When Your Pomeranian Reverse Sneezes

By on December 13, 2013

Reverse Sneezing I think is more uncomfortable for the Pommy Parent then it is for the Pomeranian. From all the research and Vet visits I had over my time as a Pommy Mommy indicate that the startling snorts and gagging sounds are more common than you would think in Small breeds such as Pomeranians. As a Pommy Mommy any noise that comes out of our furry babies that doesn’t seem natural becomes an alarm. No need to worry too much because this is kinda natural in two of my babies, Mika and Luka.

Luka seems to reverse sneeze at least 2 – 3 times a day. Reverse sneezing in Vet and medical terms is actually something called: mechanosensitive aspiration reflex, inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, and pharyngeal gag reflex. Now if you were to tell me that’s what the problem was I would have a heart attack because it sounds like a very serious problem. I found out that words sound horrible but what is happening isn’t so much.

Episodes of this phenomenon only last a few, if that many minutes.

Reverse sneezing is caused by a spasm of the throat and soft palate. This spasm is triggered by any irritation to the throat, pharynx, or laryngeal area. The most common triggers are excitement, exhaustion, a tight collar, pulling too hard on their leash, an environmental irritant like pollen, perfume, even a household chemical or cleaner, room sprays, or even a sudden change in temperature. It’s very rare that a respiratory infection or nasal drip causes the irritation.

Whenever the weather changes from Summer to Fall/Winter,  my Luka has little reverse sneezing fits for the first 3 weeks of the weather change, then it stops and becomes very random.  Sometimes when I open the sliding glass door or the front door Luka and Mika run out… and they start reverse sneezing… like clockwork. Mika it doesn’t bother but Luka still get’s little nervous because it seems like he doesn’t know what’s going on.

Reverse Sneezing almost never requires treatment or a trip to the Vet… even though I’ve gone just to make sure.

Like little Luka, Reverse Sneezing can create anxiety in your Pom when triggered, remain calm and your Pomeranian will stay pretty calm. Most of the time your Pom will learn what’s called a “conditioned panic response”… because your freaking out, they will too. The furry acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I’ve been told to do nothing because it comes and goes so quickly but if you feel the need to do something, which some of us do, try massaging his/her throat to stop the spasm. Sometimes covering your pet’s nostrils very briefly will cause them to swallow, which usually clears the irritation and stop the sneezing.

You can also try putting your hand in their mouth, if the sneezing last longer than you think they should, and pressing on their tongue. This makes their mouth open wider and increases airflow through it’s nose.

But truth be told most of the time these reactions aren’t necessary and will just further stress levels of Pomeranian and parent. Although this is usually nothing to get all up in arms about, many Vet’s recommend that you pay close attention to your furry babies before and after they have this little Reverse Sneezing fits.



  1. Jasmine List

    December 18, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you! My Pom Missy has done this and I had no idea what was going on. Your article was quite helpful. :)

    • Pommy Mommy

      December 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      You’re welcome.

  2. Ashley salinas

    December 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you for this I thought my little Mia was the only one who reversed sneezed. It worried me a lot for awhile till a trip to the vet reassured me it was okay but I always kind of panic which I have to stop I don’t Mia to panic also I don’t think she’s use to it either like Luka lol but thanks again for all your info :)

  3. Lisa lowenstein

    December 24, 2013 at 7:25 am

    This is exactly what Scarlett does! It is worse in the mornings for her. She is 14 and I was worried it was heart related. My vet said no, just reverse sneezing. He gave me cough tabs- that is what they are called, for her to try. She takes 1/2 pill two times a day. They work great and she went from sneezing several times a day to maybe once a week if that!

    • Pommy Mommy

      December 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      We have to administer the same thing when things get bad.

  4. Veronica

    January 3, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I’ve been a Pom Mom since 1995 and have been the happy mom to 6 at different times (plus 3 litters of pups) and have just one little guy right now….Teddy! :) Just stumbled upon your site from Pinterest and bookmarked the blog.

    Each one of my poms at one time or another have done this type thing and I’ve often (if they are panicked) have picked them up, rubbed them and created a calm, loving hug for my babies. It is scary when it first happens and you haven’t a clue what is going on; but once you “know” it is all a matter of the love you give them that gets them through it. :)

  5. Kristen Klein & Chester

    January 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! This happens often with my pom, Chester, and even though the vet said it wasn’t a big deal it would still stress me out. But now knowing it happens to a lot of poms and with the great information you provided it has put my mind at ease. I love your site!!

    • Pommy Mommy

      January 9, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      I am so glad it helps give you piece of mind.

  6. Sarah

    January 11, 2014 at 7:36 am

    I wondered what this was. My pomeranian Gracie does this too! I thought there was something really wrong until the vet told me and now after reading this article it makes more sense Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Paulina

    January 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Maybe I should have read this before I posted on our page, huh ? Lol. Thanks again, love. You’re always a bundle of help. <3

  8. Sandie Barham

    February 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    This helps a lot. Will tell my vet about this next month when we go for her yearly check up. It sure doesn’t sound good, now that we know she’s actually ok, we’ll be better at handling it. Pushing our buttons won’t work with that, but we will be cuddling her a lot still! :) She’s becoming a real cuddler now, we’ve only had her for almost 5 years and she will be 10 soon so we worry about losing her! Hopefully she will be with us a few more years and we won’t be so afraid of this! thanks for your help and good advice!

  9. Loretta Aguillon

    April 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    The first time my baby did this, I rushed him to the vet, it came with wheezing, an occasional cough. I thought he had something obstructing his airway and I fell apart. My husband had to drive the 2 miles because I was shaking so badly. My vet very calmly stroked Rusty from his neck to mid belly and it stopped in 30 to 45seconds. Yeah I know, I was a lil overprotective but he was so tiny and I loved him so much. Anyway my vet said it was very common in small breeds and told me if he didn’t stop after a little while to put a drop or two of honey on his nose and his tongue stretching to link it off will stop the gag reflex. Since my first to my 2 that I have now, it hasn’t failed me once. After that visit, my dr gave me his cell so I could call instead of bringing him in for everything, that taught me to calm down because I had to b balm enough to talk to him and cut down on our trips to the vet by 90% at least. Lol

  10. Brit Ski

    April 7, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    3 out of my 4 pommies do this. It still scares me because my vet said they make the same noise if they have a collapsing trachea. I always try to stay as calm as possible and I hold them and talk to them to soothe them in a very calm tone. Now I think they do it on purpose just to get me to hold them like a baby lol. They can be such goobers at times :)

  11. alice warenda

    April 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    my pom tiny timmy does this scared the crap out of me i called the vet and they explained it to me!!!

  12. Vicki Masters

    April 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

    That article on reverse sneezing helped me tremendously! I have read about it before, but to actually see and hear a video of a pomeranian reverse sneezing to me just solved all mystery as to whether or not that is what my pom is doing. And it is. My Teddy has a collapsed trachea and I always thought it had something to do with that, and it would scare me, but now I know it is just reverse sneezing and nothing to worry about. Thank you so much for posting that article and the videos! You have a great website!

  13. Heather

    April 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    My vet said if I could get him to eat a treat or drink some water it would cause the sneeze to stop. Basically anything that would make it work his throat muscle. I have found that if I rub his hind legs it makes him do an involuntary licking which stops the sneezing. Some times I see him doing the licking on his own when the sneeze starts to try and stop it.

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