Have you ever heard your dog or cat make a strange, honking sound that almost sounds like they’re gasping for air? This sound is known as a reverse sneeze, and while it can be alarming to pet owners, it’s usually not a cause for concern. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what a reverse sneeze sounds like and what causes it.
What is a Reverse Sneeze?
A reverse sneeze is a respiratory event that can occur in dogs and cats. It’s called a reverse sneeze because it sounds like the animal is inhaling air rather than exhaling it, which is what happens during a regular sneeze. During a reverse sneeze, the animal will make a loud, honking sound, and their chest may expand as they try to inhale more air. The episode can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
What Does a Reverse Sneeze Sound Like?
A reverse sneeze can sound different depending on the animal and the severity of the episode. Some people describe it as a snorting or choking sound, while others say it sounds like the animal is trying to clear something from their throat. The sound can be quite loud and alarming, but it’s usually not harmful to the animal.
What Causes a Reverse Sneeze?
There are a few different things that can cause a reverse sneeze in dogs and cats. One of the most common causes is irritation or inflammation of the nasal passages. This can be caused by allergies, infections, or even foreign objects that have become lodged in the nose. In some cases, a reverse sneeze can also be triggered by excitement, exercise, or drinking water too quickly.
How Can I Tell if My Pet is Reverse Sneezing?
If your pet is reverse sneezing, you’ll likely notice the loud, honking sound and their chest expanding as they try to inhale more air. They may also appear to be in distress or uncomfortable, but in most cases, they will quickly recover on their own. If you’re unsure whether your pet is reverse sneezing or having a more serious respiratory issue, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.
Can I Prevent Reverse Sneezing?
While you can’t always prevent reverse sneezing, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk. Keeping your pet’s environment clean and free of irritants can help prevent allergies and respiratory infections that can lead to reverse sneezing. If your pet is prone to reverse sneezing, try to avoid activities that may trigger an episode, such as running and playing too vigorously.
When Should I be Concerned?
In most cases, reverse sneezing is not a cause for concern and will resolve on its own. However, if your pet is experiencing frequent or prolonged episodes of reverse sneezing, or if they seem to be in distress or having difficulty breathing, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away. Your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause of the reverse sneezing and recommend appropriate treatment.
The Bottom Line
Reverse sneezing can be a strange and alarming sound for pet owners to hear, but in most cases, it’s not a cause for concern. Understanding what a reverse sneeze sounds like and what causes it can help you keep your pet healthy and happy. If you’re ever unsure about your pet’s respiratory health, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice.