Is my dog choking or reverse sneezing or something else?

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Is my dog choking or reverse sneezing or something else?

This is a discussion on Is my dog choking or reverse sneezing or something else? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Makala is a dog from Burundi currently living in Uganda, somewhere upwards of 10 years of age. She does seem to have an allergy and ...

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Old 03-13-2017, 04:57 PM
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Is my dog choking or reverse sneezing or something else?

Makala is a dog from Burundi currently living in Uganda, somewhere upwards of 10 years of age. She does seem to have an allergy and a cough that is probably kennel cough. The allergy causes the bottom half of her fur to show dandruff-like white spots. Her nose also runs mildly.

Over recent months, with varying regularity and intensity, she's also been 'choking' in this manner - see this video:

https://youtu.be/dK9j_1qJYBQ


My vet isn't too sure what it is. My best guess is reverse sneezing but as it seems from videos online that every dog does it slightly differently, I can't be sure. A blood test through a local lab didn't reveal anything useful which led the vet to conclude she has an allergy. She also scratches her head and squeals quite regularly.

These various symptoms may be unconnected, but for now I'd certainly appreciate some suggestions for what her 'choking' (as seen in the video) could be, and possible remedies or suggestions for soothing her. Thank you so much!

Last edited by kudupadraic; 03-13-2017 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:08 PM
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That is definitely reverse sneezing. My old dog who passed away had it.

The vet originally thought he had allergies. He had mild reverse sneezing for years but it progressively got worse. He eventually developed cancer in his sinuses. It is unclear whether or not the reverse sneezing was an early symptom of his cancer. Or if it started out as allergies and he eventually developed cancer in the same area as the inflammation from the allergies.

We immediately suspected cancer when he started coughing and having a bloody nasal discharge. He snored as he slept as the tumor was blocking airflow. He also showed some neurological symptoms (hind end weakness). He was pts at age 10.

10 yrs is about the average age for cancer to develop in pets. If it is allergies he should respond to a steroidal medication such as prednisolone. If it is cancer, the prednisolone will not help other than to relieve symptoms. If his symptoms continue to progress than I would suspect cancer. There is no effective treatment for sinus cancer in dogs.

The head scratching does sound like allergies though. So it may very well be "Just allergies".
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:33 AM
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Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience. She does have an increasingly consistent nasal discharge - whitish or clear mostly - no blood so far, thankfully.

Did you find anything that helped with the reverse sneezing? I've read that massaging the throat area during an episode can help but if it makes a difference for our dog it's minimal.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:54 PM
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not like typical reverse sneeze I have seen... your video (at least for me) has no sound... can you tell if these episodes consist ONLY of breathing inward... or of both in and out, or outward? If ONLY inward, still could be a reverse sneeze/nasal type of inflammation.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:36 PM
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Hello
Are you in Uganda. I lived and worked there for a while. My old dog had this too occasionally and I considered it reverse sneezing. I found I could shorten episodes with a treat or blowing into her nose. Please be cautious with a steroid like prednisolone. We were prescribed this for (unrelated) lung inflammation. It can be a wonder drug for many conditions but you have to weigh up the risks v benefits. Presumably the vet has checked for infection or things like nasal mites? BTW I can recommend a steroid inhaler over oral steroids for lung/respiratory issues. Less side effects.

Last edited by pineapple; 03-21-2017 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:02 AM
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Yes - I'm in Uganda! Beautiful country. Thanks for all the tips. The vet reckons allergies rather than cancer given that the symptoms haven't really increased for some months - I guess that's a good sign. He also prescribes prednisolone which, thanks to your warnings, we've researched a bit and decided that at this stage the risks probably don't outweigh the benefits. The reverse sneezing - which I'm thinking it probably is (as seen in video above) - has lessened a little, although the intense ear- and head-scratching does continue at levels of high discomfort. She's currently on a diet of Pedigree pouches (jelly and veg/gravy) with a variation of beef, chicken, and lamb. More than likely it's something in the mixture she'll be allergic to I imagine, but on the offchance it's one of those types of meats, we're currently keeping her to just lamb to see whether the symptoms ease - which would mean chicken or beef may be to blame. How long should we keep her on a single-meat diet before the allergic symptoms should theoretically disappear? Any tips welcome - thanks!
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