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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