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CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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My dog has just started reverse sneezing very often in the

Customer Question

My dog has just started reverse sneezing very often in the last few weeks. It has been steadily getting worse. Today started with an intense episode of reverse sneezing from her sleeping crate this morning. Throughout the day she has been vomiting very thick, but clear snot like consistency. In the last couple of hours it has been getting much worse, with her coughing and reverse sneezing every couple of minutes. Twice we have lifted her to have her vomit the snot on us. She is not running a fever. She has been eating and doing normal urination and defecation. She is energetic when excited, but generally more lethargic today than usual. We have given her 12.5 mg of Benedryl about 2 hours ago, she is not doing better. Right now, we are comforting and petting her in the the bathroom, running a very hot shower (but not putting her in the shower), hoping the steam will help clear her problems a little. She is a 22 pound, puggle terrier mix. She has never shown signs of allergy problems up to this point and she has never been treated for allergy problems. Her symptoms seemed to improve after steaming in shower. Is this an emergency? Are there treatments that we should try before taking her to the veterinarian? I have heard that some allergy medications for humans are also useful in helping dogs. Thank you
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your post!

Does the episode look like this?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes. This is what her episodes look like.
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 5 years ago.

Regarding the reverse sneeze - in a VAST majority of cases, this is thought to be cause by inflammation or irritation of the pharynx (back of the mouth). This can be worsened with cold weather leading to more inflammation and irritation.

If it becomes more frequent, some think there may be an allergic component and recommend antihistamines.

In more rare cases other possible causes include nasal foreign body, chronic nasal infection (bacterial or fungal), nasal cancer, or "idiopathic" ... which means we never find a reason.

For the really frustrating cases, rhinoscopy (like a colonoscopy for the nose) with nasal flushing under anesthesia, fungal cultures, or a CT may be needed.

In a majority of cases with the reverse sneeze....we usually ignore it, unless it becomes more severe, worse, etc.

I know you are doing some of this already, but for this - I usually recommend Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) - the dose will be 1mg for every 1 pound of body weight. For example, a 50 pound dog should receive 50mg of benadryl. You can start and then give a dose every 8 to 12 hours thereafter. Please be certain it is the product consisting of only Diphenhydramine and DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY OTHER INGREDIENTS SUCH AS A DECONGESTANT.

If the signs persist, and are concerning, more testing and evaluation such as what is listed above would be recommended.
Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.