All You Need to Know About Reverse Sneezing in Felines
If your cat has ever made a sudden, jerking inhalation followed by a series of rapid exhalations, it is likely they were experiencing reverse sneezing. Reverse sneezing in felines is an common, albeit strange phenomenon. It is usually harmless, but there are certain things you should know so you can understand why it happens and be prepared to take action if necessary. This article covers all you need to know about reverse sneezing in felines.
Causes of Reverse Sneezing in Felines
Reverse sneezing in felines is a condition largely caused by environmental irritants. Commonly known as pharyngeal gag reflex, it presents as an episode of rapid inhalation through the nose resulting in throat irritation. The most frequent sources of this irritation are dust, smoke, perfumes and chemicals. Stressful environments can also induce this type of reaction. It occurs when organisms like mites, fungi or bacteria enter the nasal cavity, creating mucus and blockage within the sensitive area.
The most common symptoms associated with reverse sneezing in felines are snorting, coughing, gagging, and hacking. During a sneezing episode, your pet will likely stand still and stretch her head out straight to aid airflow. Reverse sneezing typically does not cause harm and does not require any medical treatment unless secondary health issues arise. If you notice that your cat continues to experience reverse sneezing after several episodes, contact your veterinarian for a consultation.
How to Treat Reverse Sneezing in Felines
Reverse sneezing in felines, also known as “bivanizing”, is an usually harmless spasmodic episode that can be alarming for pet parents. It appears as repeated inhalations which make it sound like the cat is gasping or choking. This strange episode increases significantly during bouts of excitement or nervousness and sometimes when a cat eat dry food too quickly. Reverse sneezing is thought to be caused by a spasm of the soft palate or pharyngeal rrythmus and doesn’t indicate any major health issue.
To treat reverse sneezing in felines, the most effective method is to remain calm and collect your own nerves. Talk to your pet gently and calmly, placing a hand around her neck or behind her head to provide reassurance while she is hyperventilating. Gently massage the throat area of the cat in order to reduce the tension and discomfort. Lastly, you can try to hold the cat’s face above a damp cloth; this may help interrupt her breathing pattern and lead to a speedier conclusion.
If your feline companion continues to reverse sneeze after trying these methods, it is recommended to take them to a vet for checkup. Additionally, if the frequency of occurrence increases, it can indicate some underlying respiratory disease.
Differences Between Normal and Reverse Sneezing
Normal and reverse sneezing are both common respiratory issues that affect many dogs. While they may look similar, there are some key differences that are important to understand.
Normal sneezing occurs when the soft tissue in a dog’s nose is irritated by an irritant like dust, dirt, a foreign body, or a viral infection. It usually starts with a deep inhalation and the normal act of expelling air through the nose. The dog may also shake their head or paws to get rid of the irritation. Depending on the cause of the sneezing, it can be accompanied by nasal discharge and sound.
Reverse sneezing, also known as pharyngeal gag reflex, is triggered by something irritating the soft palate or throat. Instead of starting with a deep breath as in normal sneezing, dogs reverse sneeze by taking several fast breaths in rapid succession. This is followed by snorting and sometimes gagging. Depending on the cause, it can be accompanied by salivation and slight coughing.
Dogs experiencing reverse sneezing may move their neck backward and may make a honking sound when breathing in. It typically resolves within minutes without treatment. Treatment includes calming the dog and keeping them from ingesting anything during the episode. If it persists, your vet should be consulted.
Potential Risks Associated with Reverse Sneezing in Felines
Reverse sneezing, or inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, affects the upper respiratory tracts of felines and is often accompanied with a honking noise. It can be frightening to witness, however, reverse sneezing typically only lasts from a few seconds to a minute and generally resolves itself without intervention. Although it is usually a harmless event, other conditions or illnesses may cause or increase the likelihood of reverse sneezing in felines, which may require medical treatment.
The most common cause of reverse sneezing is irritation or inflammation of the soft palate, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus. Environmental causes such as exposure to smoke, dust, chemical sprays, floral scents, sudden temperature changes, and the presence of a foreign body can also contribute to the onset of an episode. Additionally, nasal mites, fungal infections, or oral diseases can create irritation in this area and result in reverse sneezing.
Although there are minimal risks associated with reverse sneezing, it’s important to observe any changes in frequency, duration, and symptoms of your feline companion and speak to your veterinarian should any abnormalities arise. Medical intervention may be necessary if there is persistent reverse sneezing, difficulty breathing, coughing, gagging, weakness, or other concerning behavior.
In conclusion, reverse sneezing in felines can be a frightening experience for pet owners, but it is usually harmless. While no one knows the exact cause of reverse sneezing in cats, some possible triggers can include irritation of the pharynx, dust or other irritants in the air, light pressure on the larynx, excitement and warm temperatures. To help prevent an episode, owners should provide their cats a clean living environment and keep them away from potential allergens. If your cat is reverse sneezing, remain calm and offer gentle reassurance. Your veterinarian can provide treatment if the condition is chronic, or becomes more frequent or severe.