What is Backward Sneezing?


What it is:

Collapsed Trachea is a condition most common in small breed dogs, Chihuahuas, Lhasa apso, Maltese, Pomeranian, Pug, Shih Tzu, Toy Poodle and the Yorkie. The trachea is a little like a vacuum hose that has small rings. These rings are cartilage that keeps the airways open.


  • Congenital – from birth
  • Nutritional – deficiency in calcium, chondroitin, glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans
  • Chronic disease involving the airways
  • Obesity


The first signs can be a sudden attack or dry coughing that sounds a little like a goose honk and is often referred to as backward sneezing. It can happen when the dog is picked up or the collar is pulled. As it progresses, the dog can develop exercise intolerance, obvious respiratory distress and gagging while eating or drinking.

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Treatment Options

It is important to break the coughing cycle, because it will irritate the airway and lead to more coughing. If your dog is overweight it is important that he/she loses weight. He should be kept away from environmental pollutants and cigarette smoke. You should never walk your dog without a harness, not using the collar. Some supplements may help, glucosamine, chondroitin, etc.

Most Important

If you suspect that your dog has a collapsed trachea have him or her evaluated and treated by a veterinarian.


Warning: This video may be too disturbing for some viewers

This is what reverse or backward sneezing looks and sounds like



Questions? E-mail me at: linda@chichisandme.com

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2 Responses

  1. Rhonda Dick says:

    What can I do about their skin itching really bad? I feel sorry fore my little BobbySox he’s a yr old and ways around six pounds. My little tea cup Tiny Girl is five months and weighs two pounds. BobySox is itching all the time pour sweetie and I don’t know anything else I can do for it. I use the puppy shampoo that has that tea oil in it that they had brought out a long time ago for it. And it does not seem to help at all. Do you have any ideals that I might could do for him? Besides taking him into the vet for them to do tests on him for it. I just don’t have that kind of money because it coasts alot for the tests they want to do. 🙁

    • Linda says:

      Hello Rhonda;

      Thank you so much for your question. I’m always eager to help, if I can.

      There are many different causes of itchy skin in dogs. Without knowing exactly what is causing it, it’s hard to know how to treat your little doggie.

      But, if it’s just dry skin, here are a few natural solutions that may help:

      Vitamin E
      Give your doggy a massage by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin or give him a soaking bath with vitamin E added to the water.

      Sometimes itchy skin is caused by a yeast infection. Give him/her plain, low-fat yogurt. It keeps the bacteria in the intestines in balance and helps kill yeast. Also, if you are not already feed your dog a grain-free food, preferably with probiotics.

      Ground Oatmeal
      Put ground oatmeal in your doggie’s bath or shampoo. You can use baby oatmeal cereal from the grocery store or you can grind it yourself in a food processer or a coffee grinder.

      Chamomile tea soaks
      Prepare some chamomile tea and chill it in the refrigerator. Spraying it on the skin also kills yeast and bacteria and relieves inflammation.

      Epsom salt
      A warm bath in Epsom salt is soothing for humans and it is for dogs too. It also speeds up the healing time for any small sores from scratching.

      These are only a few of many things you can do to treat itchy skin naturally, depending on what the cause is.
      It’s very timely that you asked this question. I am in the process of writing an article about causes and treatments of itchy skin in dogs. If you subscribe to my blog you will automatically receive that article in an e-mail when it is posted, so you won’t miss it.

      Give these suggestions a try and if they don’t help, it could be caused by something other than simple dry skin (which Chihuahuas are prone to, by the way). So keep watching to my upcoming article on this subject.

      Let me know if any of these things help. It may take a little time to notice a big difference, so be patient.

      Owner and Editor
      ChiChis And Me

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