Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your new, older pup Angus is having some sort of breathing spasm episode, and I understand that you are concerned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HXcMLokADc&feature=relatedIf they look like the video this is a "reverse sneeze" which is caused by irritation of the pharynx.It can be from inhaled irritants (like any sort of pollen, or mold spores).It can be related to gastroesophageal reflux.It can be caused by excitement or post nasal drip or an overlong soft palate.Dogs with dental
and gum disease
can have lots of inflammation and may be predisposed to post-nasal drip and reverse sneezing
. A reverse sneeze isn't harmful as it's just a spasm of the muscles
around the pharynx because of the irritant, but it's no fun to watch. It can be stopped most times by rubbing the throat gently. If it is because of gastroesophageal reflux then giving him an acid reducing medication may help. You can try either:1) Pepcid-ac (famotidine
) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours.OR 2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one half of a 20mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours.These will reduce stomach
acid and should help decrease symptoms related to reflux. These medications are quite safe and can be used long term if need be. If it is related to an overlong soft palate then surgery may be required eventually if this is interfering with enjoyment of life or leading to breathing problems. If a dog is prone to reverse sneezes and they have a low grade respiratory infection or are exposed to cigarette smoke, candle or incense vapor, pollution or other irritants then that can be a possible complicating factor as well.Ideally if this is worsening your pup needs to be evaluated by your family veterinarian. They can determine whether this is related to a reverse sneeze or something. In the meantime I recommend watching your fellow closely for other symptoms.If he starts to open mouth breathe even when he isn't exercising strenuously then he should see a veterinarian promptly.Because sometimes this can be related to dental or gum disease and the secondary inflammation from chronic infections. If this is the case a good cleaning should improve things tremendously.Please let me know if you have any further questions.