What is French Bulldog Reverse Sneezing?

Why is My French Bulldog Reverse Sneezing?! Learn what causes those freaky snorting episodes and what you can do to stop them!

~3 minute read
last updated November 05, 2019

What is Reverse Sneezing in French Bulldogs




Sound familiar?

Reverse sneezing is an episode where your Frenchie makes rapid inhalations, snorting while it stands still extending its neck.

Your Frenchie may seem like it’s choking or unable to breathe, but there’s no need to be worried!

While reverse sneezing is more common in brachycephalic breeds due to their elongated soft palates, it can affect any breed.

Yes, I know, reverse sneezing can be pretty scary. Reverse sneezing is typically harmless and shouldn’t much of concern unless you think it’s excessive.

Symptoms of Reverse Sneezing

Snort, snort, snort! You really can’t miss a reverse sneezing episode. There’s also a few other symptoms such as standing still while craning their necks.

  • Rapid and long inhalations
  • Head and neck extended
  • Standing still
  • Loud snorting and gagging sounds

If you’re anything like me, these symptoms scared me half to death the first time it happened.

I thought something serious was wrong with my Frenchie… and her reverse sneezing still freaks me out to this day.

The 7 Most Common Causes of Reverse Sneezing

1. Allergens such as dust, mold, or pollen

One of the most common causes of reverse sneezing in Frenchies is allergies.

2. Over-excitement

Getting too worked up or excited is one of the most common causes for reverse sneezing in Frenchies.

This is why trying to calm down your dog is one of the recommended ways to stop reverse sneezing immediately.

3. Irritants in the airways

Any kind of irritant that your Frenchie somehow breathes in can cause reverse sneezing

The most common irritants to cause reverse sneezing area nasal mites, secretions, seeds, pollen, grass, smoke, odors, masses, and allergens causing post nasal drip.

4. Irritation of the nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus passages

5. Nasal mites

Nasal mites are small parasites that infest the nasal passages and sinuses of dogs.

They are contagious between dogs, can be found in dogs of all breeds, sexes, and ages.

6. Infections, masses, or anatomical abnormalities

7. Pulling on the leash

Does your Frenchie pull on the leash constantly? If so, that definitely could cause their reverse sneezing!

If you can’t get them to stop tugging on the leash no matter what you do (like me), I recommend trying out a front-clip harness like this one on Amazon.

What can I do to Stop my Frenchie’s Reverse Sneezing?

Mild to moderate reverse sneezing typically don’t require any medical treatment.

However, there’s a simple technique you can try right now to instantly stop your Frenchie’s reverse sneezing.

Trick to Stop Reverse Sneezing Instantly

1. Cover their nostrils with your fingers
2. Lightly (very) blow in their face
3. Massage their throat
4. Try to calm them down

If you think reverse sneezing scares you — how do you think your Frenchie feels? It’s probably not the best feeling…

Calming your Frenchie down can help stop the reverse sneezing spasm.

Try Changing Their Diet

If you have any suspicion your Frenchie’s reverse sneezing could be caused by an allergen, it might be a good idea to change up their diet.

For example, if you feed them beef, try changing their protein source to chicken or salmon to see if that improves their reverse sneezing.

If your Frenchie just wont’ stop reverse sneezing no matter what you try, it’s probably best to visit your vet. While most cases of reverse sneezing are completely normal, it’s better to be safe than sorry if your gut is telling you something is off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Reverse Sneezing Normal?

Reverse sneezing from time to time is completely normal.

It’s when it gets excessive that it becomes abnormal.

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