French Bulldog Breathing Attack – What Is the French Bulldog Reverse Sneeze?

The first time I witnessed a French Bulldog breathing attack with my Frenchie Augie I had no idea what was happening or how to help him.  After that incident, I researched the French Bulldog Reverse sneeze was and how to deal with it.

I have a male Frenchie that, on occasion, will reverse sneeze. So if you are looking to learn about what reverse Sneezing is and why French Bulldogs Reverse Sneeze you’re in the right place.  It will also give you some tips on how to stop them from doing so and let you know if it is bad for their health. Let’s dive in.

So What Is Reverse Sneezing In The First Place?

It is when a dog forcefully exhales through its nose. Still, instead of air coming out through its nose, air comes back inside through the mouth, making strange noises including snorting, honking, gagging, or even barking, which can be worrying since sometimes dogs eat foreign objects found around the house. Hence, you will want to know how to stop reverse Sneezing in dogs so that your pup doesn’t suffocate itself!

When Frenchie pups are excited or anxious, they can reverse sneeze. This does not mean they have respiratory disease, and some do it more than others. There is nothing wrong with this behavior, and it cannot hurt them unless they choke on their saliva while doing it, which is why if they do sneeze a lot, you should make sure to take away any form of water bowl from them since they only need to drink from the water bottles. If you think your Frenchie puppy might be sick because he keeps gagging, then go see a veterinarian for a checkup.

Although not life-threatening, a reverse breathing attack can be alarming for the owner of the dog. Reverse Sneezing occurs when the soft palate at the back of their throat collapses and closes off their windpipe momentarily. Their body will react by drawing air in through the mouth, which causes the telltale snorting noise associated with a reverse sneeze. The Frenchie’s eyes typically bulge out during episodes of Reverse Sneezing, indicating difficulty in breathing.

Causes of French Bulldog Breathing Attacks / Reverse Sneezing

Allergies can cause reverse Sneezing in dogs. This is because dogs with allergies will secrete too much mucus, which the dog then has to try and eject from its body when cleaning itself. As such, you might notice your Frenchie licking his paw when he walks around the house for this very reason.

Dust, smoke, or pollen (especially if they are outdoors a lot) can trigger Reverse Sneezing in French Bulldogs. If you think your puppy is suffering from itchy eyes, runny nose, and watery eyes, take him to see a veterinarian who will examine him, make an appropriate diagnosis, and prescribe medication accordingly.

Reverse Sneezing is a symptom of sickness because the Frenchie’s nasal passages and pharynx in the throat are inflamed, and mucus would form there. The dog will then try to expel it when cleaning itself, causing reverse snorting sounds.

If your Frenchie has a pulled muscle, Reverse Sneezing could be a result of this as well. Most likely, this would occur in very active dogs such as those who do agility or flyball, for example, where they might accidentally pull a muscle while running through tunnels or over hurdles.

The other cause for Frenchies Reverse Sneezing is their anatomy:

French Bulldogs are a brachiocephalic dog breed so their anatomy doesn’t do them any favors. Their short, smushed in face can make them more prone to breathing attacks.

Is Reverse Sneezing Something To Be Worried About?

Although Reverse Sneezing is alarming, it rarely poses health problems for otherwise healthy dogs. More often than not, it occurs when Frenchie pups are excited or anxious simply because they cannot control breathing. It would seem that they are reversing sneezes without any reason at all, but there is always some underlying stress factor triggering this behavior. Luckily, most Frenchie pups will naturally grow out of reverse Sneezing as they age, so there is no need to worry if your dog occasionally does it now and then!

Find your Frenchie pup Reverse Sneezing a lot?

It could be that he is having trouble breathing due to an obstructed or narrow windpipe which is why you should never delay taking him to the veterinarian if he begins Reverse Sneezing more often than usual.
If your Frenchie puppy is suffering from allergies, the doctor will prescribe medication that can help resolve the Sneezing.

You should also avoid allowing your pup to exercise too strenuously or play games that are very intense because Frenchie pups have short noses, which means they are more prone to breathing problems in general. It would be best if you always kept exercise at a level where your dog’s nose remains moist. Otherwise, over-exertion might trigger Reverse Sneezing.

What does reverse sneezing look and sound like?

Reverse Sneezing looks like your Frenchie has suddenly started making these strange snorting noises, and his eyes tend to bulge while he does it! It is very alarming but not painful for him since it does not last long. Your Frenchie pup might also start shaking his head rapidly because he is trying to clear his throat and sinuses.
If you notice your Frenchie pup Reverse Sneezing often, it could be that he is suffering from allergies which will require medication for treatment.

Here’s a Video of a French Bulldog Breathing Attack in action:

Why do French Bulldogs Reverse Sneeze?

The Frenchie is one of the unique dogs in terms of health, respiratory problems being the most common. They are known for their reverse sneezing seizures that can last up to 30 seconds or more, depending on how serious it is. This condition is often accompanied by eye-tearing and some drooling. Many people think this condition entails eye tearing. However, this is not always the case.

One theory of why Frenchies reverse sneeze involves placing an obstruction to breathing (although there are others) which causes them to panic even further (panic-induced attacks). When they get into these frenzied states, they tend to thrust their heads forward then back to relieve the obstruction.

This is where the term “reverse sneeze” comes from because it looks like they are sneezing backward or in Reverse… but honestly, this is not what is happening.
They could also be trying to make themselves cough up whatever is making them choke; however, if your pup begins coughing excessively, then you should take him for a vet’s checkup immediately!

If he happens to have an upper respiratory infection or any other condition that triggers something similar, the prognosis might be good, depending on how severe his symptoms are. However, there are still things you can do at home before taking your Frenchie puppy to the vet, so here are some tips on how you can stop French Bulldog reverse sneezing.

french bulldogs


Is Reverse sneezing bad for dogs?

If your Frenchie puppy Reverse Sneezes once in a while, there is no reason to get worried. Some dogs tend to reverse sneeze more often than others, and it does not mean anything wrong if they do so. It is common among puppies, and some adults can be affected too.
It could be that they have an allergy that requires medication for treatment.

How do you stop Reverse Sneezing?

Since reverse Sneezing is harmless most of the time, sometimes it just takes waiting patiently until your pup gets over his bout of this involuntary action. If he happens to continue making strange noises despite the absence of any visible foreign body or an infection, you should take him to the vet and see if there’s any problem.
If your Frenchie is suffering from allergies, the doctor will prescribe medication that can help resolve the Sneezing.

You should also avoid allowing your pup to exercise too strenuously or play games that are very intense because Frenchie pups have short noses, which means they are more prone to breathing problems in general. It would help if you always kept exercise at a level where your dog’s nose remains moist; otherwise, over-exertion might trigger Reverse Sneezing.

Conclusion – Final Thoughts on French Bulldog Breathing Attacks

Sneezing is familiar with French Bulldogs since they have short noses, which cause them to reverse sneeze often. If your Frenchie pup begins Reverse Sneezing, it could be due to different causes, including allergies. You can do things at home before taking him to the vet, which includes waiting patiently for his Reverse Sneezing fit to stop.

If you notice that he seems to be choking more often than usual, or if he looks like he has difficulty breathing, then you should take him for a checkup immediately! The vet might prescribe medication to resolve this kind of issue.

However, remember that more severe conditions mimic Reverse Sneezing, too, so it’s best not to ignore any health problems that your pup may have. Remember the dog must always do that exercise within limits where his nose remains moist; otherwise, over-exertion might trigger Reverse Sneezing.

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