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Reverse sneezing (also called backwards sneezing or inspiratory paroxysmal respiration) is a phenomenon observed in dogs, particularly in those with brachycephalic skulls. It is a fairly common respiratory event in dogs, but is rarely seen in cats. Its exact cause is unknown but may be due to nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus irritation (such as an allergy), the dog's attempt to remove mucus, or from over-excitement due to present activity. It is characterized by rapid and repeated forced inhalation through the nose, accompanied by snorting or gagging sounds. Though it may be distressing to the animal, it is not known to be harmful. Most dogs are completely normal before and after episodes. In addition, most dogs will have repeat episodes of reverse sneezing throughout their lives.
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