I heard my first canine reverse sneeze a few days after I got Jake. He, out of nowhere, started honking and I thought he was choking. It took several phone calls of me reenacting the noise and a few You Tube videos later to confirm what it was and that he’d survive. So for the past year, a few times a week, he’ll honk seven or eight times in a row. I don’t know about other dogs, but Jake’s seem to be voluntary.
Then, last week. The honks changed. They sounded similar, yet different, and it he didn’t seem able to stop them. His whole body would tense and release with each honk. Even his ears contract. It happened one night, for about 30 seconds then it stopped. The next day it happened twice. A few days later and he was doing it pretty consistently throughout the day, and then the night. As for the night episodes, they come on in his sleep.
If there is one thing I know about my dogs, whatever it is that I consider to be reason for an emergency vet visit, they will cease doing said thing the moment we arrive at the vet. Melvin can spontaneously stop bleeding, no joke. So I took video of Jake. The vet had not seen a dog present like that before. She had heard/seen reverse sneezing, coughing, gasping, choking and several other breathing related issues but not one like Jake’s. So the videos are now posted for other doctors to chime in on.
The vet did suggest a few things it could be. An issue with his soft palate, although a little odd to present at this age. A possible obstruction in his nasal cavity causing involuntary spasms. The obstruction could be anything from an inhaled grass seed to a growth. It could be an allergic reaction or an infection. The first few things listed require a Rhinoscopy to diagnose. That has to be done at a specialist under anesthesia. Jake had a tooth pulled last summer and we came to find out the he and anesthesia do not mix well. So for a few days we are doing Temeral-P and Doxy to see if it’s allergy or infection. I pray it is. It’s hard to watch him have these episodes, I’m reminded how small he is and after each one he looks at me as if to say ‘fix it’. So fix it we shall.
So far, while it’s not necessarily better, it’s not worse — I view this as good news. Melvin is even showing concern, when Jake has an episode Melvin gets up and goes to lay down next to his brother. Granted he does not stay there for long, the honking gets pretty loud and Melvin gives up on caring too much. Brotherhood at its finest!
Thanks for all the well wishes and check-ins. Here are a few of the videos (two below) –if anyone has any experience with this, please let us know. He does it at rest, during activity, while sleeping, while sitting, while laying down. I can’t really pinpoint a trend. It can last from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Sometimes I can ease him out of the episode if I hold him and rub his chest.