Health and Nutrition

Pharyngeal Gag Reflex (Reverse Sneezing)

Pharyngeal Gag Reflex is a dramatic, rapid inhalation and exhalation of air through the nasopharynx. Dogs may do this when they have a mild irritation at the back of their throat. Often confused with seizures or gasping for air, it is usually a harmless event.

Reverse sneezing is not really a health problem but it is very common in Toy breeds and owners should be aware of it. Characterized by honking, hacking, or snorting sounds, it usually happens when a dog is excited or after drinking, eating, running around, or pulling on a leash. The dog will usually extend his neck while gasping inwards with a distinctive snorting sound. Usually, gently rubbing the throat of the affected dog will help stop the spasms.

Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.

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