Dear Dr. Weaver,

My poor pug has been honking on and off for a couple of days. I know this is reverse sneezing. My question is: Is there anyway to get her to stop honking? I try to rub her neck and nose, but she keeps honking. I feel so bad for her. Is there anything I can do for her?

Thank you,
Mary Hilland

Dear Mary,

Backward sneezing happens as a response to anything that irritates the back of the throat. It usually does not cause any serious problems, but it can be annoying. Once the honking starts, the best thing to do is soothe and calm the dog.

The honking usually gets worse during allergy season or when the air is very dry. In most cases, you can improve the condition by using a vaporizer for dry air or Benadryl for the underlying allergies. In severe cases, your vet may need to use prednisone, but this is rarely needed.

Dr. Weaver


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