My dog has started reverse sneezing. What is the cause and is there something I can give him to treat it?

Original Question: My dog has started reverse sneezing, it doesn’t happen too often. Is there something I can give him for this? It lasts for a couple of minutes at a time. - Greg

My dog has started reverse sneezing. What is the cause and is there something I can give him to treat it? Jun 17, 2018

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your question.

Reverse sneezing is caused by conditions that occur on the sinuses and nasal cavities. The common causes of sneezing are allergies, upper respiratory/nasal infections (a well known complicated long-term infection that can occur is a fungal infection known as aspergillosis), foreign material in the nasal cavity, a nasal bot or parasite in the nasal cavity, and tumours in the nasal cavity. I know there are a lot of scary possibilities here but whenever I have seen reverse sneezing, it has never been anything more than just allergies. Typically it resolves on its own but if it’s a particularly bad case with a frequency of occurrence that is bothersome to witness, I will often recommend giving your dog an antihistamine as it is almost always due to allergies.

You can look up our article titled Antihistamine Medications for Dogs” for more information. Also, the resource titled “What You Should Know About Over-the-Counter Antihistamine Use in Dogs & Cats” will tell you how to use over the counter medication to treat this condition or other allergies. My strong recommendation is that if you do not see an obvious and rapid improvement, I encourage you to see your veterinarian to make sure it is nothing worse.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Dr. Greenway

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