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Pomeranian choking? gagging? *video*

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Pomeranian choking? gagging? *video*
  • My coworker has a relatively young adult male Pomeranian.  He keeps having episodes where, if he was a cat, I'd say it sounds like a cat hacking up a hairball.  She brought him to the vet, and the vet said "just get him some fresh air".  Sounds like a really lame answer, considering the dog goes outside on walks regularly.

     Here is a video of a recent episode.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pauns1eaPEY Anyone have any *other* thoughts that a generic vet might not have picked up on?  (I initially thought some kind of kennel cough, but since the vet checked the dog out, that thought kind of went out the window.) 

    Thanks for any thoughts/contributions.  One person suggested a narrowing of the trachea near the heart.  Zebras and horses - any thoughts received.  Thanks guys!

  • Maybe a reverse sneeze? Just a thought.
  •  Looks like a "reverse sneeze" to me... is very common and not normally a problem, that I know about.


    Missy and Nik do it a ton... Logan will do it, particularly after playing outside for a long period (zooming around) .... but, only very occasionally.

    I had it checked on (for the little dogs) and recognized the symptoms in the bigger one :)  Probably nothing to worry about.

  • Welcome to the world of reverse sneezing!  It's unfortunately common in little dogs such as this.  Kaiser completely freaked me out the first time he did it -- I actually took him to the vet because I was so concerned!  The vet echoed everything that I'd read online (that it's normal, not harmful and there is nothing you can do).

    One thing I did that DID help was to go out and buy a humidifier.  Kaiser seems to get really bad episodes when the air is really dry and I do believe that the humidifier has helped.  His worst time was in the middle of the night, so now I run the humidifier in my bedroom for a few hours before we go to bed.

    Massaging the dog under the throat and/or on the top of the neck helps -- if nothing else, I think it calms them down.  I've noted that the episodes get worse the more upset Kaiser gets by them.  If I can get my hands on him right when it starts, it typically lasts only a few seconds.  When he gets really worked up about something, it's not uncommon for it to go on for over a minute.

  • a reverse sneeze to me always meant kennel cough.  Was I under false impressions?

  • No----reverse sneezing has nothing to do with kennel cough.  Here's a good explanation:


    That said, the video is nothing like any reverse sneezing I've been privy to.  Most are episodes that last about 15 seconds and sound rather like a loud, goose honking noise (it's more of an intake of air).  What I see on the video looks like the dog is having trouble breathing, and he looks almost to be puffing air, not intaking air------maybe I'm missing something or it could be a type of reverse sneeze, just none that I've seen.  If it were me I would get him to a different vet for another opinion......just doesn't look right to me.

  • miranadobe

    a reverse sneeze to me always meant kennel cough.  Was I under false impressions?

    Yep, false impression.  THIS is a reverse sneeze, and some of them sound even worse.  My old Prissy used to get SO scared and the noise was AWFUL.  Kee Shu also reverse sneezes occasionally and so does Luna (big as she is). 

    It is VERY scarey for them ... and someone told me a really **EASY** fix.  Cup your hand in front of the dog's nose -- it works much like getting a human who is hyperventilating to breathe into a paper bag.  With Prissy I literally used to have to put my mouth over her nose/mouth and blow to close that flap of skin for her.  The first time she was scared, thereafter she would RUN to me because she knew Sissy would fix it!!  Kee's mouth is too flat and it doesn't work as well but cupping my hand in front of her mouth works GREAT on her.  On Luna I have to "blow" and it helps but her episodes are quite rare.

  • Thanks everyone.  tzu_mom, I thought reverse sneezing was more "heavy duty", like the goose honk you described, too.  (Of course, I also thought it was a sign of kennel cough, so I'm open to learning otherwise.)  The owner says it seems to her like the dog is not able to get enough air.

    Hey, reverse sneezing folks - is there usually any particular trigger for the episodes?  Excitement?  This latest video, she was brushing him when the episode started.

  • Mine used to get a reverse sneezing episode after some great exitement---zoomies, new toy, bully stick, etc...... He hasn't had a reverse sneeze attack in years, though.  My friend's tzu reverse sneezes quite often, seems like certain smells trigger it for him as well as stress and excitement.  (his episodes are also very loud, honking noises)

    Per the video, and the thoughts of others, that is the "quietest" reverse sneezing I've ever witnessed...............................

  • I've had dogs that did the reverse thing but it didn't sound quite like that or last that long. I'm not disputing that it could be a reverse sneeze, but is it possible for her show the video to a vet (different one than the "fresh air" one)? I felt bad just watching that video :(

  • Kee gets hers most often while eating.  Pris I could *never* figure hers out. I honestly think it's a "personal thing" -- it's pretty individual but it IS exactly what she described "can't get enough air" -- and it just manifests as different sounds (particularly in how upset each dog gets).

  • Really quick here,

    I have not watched the video...

    but poms are VERY prone to heart conditions and trechea problems. I would monitor the dog.

  • Kaiser has quiet, "airy" reverse sneezes like the ones in the video AND occasional honkers.  The honkers come when he's really stressed/excited about something.  The airy ones can happen out of nowhere and I haven't really come up with a good trigger for them yet.

    I did a lot of research on collapsed trachea when Kaiser had his first honking episode and I don't think that is what's going on with your friend's dog.  I'm quite sure it's just simple reverse sneezing and there is nothing to be worried about.

  • Pom's are also VERY susceptable to neck issues; my little Pom, as much as I hate it, no longer wears a collar, we use a harness only for him when we leave the house.