Chihuahua Wheezing and Hacking Sounds | Reverse Sneezing

Have you noticed your Chihuahua wheezing, gasping or making similar hacking-like sounds? A lot of owners automatically assume the worst when their Chihuahua begins to experience one of these episodes, and as a result, they may hastily rush them to a nearby emergency veterinarian where they rack up bills in excess of $1,000. The fact is, however, that wheezing (AKA reverse sneezing) is an all-too-common occurrence in the Chihuahua breed.

Even if your Chihuahua hasn't experienced one of these episodes yet, it's still important to educate and familiarize yourself with this condition, as it's one of the most common health problems associated with the breed. As their owner, it's your responsibility to know how to treat any health problems that may arise in your Chihuahua, and reverse sneezing is one of these conditions. Only then can you rest assured knowing that you have the ability to keep your Chihuahua safe and comfortable when they begin wheezing.

Reverse Sneezing/Wheezing - Signs To Look For

Chihuahua Reverse Sneezing

Chihuahua Recovering After Wheezing

Most owners will find it pretty easy to identify reverse sneezing/wheezing episodes in their Chihuahua. Although some Chihuahuas may exhibit slightly different behavior during an episode, most of them will stop what they're doing, tilt their down and begin to hack, gasp and wheeze like they are struggling to breathe. Thankfully, though, Chihuahuas are still able to breathe during this process, so it may appear more frightening than what it actually is. Some owners compare this to a cat trying to hack up a hair ball, only there's nothing that physically comes up once your Chihuahua is done hacking.

Watching your Chihuahua gasping for air like they are unable to breathe is a frightening experience for any owner. Some owners who have never seen these wheezing episodes may frantically try to clear their Chihuahua's airway, which only creates more discomfort in the process. Others may rush their Chihuahua to the veterinarian thinking something more severe is at hand. As a result, these owners are left with pricey veterinarian bills and no actual treatment for the problem. In all actuality, reverse sneezing/wheezing are common in the Chihuahua breed, and they sound much worse than what they are.

Causes of Reverse Sneezing/Wheezing

To understand what's causing these reverse sneezing/wheezing episodes in Chihuahuas, you must first look at the area where it's happening. Although the name suggests that it's related to sneezing, it's actually caused by an irritation of the soft palate in the roof of their mouth. If you're able to see the inside of a Chihuahua's mouth, you'll notice a hard palate that's located at the roof of their mouth, while the soft palate extends off to the side. A reverse sneezing/wheezing episode is believed to be caused by an irritated or misaligned soft palate, which is also known as a pharyngeal spasm.

Common causes of reverse sneezing/wheezing:

  • Drinking or eating too much too fast.
  • Overly excited from playing, given treats or otherwise.
  • Allergic reactions or extreme sensitivity to dust, pollen or other air pollutants.
  • Pulling on their leash when they are wearing a tight collar.
  • Using harsh cleaning chemicals in the house may cause your Chihuahua to experience an episode.
  • Polyps (blood-filled sacks) located in or around their throat and mouth.
  • Infestation of nasal mites.
  • Growth deformities, such as excessive soft palate tissue.

While some owners may be able to identify the root cause of their Chihuahua's reverse sneezing/wheezing episodes, most of the time there won't be any noticeable cause. It's recommended that you try to determine if any of the causes listed above are triggering your Chihuahua to experience an episode, and if they are, you should try to remedy the problem.

How To Treat a Reverse Sneezing/Wheezing Episode

Unfortunately, there's no known cure for reverse sneezing/wheezing episodes in Chihuahuas and other small dogs. Taking them to the veterinarian usually ends up being a waste of money, as your Chihuahua's episode will likely pass on its own, long before you even reach the vet. With that said, there are a couple things owners can do to help calm and comfort your Chihuahua when they are wheezing.

When you see your Chihuahua gasping for air during an episode, get down on the floor and gently massage their neck with your hand. Just place your hand firmly on their neck and rub it in a clockwise motion. As long as you aren't using too much force, a gentle massage should shorten the length of the spasm. Alternatively, some owners have found that pinching their Chihuahua's nostrils shut also tends to help shorten episodes. The logic behind this is that Chihuahua's are forced to breathe through their mouth when their nostrils are closed; therefore, it normalizes their breathing cycle.

Some veterinarians may also recommend giving your Chihuahua Benadryl or some other over-the-counter medication if they believe allergies are the cause of their episodes. Before giving your Chihuahua ANY medication, talk to your vet to make sure it's safe.

Video of a Chihuahua Reverse Sneezing

Check out the video above for an accurate demonstration of what a reverse sneezing/wheezing episode looks like in a Chihuahua. As you can see, the Chihuahua stops in their tracks and begins to cough and hack like they are gasping for air. Unless you know otherwise, one might assume that the Chihuahua is suffocating, but thankfully this isn't the case. Most Chihuahuas will begin to breathe and act normal again after 15-30 seconds.


Canine Reverse Sneezing Wikipedia

PetMD Reverse Sneezing

78 Responses to “Chihuahua Wheezing and Hacking Sounds | Reverse Sneezing”

  1. jerry says:

    I have a Shih Tzu named Abigail. She is ten years old. When she starts back sneezing, I blow through her nose. It seems to help very quick. I love my dog. Jerry Hayes.

    • Karen says:

      My Chiwawa stops the reverse sneeze when I put one finger over one nostril. It works every time. She barley has any episodes anymore. She is one year old.

  2. Janet Strong says:

    Thank you so much for your post. I have rescued a four year old tiny Chihuahua. And recently she’s been hacking and coughing. I was scared sick. This post helped me a lot.

  3. Elia Canales says:

    Thank you for this article this happens to my Penelope every time after she eats or when she’s super excited after I come home. She’s only 10 lbs i feel really bad because i fell like there is nothing that I can do for her.

  4. Cheryl says:

    My female chihuahua started doing this noise when she was excited but now she does the reversed sneezing at night as she sleeps under my duvet. At first I though she was hot but it’s a normal thing this type of dog does. It’s a very scary noise to hear but just let them know your there and it will pass.

  5. george kraus says:

    I had a Pekinese/Chihuahua mix that did this on occasion,however, one day I noticed something wasn’t right.I told my wife that Dolly wasn’t right and I couldn’t explain.She was only about 6 yrs old in good health and brought to the vet on a regular basis. I had a weird feeling that she was going to die. I had no reason to think that but several hours later she started honking and and dropped down as if she was dead. I am an EMT and proceeded to give her CPR. Thank God,she came back to life.I took her to the vet and spent well over a thousand dollars on tests. I was told not to be concerned and if it happens again to let her be, it was only reverse sneezing and she would snap out of it. How many of you would be able to wait for your loved one to snap out of it?I brought her to another vet and was given phenobarbital for seizures. I gave them to her as directed but for the next eight years of her life it happened 3 more times. I gave her CPR each time and she was okay. She passed away at 14 from cancer and kidney disease.She gave me happiness throughout her years and is now and always will be in my heart. Love em as much as you can as they do you. Thanks for listening.

  6. Olga says:

    Both of my 13 year old Chihuahuas do this also. They just started doing this about 8 months ago. I too got very worried and after paying our vet $543.00 they could not figure out what was going on. I wish I would of known about this earlier I would of asked my vet about and possible save my little guys from going through all those tests. Lesson learn. So really…Why don’t vets tell us this things? Even after testing why don’t they say something. They already have my money. Anyway, glad to know this.

  7. Robin says:

    Omg I thank you so much for this info.

  8. Sonnia says:

    I cannot thank you enough. This has happened to my chichi a lot and I’ve rushed her to the vet and of course, by the time we get there she is alright. A friend told me to look you up and what a relief, the vet never explained this is something that happens to chihuahuas and I would panick but, thanks to you, I’m able to get her breathing normally. Once again, thank you so very much!

  9. Rosemary says:

    I have a 3 year chihuahua name coco and she has that cough and wheezing sound at first when I heard I was scared now that I know what it is she’s doing a lot better

  10. Lisa says:

    My chichuahua woke me up in the middle of the night gasping for air n coughing. Sound like he has a hairball. I immediately picked him up to see if something was stuck in his throat. This went on for like 5 minutes. I googled what it could be , maybe he might need a Dr, he just wanted me to hold him during this time. I started rubbing his neck , wet his nose and held him until he stopped. After about 5 minutes of this, he just went back to bed and has been OK since. Note I notice he does this behavior after he comes from the backyard or he’s ate too fast. Theses episodes last about 5 minutes each time.

  11. Todd says:

    My little 4-year-old Chi did this all night and it’s a symptom of something more serious than this article leads me to believe. I came home from work at 5:30pm. It is now 12:15am and he’s still at it. The spells seem to subside when he’s at rest and remains idle. But when he’s running around or playing with my other Chi, the intense spells resume. You can’t tell me this kind of wheezing, heavy breathing, and reverse sneezing is normal for almost 7 hours. It certainly can’t be good for his breathing and heart. It’s a terrifying sight to see and I’m taking him to the vet tomorrow. The humidity has been extremely high in the past several weeks, so I’m not ruling out that factor. It’s affecting *MY* breathing as well.

    • Kristine says:

      Hello Todd,
      My wee Chihuahua, age 14y 5 mnths has coughed over the years but NOTHING compared to the latest, more like a HONKING….Took him to my vet, chest x-ray and blood work and REVEALED….fluid around the heart, slight heart murmur, grade 1 murmur and yes age related. The vet prescribed a DIURETIC to REMOVE the fluid around the heart and a DILATOR to open the veins around the neck. So far so good !!! 2 doses of the diuretic and allllll quiet, not one hack or honk.
      My wee man is everything to me, and now that I know what the issue is…. to be expected with age. From now onwards… Everyday is Precious.
      To all chi owners…. Love today like there is no tomorrow… XXXXX for all chis.

    • Olga says:

      Todd, I am really interested in knowing what your vet said.

  12. Flor espino says:

    My chihuahua started doing this just recently and she’s pregnant can her pregnancy have anything to do with this? She is also alil over weight

  13. Sara says:

    Thank God for this article. I found it at 2am as my Chi was going through an episode. I just adopted her, she has been with us for 6 weeks so we are new parents with very little experience.

  14. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I just adopted a 5 year old rescue chihuahua and he didn’t do this the first day, but now does it a few times per day. I was worried I would have some expensive vet bills coming my way because the woman at the rescue said he had just gotten over a respiratory infection and I didn’t know if it was coming back. He had a clean bill of health from a recent vet visit though. I noticed he does the reverse sneezing when he’s excited or when I have to give him a little tug on his collar to get him to move during potty breaks (I have a harness coming in the mail). I also think he might be allergic to grass or pollen because he always sneezes when I bring him outside. Anyway, so glad I found this article, thanks again!

    • Courtney says:

      My 4 Month Old Chihuahua Puppy Started Doing This About 2 1/2 Weeks Ago I Desperately Thought That He Was Ill I’m So Thankful I Found This Video.

    • Angela says:

      Iam glad i found this article this is exactly what my chihuahua does. It worried i know its just a common thing in this breed at least i know its not something i need to run to the vet for.

  15. Jessica says:

    My 10 month old chiweenie all of a sudden about 2 months ago started doing this “reverse sneezing” and it scares me to death. But I was thinking the worst.( heart failure or heartworms)! I also have a 3 year old female chiweenie and have had her since 8 weeks and she has never experienced these symptoms. My question is, I’m almost for certain my baby boy deisel is doing this because of the soft palate on the roof of his mouth. What can I do for my little man? Or is there anything I can do? My dogs are my furry kids and even though it’s not serious, I’m almost certain I still don’t like to see him go through this.

  16. Jessica says:

    My dog just got his rabies shot they had him there for couple hours is there any way tat shot old cause =him to cough abs reverse sneeze

  17. petey says:

    i found the best way to stop this is it simply cover there snout with your hand and get them to swallow it stops it almost instantly.

  18. Jeovanni says:

    I have a long haired chihuahua who cant stop coughing at all. I’ve taken him to the vet but they just gave me medicine which doesn’t do anything. He’s quite at times but the episodes start again right away. He is very old maybe about 11-13 years of age I’m not exactly sure for he originally was my friends dog but she left him with me because the apartment shes living in doesn’t accept dogs. Please help. Is it because he is getting old or what seems to be the problem?

    • Jen says:

      You can do what my mom did with her 13 year old chihuahua who has that problem, she had them do a X-ray which shows the the heart, lungs, found out she was in heart failure.

  19. Jub's Mama says:

    My 7 year old otherwise very healthy chihuahua has these episodes but only last a minute or so and is usually when my 2 yr old going on 16 granddaughter wants to help walk him. But that is not the scary part. The scary part is the seizures he has any where from 1 a month to 3 or in one day he just cries right before it starts. Towards the end he gets sick. I was told to take him off table food and did. I was also told to give him sports drinks but doesn’t care for them,any other suggestions on what to do to make them stop quicker or not happen at all?

    • Hunter says:

      My dog had a similar problems of constant coffins that would start every 3-10 minuets and after taking him to the vet he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, after putting him on meds he stopped coffing other than the occasional fit from drinking to fast

      • Hunter says:

        My dog is 14 years old and a pure bred chihuahua.

      • Sheila in Austin says:

        My chiweenie is 17 and lost her twin last year at Christmas. Living close to Mexico I found the folklore suggests chi’s get ashtma as they age. My one yr. old had ashtma,already. My sons’ got better reaching puberty and my 2 chi’s only got worse. Its natural to the breed,but,I hold my girls on their h
        little hind legs w/their back to my belly and gently stroke her throat holding her arms spread open{opens the lungs)till she relaxs and breathes normal.
        fyi the old ladies in Mexico advise new mothers to get their child w/asthma to get a chi for the child and it will take their asthma away. Relax and try my theory

  20. Ness says:

    Manny my lil baby just did that she usually does but today we have her de wormer and she did it for ten minutes I’m so scared please send me the site your talking about.

  21. debbie says:

    my Chihuahua got the nose stuff,she does that gasping sound too

  22. Angela says:

    My Chihuahua is 15 years old and I have noticed for about 2 years him drinking what was to me excessive water, took him to the vet to be checked for maybe being diabetic? Test were normal levels, still drinks lots of water and now I have noticed in the past year he wheezes everyday and I notice when he lies down resting more than any other time but if you hold him you can feel this wheezing rattle in his chest? I have noticed he can’t jump on our chairs as he gets older so uses doggie steps, and I have noticed a significant decrease in exercise & lot’s more sleep & wheezing ? I have had him since he was about 4 weeks old and I am terrified of losing my buddy! I was thinking maybe he might have some fluid around his heart but he is not swollen anywhere? I hate to give my vet $200 for him to tell me he is getting old and to expect these things !!!!

    • Holly says:

      My dog is 12 and started doing the same thing. Sleeping more and wheezing. Did you ever figure it out? Is it just old age? I am terrified as well of knowing my dog is slowing down. Any advice?

  23. Christine says:

    I am 100% convinced it was the nasal bordetella vaccine. I have a chihuahua that has been “reverse sneezing ” ever since he got that stupid vaccine. He got it done about three four years ago and Ive tried antihistamines but they never really worked and made him drowsy. This is a warning to all owners of tiny dogs please think twice before giving your dog the nasal bordetella vaccine!

  24. Maria says:

    My Chihuahua was very healthy until I took him for his shots about 5 months old and they gave him the kennel cough liquid shot it up his nose which I don’t know why they even did that he was only there for his vaccine I wasn’t putting him in a kennel . I told the vet he had no problems until they put that stuff up his nose he started wheezing and coughing that day and has this problem ever since. I have heard other pet owners have had the same problem so don’t let your vet do that to your puppy because it just causes problems for the rest of there life. I don’t care if it’s a vet something is really wrong there with that nose stuff for kennel.

    • Ronnie says:

      Same thing here. Dog was fine until he had that vaccine. Now sometimesbhensneezes forn6 minutes .it started 3 days after vaccine. He is 4 years old. I don’t think it is a coincidence.

    • Tylah says:

      Kennel cough is not only needed when a dog is going into a kennel, kennel cough is a virus that dogs can catch anywhere that an effected dog has been, kennel cough can make dogs really ill so it’s always a good idea to get the vaccine

  25. Cate says:

    Has anyone not had their chi vaccinated and not having this problem?
    I wonder if it is the vaccines?

    • Beth says:

      I dont have 3 of my 4 Chihuahua’s vaccinated.Chulo (vac., male and neutered) , Monroe (no vac, female and mom to the other 3), Bella and Nova (female no vac.) AND ALL OF THEM DO IT. Especially after drinking water. Chulo and Nova have had allergic reactions. Chulo’s only once but his eyes swelled shut and Nova. Nova has been experiencing some symptoms and we can pin down the allergy yet. Its a process of elimination first. All are playful, happy cuddle bugs that live to sleep under blankets unless its super hot.

  26. janelie says:

    My dog died just this october. She was a small teacup Chihuahua, only a year old. She always had a weird choking sound cough which I believe could’ve maybe been reversed sneezing? But one morning I noticed her yelping in pain from her neck as if something was hurting her and then her front legs lost movement slowly and she died in small gasps of breathe . Can someone tell me what may have been the cause.? I can’t rest wondering if I had just would’ve done more.

    • Daniel thompson says:

      Ive had 2 chihuahuas over the span of 20 years. My last chihuahua, Foxy, was 13 years old when one day his breathing turned rapid and short (gasping) and he was noticeably uncomfortable. I rushed him to the vet where I learned he had congestive heart failure. The vet put him in a see-through box that oxygen was pumped into to help him breathe. This happened 7-8 years ago and my vet said other than expensive surgery/treatment (I understand there are medications that may be available in some cases) there was nothing that could be done except to end his suffering. We were extremely close and my decision was by far not an easy one, but I did not have the resources for the surgery/treatment and consented to putting him down. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make and it was absolutely heartbreaking and so painful.. But he was suffering. Me and my family said our goodbyes to him and while talking to him trying to reassure him, with all our hands placed on him, he went to sleep for the last time.
      I cannot say that your girl had the same condition but it sounded similar. I know she could feel your love for her and she wasn’t alone. I’m very sorry for your loss.
      I have now had another chihuahua for 7 years named Boomer! He is healthy and lively and adorable, my best friend. I hope, when you are ready, you can once again give your love to another little one who will bring you so much happiness.

  27. knikkee says:

    My dog is 9 yrs old and yes does the reverse sneezing every so often. I have tought my dog to blow out her nose. It took a few times of me (fake blowing out my nose) for her to catch on. Now when she is in a reverse sneeze, I just imatate blowing out my nose. She will then blow out her nose and episode is over. Before this, I use to block/pinch her nostrals, this worked, but seemed to scare her a bit. The blowing out her nose works way better than rubbing neck, blocking nose etc.

  28. Paul says:

    Hi, I just noticed this thread.
    I would like to inform you that this problem is also carried on to cross breeds.
    I have Chihuahua x Jack Russell, now 15 and has had the problem since 11. She also has epileptic fits but has led a full and otherwise healthy life.
    Her brothers and sisters seemed to be pure Jack Russells, only she had weeping eyes. I picked her cos I knew she’d be passed over.
    Not sure if bitches can carry pups from 2 different sires?

  29. Parker's Dad says:

    Do you use Arm&Hammer’s “Pet-Fresh Carpet Freshener” on your carpet (like I used to)?
    This may sound like an unusual question, but after process of elimination and a big inconclusive vet bill….I found that this brand was the sole cause of my dogs identicle symptoms. Even after being misdiagnosed and experimented on by some of the best vets in my area. Problem was, that it took nearly a week before I saw the first visible signs of THE initial REACTION (like that horrid couch and reverse sneezing). Even after several attempts were made to remove the product, the damage was done and their symptoms persisted. They didn’t go away until I had the carpets professionally cleaned as well as their bedding and anywhere they tracked the fine powder that they had licked off their feet and introduced into their system. Causing swollen liver and nasal passage damage. Please let me know if this helps, this is the first time I have shared my experience and would like to hear what anyone has to say on the subject.

    • Chris says:

      I used “arm and hammer pet fresh carpet freshener” yesterday and my dog had problems breathing more than ever. I have used it before and he does have problems occasionally. But last night was the worst after using the freshener yesterday. Thanks so much for your post. It really helped us!

  30. Shelly says:

    My JACK is just coughing. He can eat but he doesn’t want to drink. Is this common?? Thank you so much

  31. Britaneya says:

    added to last comment: I also watched videos of the reverse sneezing and it dont seem like that bc she doesnt have that snort noise its more of a hacking noise i think im gana call the vet tomorrow any suggestions on what i can do b4 i get to the vet wld be great thanks

  32. Mariha says:

    My 6 yo apple head chihuahua has started kind of wheezing at night. Usually it happens in his sleep but tonight it was while he was awake. Judging by what I see as I watch his stomach, it looks like the sound is happening on the inhale, then he kind of exhales rapidly. He does not seem to be bothered by this at all as he fell asleep while it was happening. I was unable to watch the above video, it says the video is “private”. So I’m not sure if this is reverse sneezing or not. Any thoughts would be much appreciate.

  33. Ladybugs Mother says:

    I have a very old Chi and can’t afford to go to the vet so I thought I would try giving her some antihistamine and it worked wonders. She looks to be doing much better. She still has episodes but they don’t last as long and aren’t as harsh. I hope this info. might help someone!!!

  34. Victor Sartoresi says:

    Thank you very much for great advice. did the suggestions, we be monitoring her eating habits and checking out her resting and sleeping spots any abnormalities. it been very hat this week in the triple digits.

  35. sl says:

    How much benedryl was the chihauhau given?

  36. diane says:

    sounds like she might have the begining stages of patella luxation. Or where her knee pops out of place.Take her to your vet and have her checked out. Hope it will all be positive for you both. I just lost my little papillion to the crushed tracha and had to have him put to sleep. It was the most tramatic thing I have ever had to do. So I do understand how everyone feels about it being scary and we do feel so guilty when our little fur babys are in pain.

  37. Lorena Espinoza says:

    My dogs do the same it’s scary… I need help with another matter someone please help me… two days in a row now my chihuahua Lola she’s 6 years old she started yelling and crying and could not move after about a minute she was ok then today she did the same thing and was sitting down she would lift her right paw then she would lift her left paw she was shaking and crying she looked like she was in pain..she has not hurt herself she does not hang out where mosquitoes can bite her plese hel me anyone..thank you

    • Cuca's & Lola's Dad says:

      I have a 6year old Lola and she jumped down off the couch and pinched a nerve in her neck and shoulders.
      We were prescribed tramydal and in about 2 weeks she was back to normal.
      She would lye on her side and shiver in pain but did not move. I could feel the swelling in her neck and shoulders when this would happen so i would message the area till it relaxed. Good luck

      My other chi had a red blood cell issue and almost passed away but we used Bio-preparation 3 and she is back to normal from a low blood count of below 11%

    • Criste says:

      Poor baby. My dog started crying a lot and one time he had a pretty good thorn in his paw and another time he’d been stung by a bee. Plus there’s always a chance they jumped or twisted just right and gave themselves a luxating patella which is where they kind of pull their knee out of socket and it floats in and out and will cause them pain. They have surgery for that but it’s expensive and not guaranteed to last. My dog has had both his back legs with luxating patellas and if he does something that hurts them or aggravates it he will limp around for a couple of weeks but usually it gets better and they can live with it though in a perfect world you’d try and get it operated on because I believe it does cause them discomfort they just get use to it plus it will cause a problem with arthritis as they get older. I hope she’s okay.

  38. Calianne says:

    My little papillon was given that nasal bordatella vaccination when she was 8 wks old and suffered they 12 yrs of ‘reverse sneezing’ as the vet called it. I was traumatized with the distress it put on her. She also had a collapse trachea from the regular collar she wore. She ran and then came to a screetching halt which jolted her. She was black from her chin to the bottom of her tummy. Scared me to death. I no longer put a regular collar on my dogs. They wear soft harnesses an I get full control over her. My Pap passed away a yr ago and a few months later I stopped into PetSmart for one of their adoption days hoping to find a Yorkie but instead I found this beautiful –? Maybe long hair chihuahua , burnt orange in colar with the same color eyes. She just turned 1 yr old and has the best personality and well mannered. Understands commands pretty quickly and I am training her to be a therapy dog. She is magnificent . My sweet little Cassie

  39. jd24 says:

    My 4 mo old Chihuahua started doing this reverse sneezing a day after her nasal bordatella vaccination…I have no idea what to do?! My vet said it shouldn’t be related but after much reading I see that it has happened to MANY more than me. I hate it for her and it makes me angry that I did this to her! 🙁

  40. Silvia Gracia says:

    We have two chihuahuas and so far only one does that noise. My mother in law has a chihuahua and I noticed him doing it sometime back, then before I realized our dog was soon doing it, so I thought maybe it was contagious , I am very muvh relieved to know that it wasnt catchy at all. I thank God because when I knew not what to do, , I just began to massage his neck area gentley which did seem to help quite a bit. We havenr the money to take them to the vet, I want to thank you for posting ur info it was an enlightment to finally know the cause of these episodes. Thank you.

  41. Chihuahuass says:

    I have two chihuahuas one is 5 the other is 6 and they have been doing that a lot lately especially today like every 20 minutes is it the same thing??

    • Loutrishia says:

      I have 2 chihuahua and the small one just started that snorting more frequent. I notice this when I put the flea medicine on her. Could that trigger her to doing that?

      • Shelby says:

        Be careful with topical flea medicine and chihuahuas. My dogs both started having seizures after I started them on topical flea medication.

        They are too small & the same poison that kills fleas is killing them.

        Just bathe them in Dawn dish soap when needed.

  42. val.lopez says:

    My dog was doing this for a while I gave her allergy medicine for about 2 weeks 2x a day, and warm water. She stopped doing it. When she does occasionally have an episode I give her one dosage. She’s usually fine

    • Julie says:

      I gave a Bichon frese that is doing the same , it is allergy related as she done the same thing around the same time last year.
      Val u said you gave your dog allergy medicine, can you tell me what it was that you gave her?


      • Starclipper says:

        What did Val write the allergy meds were? I have a Chorkie, about 3, and she started this wheezing just this evening, very worried.

  43. krystal says:

    Also trachea collapse does not always show on xray due to the difficulties taking a xray at the precise moment a dog breaths in.

  44. krystal says:

    My chihuahua was just diagnosed with collapse trachea and what ur describing sounds just like my lil nico symptoms unfortunately there is no cure there is very invasive surgery to try and place a stent but its 50/50 chance of success besides surgery they manage it with medications for cough and breathing also lifestyle changes on ur dog and u …dog has to be in a stress free environment and try to not get to excited hope this helps

    • Chihuahua Wardrobe says:

      Sorry to hear that your Nico suffers from a collapsed trachea. Problems such as these are fairly common in Chihuahuas, and you’re certainly right: excitement can produce wheezing episodes.

  45. Daniel says:

    My Chihuahua is 11 years old and she has been coughing for about 5 months now. This is not a reverse sneeze, it is more like a dry hacking cough and then she will wheeze for several minutes (about 10 minutes on average). She sounds like she is in pain and she cannot breath properly during those spells. Her cough is especially prevalent during the night and morning. She will have coughing spells throughout the day as well (around once every two hour). Sometimes when she coughs a lot, she will cough up something and swallow it. Only once did I see that it was white foam.

    I have taken her to the veterinarian and she was prescribed an antibiotic since he thought it might be an infection. I gave her the antibiotic and it did not help or lessen her coughing. I then took her back again and he gave me a diuretic to get rid of fluid and again, this did not help her. All this medication did was make her urinate in great volume and make her thirsty. Also, she swelled up like a balloon. The vet then took chest x-rays and found that her liver was a bit enlarged and was pushing against her diaphragm. In addition, he said her heart looked normal. He then prescribed a stronger antibiotic and a medication that he described as a human equivalent to Mucinex. I decided against giving her any more antibiotics since he said it would make her sick and nauseous and because of what he said about her liver (my Chihuahua’s mother died from liver failure). Instead, I only gave her the “Mucinex”. It has not helped her any.

    In the past she has been evaluated for heartworm and the blood test turned out negative. I do not know what to do. Are there any natural remedies or anything else I can do for my Chihuahua? Is this cough beatable given her age? Is there any cure? I am scared I might lose her 🙁

    • Chihuahua Wardrobe says:

      Hey Daniel,

      It’s hard to say what exactly is causing your Chihuahua to experience these episodes; it could be from fluid in their lungs, a collapsed trachea, allergies, kennel cough, heart disease, respiratory disease or heartworms… Talk with your veterinarian to try and rule out each of these possible causes. It’s also not a bad idea to take your Chihuahua to a different veterinarian for a second opinion.

      • Nicole Saineghi says:

        Try giving your dog a small teaspoon of honey or some honey and coconut oil mixed together. It will not prevent the coughing but it will soothe your dogs irritated throat and is a natural remedy. Be careful though because honey will cause your dogs blood sugar to rise a little so if your dog has a natually high blood sugar level then I wouldnt do the honey. My little 13year old chihuahua has seizures and this tyoe of coughing but the seizures are due to low blood sugar levels so the honey works both ways 🙂

      • Manny says:

        I have a 3 old female chihuahua and ever since I got her she started this. Especially when she was excited, excessive playing and drinking water. I took her to the vet more then 3 times, they gave her medication, but all the medication they gave her NOTHING worked, I spend more then $1000. I kept researching in the internet day and night until I came to u tube put in the search reverse sneezing believe me this was very helpful. this is common in small breed dogs. but I urge all of u those who we care for our pets to look it up you all well be so relieve. God bless.

    • Judy says:

      A dog I rescued started hacking and coughing and couldn’t breathe right. I took her to emergency and she had laryngeal paralysis. I had never heard of it before. Did your vet ever mention that? I see that your letter was from almost a year ago, so hopefully your doggie is all better by now. Good luck.

    • Criste says:

      My Chihuahua turns 11 this month and has too started the last couple of weeks really wheezing and being out of breath. It’s not the reverse sneezing either, he did that a lot when he was younger and i know what that is. This is different it’s got kind of that whistling sound when he wheezes. I know he’s a little over weight and doesn’t get a lot of exercise and I figure that’s contributing. It definitely happens whenever he goes up the stairs or I pick him up like the pressure against his chest makes it worse. I keep worrying that he has a collapsed lung or fluid in them. He can be fine for hours but he’s doing it several times a day and it lasts for about 10 minutes and I’m getting worried because of his age. Have you found out what’s wrong with your dog Daniel?

  46. Sue says:

    Just came across this and it is exactly what my chihuahua has started doing (he is now 2). I am so relieved thats all it is. It made me panic and nearly rush off to the vets. It happened twice yesterday and once this morning.
    Does this need any medical treatment ?

    • Sarah Moss says:

      Please don’t take this advice of “they can’t do anything at the vet”. My chi was coughing and wheezing more than normal, she always has a little sniffle and does do the hyperventilatiing that has been described above when she gets over excited. HOWEVER, I got concerned with the wheezing and brought her to the vet. It turned out to be fluid in her lungs due to progressive heart failure. Please don’t wait to take your dog in. I know it’s expensive (I owe tons to credit cards) and it may be nothing, but you really can’t wait when it comes to their respiration. It is often a sign of something bigger. Also on that note the vet said that a lot of little dogs have bouts of pneumonia. Totally curable, but will advance rather quickly if ignored. To good health for all your babies.

    • Dale says:

      my toy fox terrier has exhibited this behavior it is so scary to see her doing this, she is 2 years old

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