What Is A French Bulldog Reverse Sneezing?


French bulldog reverse sneezing might be one of the strangest occurrences that happen in this breed. However, it’s nothing uncommon to be seen in other breeds too. For most dog owners, reverse sneezing in their Frenchies represents a hair-raising experience. A dog who deals with it will have repetitive inhalations through the nose and produce sounds like snorting and gagging. French bulldog reverse sneezing is also followed by a dog’s ‘extended neck’ occurrence.

What causes French bulldog reverse sneezing?

Reverse sneezing in dogs occurs when something irritates the dog’s nose, throat, and soft palates. The episode of this type of sneezing is actually a sort of a spasm which is followed by the following symptoms:

  • Gagging and snorting sounds
  • Extended neck and head
  • Extended air inhalation
  • ‘Frozen’ body posture

Even though this occurrence seems traumatic, it’s usually not the reason for being concerned.

The causes for French bulldog reverse sneezing are many. Since Frenchies have a sensitive respiratory system, they’re more prone to different allergies and issues with breathing. Here is the list of triggers that could be the reasons for reverse sneezing.

  • Environmental allergens

Allergies in French bulldogs are often caused by inhalation allergens such as seasonal pollen, smoke, the smell of different chemicals, laundry detergent or softener, etc. Even mold, dust, and mites could be the reasons for allergic reactions in your pet, so that’s why it’s advisable to determine on time what affects the dog’s respiratory system.

Environmental allergies in French bulldogs are also followed by itchy skin, watery eyes or nose, paw licking, coughing, and sneezing. If you’ve noticed that your Frenchie starts to express any of these symptoms when residing in a specific room or space, then you should connect the reaction with the specific trigger. A Frenchie who reversely sneezes due to environmental allergens will get back to normal when the trigger is removed.

  • Over-excitement

Over-exciting behavior in French bulldogs is nothing uncommon to spot. They’re affectionate, friendly, and very loyal toward their owners. Therefore, if the French bulldog reverse sneezing occurs every time he/she sees you at the front door, then it’s the ultimate time to change your arrival routine. Train your little gremlin not to jump, bark and howl, and don’t show too much emotion toward your pet. Instead of cuddling and kissing him/her, just say ‘Hello’ and pass by.

  • Leash pulling

Since Frenchies have thick and short necks and flat skulls, they shouldn’t wear collars in case they’re not fully trained. French bulldog collars can cause not only severe neck and spine injuries but also lead to reverse sneezing in case a dog pulls on the leash.

  • Foreign bodies

If a dog inhaled a foreign body such as a plant piece, sesame seed, sand, or a flower seed, he/she can start sneezing. French bulldog reverse sneezing will be one of the ways to get rid of unpleasant triggers.

  • Diseases

Cats and dogs can suffer from infectious diseases that affect their nasal cavities, leading to sneezing. These symptoms are more common in puppies with a compromised immune system because they do not have as strong protection against infection as older animals.

The distemper virus, canine flu, and kennel cough are some of such illness which results in an increased number of coughing fits and reverse sneezing. The cough worsens when inhaled air comes into contact with bacterial particles found within the sputum. This leads many owners to opt for oxygen therapy or surgical intervention that might become necessary.

  • Nasal mites

Pneumonyssoides canine is a small nasal mite that lives in the nose cavities of dogs. Its most common symptoms are runny nose and sneezing, but some may also experience reverse sneezes as well. This disease cannot be passed on from dog to dog and humans. Diagnosis depends upon examination using fiberoptics scopes which will allow for visualization by physicians looking through them into your pet’s nostrils.

How to prevent or stop French bulldog reverse sneezing?

Even though this reflex is difficult to avoid, you can still perform certain measures to ease the symptoms and calm down your pooch. Reverse sneezing in French bulldogs doesn’t require treatment as long as it occurs occasionally. Here are the tips to follow to help your Frenchie:

  • Cover your French bulldog’s nose gently. This will shorten the reflex.
  • In case your dog spent a lot of time outdoors in hot or cold weather, reverse sneezing could be one of the consequences. Place your pet on a summer cooling pad or in a warm room depending on the season.
  • Calm your dog by showing him affection and telling praise words
  • Press his/her tongue (be careful not to get bitten) to expand the airways
  • Massage the dog’s neck to relax the neck muscles

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