It is a fairly common respiratory event in dogs, but is rarely seen in cats. We suspect the cause to be irritation or inflammation of the nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus passages (upper airways). It may be a way for the dog to attempt to remove foreign particles such as dust, powder or other irritants or allergensfrom its upper airways. It is also seen after periods of over-excitement.



Reverse sneezing is characterized by sudden rapid and repeated inhalations through the nose, followed by snorting or gagging sounds. It can be alarming to an owner, but is not known to be harmful to dogs with no other underlying condition such as heart disease. Most dogs are completely normal before and after these episodes. In dogs that exhibit reverse sneezing, it is not uncommon for them to have repeat episodes of reverse sneezing throughout their lives.