Is your little furry friend making weird sounds like it is having difficulty breathing? We know the experience can be horrifying, and it is natural to worry. Some paw parents, unknown to this condition, panic and seek immediate medical care for their pets. This condition is called Reverse Sneezing and is common in Brachycephalic Breeds.
It means that if you share your home with a Pug, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Bulldog, you might notice your dog make weird snorting sounds mostly when excited. Your pooch is likely to snort from time to time because of its short nose and flat face.
While sneezing is pushing air out of your nose rapidly, reverse sneezing, as the name suggests, is pulling air through the nostrils briskly.
Why is your dog doing it?
Sneezing and Reverse Sneezing are the body’s’ ways of getting rid of irritants. Dust particles in the air, pollen, seeds, smoke, or odors may irritate the sinuses or nasopharynx. During a reverse sneeze, a pet will repeatedly breathe in through their nose with atypical force, taking quick, short breaths. One episode of reverse sneezing may last 10-15 seconds. Even though looking at your pooch experiencing this may be alarming, snorting or sneezing are typically related to nasal irritation and allergies. It can happen out of the blue without exhibiting other symptoms.
Is it dangerous?
Brace yourselves. Reverse Sneezing is a normal bodily reaction. Dogs can behave as nothing happened after a reverse sneeze incident. But they are likely to repeat symptoms later on. There is no absolute cure for this condition yet, so if it happens frequently, it is time to get it treated properly.
How to prevent Reverse Sneezing?
If snorting sounds are usual in the case of your dog, there is not much you can do about unless it becomes frequent and more severe. One way to prevent your pet from developing a severe condition of Inspiratory Paroxysmal Respiration pet owners should use harnesses instead of collars when walking their pet to avert additional pressure on its neck.
Another preventive measure is to keep these dogs (brachycephalic breeds) in more controlled temperature environments, such as in the air conditioning on warmer days. Veterinarians advise pet owners to help their pets maintain a healthy body weight because obesity makes the condition worse.
In some cases, determining any outside factors such as allergies that may cause dog snorting is the only prevention. But the fact is you that can not always determine what your dog is sniffing. It may be possible to reduce the severity or frequency of reverse sneezing by following these tricks: try gently massaging the throat,Soft blow on your pet’s face can be helpful,Holding the nostrils closed for a few seconds,If nothing works leave it alone (symptoms will eventually subside)
What about non- brachycephalic breeds?
If your pet is a brachycephalic breed, snorting can be justified by the structure of the nose and skull. Whereas, if it belongs to a non- brachycephalic breed and has suddenly started snorting, it can be an early warning that something is blocking your dog’s nasal passages, such as an infection, inhaled plant material, or a mass. If the snoring or snorting continues for some time, you should arrange an appointment with your veterinarian.
Common allergens can be a cause of respiratory issues in dogs as in humans. If your pet is suddenly snorting/sneezing and you have noticed that your eyes are watering or you are sneezing more than usual, both your pet and you can be suffering from the same seasonal allergy.
In addition to allergies, dogs may also have difficulty breathing a result of weather changes or other environmental factors. Pets are sensitive to the same things as people, such as allergens, high humidity, hot or cold temperatures, and smoke. So, if you are uncomfortable, your pet is likely to be uncomfortable.
Apart from that, reverse sneezing might not always require a trip to the vet, sometimes it can be just due to mucus lining.
Treatment for Reverse Sneezing
If your dog’s sneezing/reverse sneezing has become a serious issue, you may need to treat it. Whether the cause of Reverse Sneezing is chronic rhinitis, a nasal or sinus mass, an anatomic abnormality or bleeding, your veterinarian will conduct a procedure to assess clotting status or determine the presence of bacterial or viral infections, sedating and examining of the nasal passages and upper airway, assessing nasal secretions for the presence of bacteria, fungi, or parasites, taking x-rays of the skull or performing a rhinoscopy.
Depending on the results of the medical procedure your veterinarian may recommend medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatories, or surgery to remove polyps or masses. If despite your best efforts to prevent or inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, a brachycephalic dog is having extreme difficulty breathing and more frequently, a veterinarian will fully examine and assess the pet to determine if surgery could be warranted or bring some relief to the effort of breathing.
Surgical options for a severe case of dog snorting would include opening the narrowed nasal passages, removing the laryngeal pouches, and shortening the soft palate. Decongestant medications sometimes help with this condition and ease up discomfort.