Pugs And Reverse Sneezing

Respiratory problems are very common in Pugs and reverse sneezing is one of those ailments almost every Pug suffers from at one time or another. While this can be a little scary to witness, and the sound makes you think your Pug is choking, this is not a life threatening ailment. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about it either.

Remember, Pugs are a brachycephalic breed. That means they have a short or flat nose. Clearly this is one of the characteristics that make them as cute as they are but the structure of the face and nasal passages can cause some problems. Almost every Pug owner quickly notices the wide variety of noises that come from their little friend. They are not “light” breathers and many snore when they sleep. They can start emitting all kinds of noises especially when they’re tired. Sometimes it sounds like they’re oinking like a piglet. If you have a collar on them when you’re walking and they start to pick up the pace they can actually start to choke and emit a sound that sounds a little scary. A harness is actually better because it lessens the pressure on the throat. These are all part of the respiratory issues for Pugs and reverse sneezing is just another item on that list.

It can sound scary and give their owner a little bit of a fright but it basically is a function of post nasal drip, very similar to what many humans have. There are some who think that it may be tied to allergies but there is no conclusive data on this. Almost every Pug will experience this at one time in their life and some are more prone to it than others.

The sound of reverse sneezing is similar to a choking sound and you may see your Pug extend his neck and arch his back. If the Pug were sneezing the air would be exhaled but with the reverse sneeze the air is actually being inhaled. As the air comes in the Pug emits a short, snorting sound. It can sound like a cough or a deep snore. One of these episodes can last a few seconds or even a minute. They come on suddenly and disappear just as quickly. We compare the Pugs and reverse sneezing syndrome, which it is sometimes called, to humans and a sneezing spell. With sneezing, however, the air is exhaled but with the reverse action the air is inhaled. The sound is very different and a little more alarming.

No treatment is really necessary and it usually diappears as quickly as it came. If your Pug has been diagnosed with allergies you may want to consult with your veterinarian about an anti-histamine. If the episodes are frequent or severe, some relief can be found by placing a thumb over the nostrils. This will temporarily reduce the influx of air. As with all conditions, make sure you consult your veterinarian about the proper course of action to follow. Most owners feel some level of comfort upon finding out that Pugs and reverse sneezing is a common health problem in this breed of dog.