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Why does my chihuahua snort like a pig?

We’ve always associated snorting sounds with pigs but many dogs, including Chihuahuas, can also be heard making this sudden sound through their nose. This is called reverse sneezing because it seems like they are inhaling their sneezes. It can cause alarm to their human companions as it looks like they are gasping for air. But there’s no need to panic just yet as these wheezing episodes are common among Chihuahuas. Here’s what you need to know about their reverse sneezing that makes them sound like a pig.

When your Chihuahua has an episode of reverse sneezing, they stop whatever it is they’re doing, tilt their head, and begin to gasp as if suffocating or struggling to breathe. This usually lasts for about 15 to 30 seconds. It looks frightening but what you need to know is that they can still breathe the entire time. Some furparents who aren’t familiar with these episodes would try to clear their Chihuahua’s airway without realizing that it actually causes more discomfort to their pet. Or some would rush their little furbabies to the vet thinking it could be something severe since their Chihuahuas can’t seem to breathe. While we do understand the concern, we advise you to continue reading to save up on some heavy vet bills.

Your Chihuahua’s reverse sneezing or snorting sound is triggered when the soft palate inside the roof of his mouth is irritated or misaligned. This is also called a pharyngeal spasm. The soft palate is the area at the side of the roof of your Chihuahua’s mouth. This can be caused by different triggers such as an allergic reaction to dust, pollen, or pollutants. It can also happen when they drink or eat too fast, get excited when playing, inhale harsh cleaning chemicals, or when you pull their leash and their neck collar is tight. In some cases, it is caused by polyps found in their mouth and throat, deformities in their palate tissue, or presence of nasal mites.

Earlier, we advised you not to rush your Chihuahua to the vet when this happens. This is because there’s really no cure for their reverse sneezing and it usually goes away on its own. But you can help ease your pet’s discomfort by gently massaging their neck in a clockwise motion. Some furparents pinch their Chihuahua’s nostrils to shorten the length of these episodes so that their furbaby can breathe normally again. Some vets prescribe Benadryl or other meds if they find out that the reverse sneezing is triggered by an allergy. Take note that you need to consult with your vet before giving your pet any medication.

It is quite alarming to see your beloved pet gasping for air but knowing that these episodes of reverse sneezing are common among Chihuahuas can hopefully ease your mind and let you know what to do when it happens to your pet.

What do you think?

Written by Susan Sullinger

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