We are starting a new feature here on the Campus Veterinary Clinic Blog. Each week we plan to answer a frequently asked question. We’re kicking this off with the question, “What is reverse sneezing?”

According to Dr. Simon Yen VMD, reverse sneezing is most commonly a minor health concern. In truth, what we are witnessing is not actually a sneeze, but rather a muscle spasm caused by an irritation to the soft palate. As witnessed above in the video, it is an odd and somewhat alarming sound to hear coming from your dog. The good news is that it is often not a serious problem and usually temporary.

It’s not always clear what causes the “sneezing,” but there are a number of irritants that can cause it. Dust and pollen or even household chemicals are cited as common culprits.

As with any other symptom, if it persists the best course of action is to call the veterinarian.