Have you ever seen your Pomeranian reverse sneeze? People often rush their Poms to the vet when they do because they think that their Pomeranian is choking on something. But reverse sneezing is something quite normal for Pomeranians.
So, why do Pomeranians reverse sneeze? Reverse sneezing has the same goal as regular sneezing – to get rid of irritants in the nasopharynx, the area above the soft palate. As such, allergies, foreign objects, mites, nasal tumors can cause repetitive reverse sneezing episodes.
So, what is reverse sneezing, and what should you do when your Pomeranian reverse sneezes? Keep on reading to find out the answers.
What Is Reverse Sneezing?
When your Pomeranian sneezes, they expel air through their nose because something has irritated the nasal passages. On the other hand, reverse sneezing is a respiratory event in which your Pomeranian inhales suddenly, rapidly, and repetitively through their nose.
Usually, your Pomeranian will extend their head and neck while reverse sneezing and pull back their lips to inhale.
The rapid inhalation produces a distinctive snorting sound each time your Pom inhales. The episode lasts from a few seconds to a minute and ends when your Pomeranian exhales through the nose.
Some Pomeranians might also gag, which is why people think that their Pom has something stuck in their throat. However, the gagging is often due to the irritant being coughed up from the lungs to the trachea.
While it sounds terrifying, reverse sneezing is harmless. It doesn’t have any side effects for your Pomeranian’s health and shouldn’t make your Pomeranian act differently before or after an episode.
However, you have to distinguish other respiratory problems from a reverse sneeze. For example, Pomeranians are prone to a collapsed trachea. It produces a distinctive honking cough and breathing difficulties that some might mistake for a reverse sneeze.
Moreover, lack of appetite, persistent cough, fever, a runny nose, watery eyes aren’t symptoms of a reverse sneeze. Usually, they point to a respiratory infection, such as kennel cough.
Furthermore, Pomeranians are curious dogs and tend to put everything they find on the floor in their mouths. So, you also have to consider the possibility that your Pomeranian has swallowed something they shouldn’t have and are choking.
Usually, when Pomeranians are suffocating, there would be a lot of drooling, pawing at the mouth, gagging, and retching.
If the object has blocked the airway, your Pomeranian’s lips might turn blue, and they might struggle to breathe. These signs show that your Pomeranian needs urgent medical help.
However, if your Pomeranian doesn’t seem in distress and recover in about a minute, they’re probably reverse sneezing. For your peace of mind, you might look up some videos of reverse sneezing in dogs so that you know what to expect.
You can also make a video of your Pomeranian reverse sneezing and show it to your vet for evaluation.
What Causes Pomeranian Reverse Sneezing?
So, why does your Pomeranian reverse sneezes? Most vets agree that it has to do with an irritation of the respiratory tract.
However, a lot of things can irritate your Pom’s throat. Let’s see the most common reasons why your Pomeranian is reverse sneezing.
Pomeranians can be allergic to many things, including pollen, dust, chemicals, perfumes, and even human dander. Whenever your Pomeranian breathes an allergen, it can lead to reverse sneezing or just sneezing.
2. Foreign Object
Usually, acute reverse sneezing is related to a foreign object. Pomeranians love to snuff the ground, and they can inhale seeds, blades of grass, or other small foreign objects. When these get stuck far in the nose, they might trigger a reverse sneezing episode.
3. Excessive Nasal Discharge
Another reason why your Pomeranian reverse sneezes are excessive discharge from the nose, for example, post-nasal drip.
In post-nasal drip, the mucus drains down the throat instead of being expelled through the nose. That might trigger reverse sneezing.
Usually, allergies lead to post-nasal drip, but some infections can also inflame your Pom’s sinuses.
4. Nasal Mites
Nasal mites are small parasites that infest your Pomeranian’s nose. While they’re not dangerous, they can irritate your Pom’s sinuses and nasal passage. Hence, your Pomeranian experience frequent episodes of reverse sneezing.
Usually, indirect/direct contact between dogs is how these mites spread. Besides reverse sneezing, other signs of nasal mites are head shaking, noisy breathing, impaired sense of smell, and itching.
5. Nasal Abnormalities
Lastly, nasal abnormalities might also cause reverse sneezing in Pomeranians. These would be nasal tumors (benign and cancerous) and nasal defects, such as elongated soft palate.
Besides these five reasons why Pomeranian reverse sneeze, some dogs also do it when they’re overly excited or when they’re pulling too hard on their leash.
How Is Reverse Sneezing Treated?
In most cases, your Pomeranian won’t need any treatment for reverse sneezing. However, frequent episodes might mean that whatever is irritating your Pom’s throat isn’t getting out.
So, you’d want to have your Pomeranian checked by a vet to rule other possible conditions, such as a collapsed trachea.
Usually, your vet will do a blood test, an X-ray, and rhinoscopy to look at your Pomeranian’s nasal passage. If there’s something stuck there, your vet will be able to see it.
A rhinoscopy will also show if there are any abnormal growths or defects in your Pomeranian’s nasopharynx and nasal passages.
Sometimes, your Pomeranian will have to have surgery if these growths are compromising their breathing or if they turn out to be cancerous.
If allergies are the reason behind your Pom’s reverse sneezing, your vet might prescribe an antihistamine to reduce the allergic reaction. Testing your Pomeranian for allergies also can help you learn what triggers to avoid.
Excessive mucus discharge might be treated with antibiotics if it’s caused by an infection, while nasal mites will require antiparasitic treatment for several weeks.
What Should You Do About Pomeranian Reverse Sneezing?
So, what should you do when your Pomeranian reverse sneezes? You don’t have to do anything. The episode is going to last for about 10-20 seconds up to a minute or two at max. Then your Pomeranian will go back to normal without experiencing any ill effects.
However, you can shorten the episode of reverse sneezing. Here’s some tips how to do it:
- Massage your Pomeranian’s throat. That would make them swallow and break the cycles of inhalations.
- Gently blow air in your Pomeranian’s nose.
- Carry your Pomeranian outside so that they can breathe fresh air.
- Pinch your Pomeranian’s nose close for a second. Be careful not to hurt them by accident.
- Offer your Pomeranian a treat or something to drink.
- Press your Pomeranian’s tongue down. Try this method only if everything else fails, and you’re certain that your Pomeranian isn’t going to bite your fingers.
The most important thing is to remain calm when your Pomeranian is reverse sneezing. Soothingly talk to your Pomeranian and try not to do anything rash. But if your Pomeranian seems in genuine distress, you should call your vet as soon as possible.
Can You Prevent Pomeranian Reverse Sneezing?
Episodes of reverse sneezing scare you more than they do your Pomeranian. So, here are some tips that can help you prevent Pomeranian reverse sneezing:
- Avoid any potential allergen triggers, such as smoke, strong scents, mold, and dust.
- Don’t use any cleaning chemicals in the house.
- Make sure that there are no small objects on the floor that your Pomeranian can inhale.
- Avoid collars since they put too much pressure on the trachea.
- Keep your Pomeranian calm if they reverse sneeze when excited.
Reverse sneezing might seem terrifying, but it’s harmless. You can prevent episodes by learning why Pomeranians reverse sneeze and take measures to control your Pomeranian’s allergies.