. Whiskey who is 4 months younger has never done it yet.

Daisy's Mom
1st January 2009, 03:16 PM
We just got back from our Christmas trip and Daisy did this soooo badly the whole trip every time we'd meet a new person, or when we would arrive at a new house. I do find it absolutely embarassing and I find myself explaining what it is to everyone we meet! My husband would just look at me and roll his eyes like "Why is YOUR dog doing that again?"

I try holding my hand over her nostrils and holding her snout down with my hand, but neither seems to really do much to help. There was one particular meeting where she did it about a minute, off and on! She's also developed a pretty significant snore lately. She had a bout of kennel cough she got from attending a dog show with me in early December, and I attribute some if it to that. She went through a dose of doxycyclene and isn't coughing at all anymore (actually, she never coughed very much with it, and had completely stopped by the day I got her into the vet, but since we were traveling and she would be exposed to other people's dogs, I wanted to be 100% sure. She was up to date on her bordatella vaccine, so I think that's why she had a mild case of it.)

Anyway, whatever the cause for her more frequent episodes of reverse sneezing, I hope it doesn't happen as often anymore.

2nd January 2009, 02:06 AM
My present shih tzu does this and also my shih tzu before him did it also. What worked for both of them is I open their mouth and it immediately stops. The cavalier that we just got does it occasionally also but it has only been a couple times and when I've gone over to try it with him he has already stopped. My shih tzus did it for quite a long time and I agree it can be embarrassing. It used to scare me until I learned what it was. lol. My vet is the one who suggested opening their mouths. The second I really put my fingers in and open their mouths and they get air it stops.

2nd January 2009, 02:16 AM
I agree with Bruce. Take the dogs snout in your hand and point it down. They will then open their mouth to get air, it elongates the esophagus and trachea and they breath easier. One of my cavaliers does this once a day-- I have one that has done this once or twice in two YEARS.

2nd January 2009, 10:52 AM
Most of mine almost never do this -- Jaspar maybe once a year at most. Lily and Lucy on the other hand might do it once a month.

For a dog that is doing this daily -- I'd discuss it with your vet. For some short nosed breeds this problem with the soft palate can be serious and can worsen as the dog ages. It would be wise to get advice.

If a dog is doing this it is a good idea to try and do as Sandy advises and stop it -- the dog is actually gasping for breath. Covering the nose and gently tilting the head downwards almost always will stop the snort. If it doesn't, I definitely think a visit to the vet to discuss this is in order at some point.

It isn't common for the problem to be serious and most cavaliers seem to do the snort at least now and then but if it is all the time, and doesn't easily stop, I wouldn't risk ignoring it as a possible sign of a larger problem.


-- symptoms

The most common and recurrent symptom of an elongated soft palate is noisy breathing. Occasionally, the dog will make snorting sounds, which is due to the tip of the palate flapping into the trachea during respiration. This is called the "Cavalier snort" or a "reverse sneeze". The dogs also are more likely to snore, gag, or retch, and in severe instances, they may collapse if the airflow is obstructed completely.
-- diagnosis

In severe cases, the palate usually is examined with the dog under light general anesthesia, using a laryngoscope. An elongated palate will obstruct the view of the larynx when the tongue is depressed. The veterinarian may take an x-ray to determine the length of the palate and airway.
-- treatment

If the palate is only moderately elongated and does not totally block the trachea, snorting may be relieved by forcing the Cavalier to breathe through its mouth instead of its nose. This may be done by holding the dog's head down and mouth open with one hand while blocking air from entering the nose with the other hand.
Treatment for recurring blockage of airflow is surgical removal of excess tissue from the palate by a veterinary surgeon. Post surgery prognosis is good for young dogs. They generally may be expected to breathe much easier, with significantly reduced respiratory distress, and display more energy and stamina. Older dogs may have a less favorable prognosis.

2nd January 2009, 04:25 PM
My Shih Tzu's used to do this also and one of my Cav's does it. Alex is taken over by this everytime night when I come home, he just gets so excited. I ask the vet and he said this is common with short snooted dogs. Cover their nose with your hand to force them to breath through the mouth and once they take that breath through their mouth they are ok. My is almost paralyzed and cannot move when he goes through this.

Jane, mom to Alex, foster mom to Rhett

2nd January 2009, 04:38 PM
If you have a dog paralyzed from this, I would see another vet for a second opinion. :eek: They literally can barely breathe if it is that bad. As the link I posted indicates, there is a point when this is a serious health risk and can cause early death -- and it tends to worsen as the dog gets older, with less chance for a good surgery prognosis as the dog ages. It may be worth seeing a respiratory specialist at a vet school. Vets don't tend to know a lot about specific conditions like this.

6th January 2009, 12:08 PM

Dougall does this, he did it in the middle of the night, it gave me a scare as I had trouble waking him. Took him to the vet next day, I think the
vet thought I was mad! Dougall has only done it when excited, I discovered it was reverse sneezing by accident when browsing dog health issues on the web.

6th January 2009, 12:51 PM
Oh I remember the first time this happened to Holly, I thought she was choking slightly.... then she was fine, completely back to normal. A few weeks later and Murphy done it, and whilst many people say that their dogs are fine, Murphy most certainly got a wee fright. Again, after a few seconds he was fine, but I had no idea what this was. I thought they were both maybe ill, so I called my vet, frantically, and he assured me that it is normal, only if they recover and go back to their normal selves. He mentioned the covering their nose slightly and pointing their head downwards. This works perfectly and both are fine. I must say though it doesnt happen all the time. I know with some others it is quite a persistent issue, but its only happened with me a handful of times... thankfully. It really is a horrible noise!

8th January 2009, 03:15 PM
I thought my dog was "reverse sneezing" and she turned out to have Kennel Cough! :-S