Breathing Changes in Dogs: Daisy’s Strange Breathing

When your dog looks like they’re having difficulty breathing or even choking, It’s a scary sight. In fact, actual difficulty breathing or choking is an emergency.

Breathing Changes in Dogs: Daisy's Strange Breathing

Daisy’s story

Daisy was a 7-year-old Bichon Frise. She’s been happy and healthy except for strange breathing episodes now and then. These episodes were short-lasting with no lasting effects. Daisy’s dad figured that something was irritating Daisy’s throat, an equivalent of a hair ball.

Yet, when they were visiting a veterinarian for Daisy’s regular wellness exam, he did think to mention it.

The veterinarian recommended capturing the episode on a video—it’s hard to diagnose something the patient didn’t demonstrate during the exam. There are many things that you cannot recreate at the veterinary office, and showing the veterinarian a video is always helpful. A video is much more effective than trying to describe or mimic the problem.

Whether it’s coughing, sneezing, minor fits, lameness or anything at all, a video often captures what’s going on in the clearest way possible.

Pete the Vet

Reverse sneezing

As soon as the veterinarian reviewed the video, it became clear that Daisy was reverse sneezing. As upsetting as it is to observe, reverse sneezing is typically a benign reaction to an irritation of the dog’s soft palate.

Daisy’s episodes happened several times a week, usually in the middle of the night.

Reverse sneezing is what it sounds like—a process that is reversed version of sneezing. While a sneeze involves explosive breathing out, reverse sneezing is explosively breathing in.

The problem is more common in small and brachycephalic breeds due to their shorter and narrower respiratory passages.

The most common triggers are environmental or household irritants. However, even a temperature change can trigger an episode.

However, respiratory infections can contribute and make the episodes worse.

Fortunately, Daisy didn’t have an infection.

Gentle rubbing her throat and keeping her calm was all she needed. Making a dog swallow can also be helpful.

More importantly, it is a good idea to take a closer look at what might be causing the irritation in the first place.

Source story:
Daisy, a 7-year-old Bichon Frise reverse sneezes

Related articles:
Reverse Sneezing in Dogs: Is My Dog Choking?

Further reading:
Reverse Sneeze in Dogs

Categories: Dog health advocacy

Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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