The Learning Never Ends

At 5:00am on Thursday, I awoke to the sound of Rogue heaving, or at least I thought. I quickly helped her off the bed and squatted down beside her, rubbing her sides and calmly talking to her as she continued to make this awful sound. It lasted about 30-45 minutes, with short intervals of Rogue wagging her tail and licking my face, so I was at a loss as to what to do. I checked her throat to see if I could find anything lodged. I felt her neck and belly to see if I noticed any difference. I gave her treats and water, hoping it would help calm her stomach (I thought she was trying to throw up). I tried to stay calm, knowing that she didn’t seem panicked herself, so wanted to continue keeping her that way.

when the episode seemed to have finished, I helped Rogue back onto the bed and we laid together, waiting for Huib to return home from work. I told him what had happened and he checked her over and couldn’t find anything wrong, so we decided to have a nap and then reassess after that. Rogue had a few more episodes and Huib reaffirmed my observation that this was not your typical “I need to throw up” behaviour. Instead of sounding and looking like Rogue was trying to expel something, it looked and sounded as though she was trying to clear her sinuses. It was like she was experiencing post nasal drip and was trying to get it to stop.

At some point, I went onto Twitter and posted a tweet about my observations and was informed that what Rogue was experiencing sounded like Reverse Sneezing. I had never heard of this and was delighted to learn that it was not serious and that it was actually quite common (I had never seen one of my dogs do this before).

Reverse Sneezing is quite scary to observe. It looks and sounds like the dog is gasping for air. it is quite common in flatter faced breeds such as pugs, but can also happen to other breeds. According to this article, “the most common cause of reverse sneezing is an irritation of the soft pallet and throat that results in a spasm. During the spasm the dog’s neck will extend and the chest will expand as the dog tries harder to inhale. The problem is that the trachea has narrowed and it’s hard to get the normal amount of air into the lungs.” Reverse Sneezing can be caused by a number of factors, but in almost all cases it is not serious and will resolve on its own.

Since Thursday, Rogue has had less episodes, and as of today has gone over sixty hours without Reverse Sneezing.

Huib got a short recording of her the other morning to send to Dr B and we were told that it should resolve itself, but to keep her posted. We are thinking that maybe Rogue was reacting to something outside since the grass has begun to go green and the trees and plants are beginning to bloom. I’m really hoping this is a one time thing, but I guess we’ll know more as time goes on.

It’s amazing to see how much more we have to learn from our dogs. After having Phoenix and dealing with all of his health issues, I thought I was set, but then Cessna taught us about coconut allergies, and now Rogue has introduced us to Reverse Sneezing.

**Just a quick note: Blogger has decided to begin implementing their new platform so I have begun to set up our blog over at WordPress. I will try to continue having posts up here as well as over at, but if Blogger does not improve their accessibility then I will be forced to completely stop posting here. I hope you will all join us over at WordPress, if you need any help with doing this please leave me a comment and I will try to help you out.**


  1. Wow, that is interesting to read about! I had never heard of this. I hope blogger works itself out for you.

  2. That sounds pretty terrifying…
    Poor Rogue, I bet it was uncomfortable!

  3. Hi Y’all,

    Let me know how you like WordPress and if it was an easy transition. Having no technical ability (when I was working we had tech people) I’m not good at setting things up.

    My current retriever suffers reverse sneezing. My Basenji that I had years ago did it too. Allergy, especially pollen, seems to be the culprit in their cases.

    BrownDog’s Human

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  5. Hi Finn & Kelly, It was so scary! If we had been closer to our vet, I’m sure I would have taken Rogue immediately in to see her. I’m so glad it resolved itself though and really hope it doesn’t happen again.

    Brown Dog’s Human, So far I both like and detest WordPress lol! There are definitely a lot of pluses to using WordPress, but the learning curve between Blogger and WordPress seems huge to me. Maybe it is a little easier to use by sighted people though. some of my more tech savvy blind friends really like it, so I’m sure that with time I will come to like it as well. I was really hoping blogger would improve its accessibility but so far it is looking as though they are not caring much about their blind users. I’m so glad to hear that there are other retrievers out there with this issue. I hope Rogue doesn’t experience it again, but if she does, at least I know it isn’t life threatening and that it is actually pretty common.

    Thanks everyone for being ;such great followers and I hope you’ll come over to WordPress with us when we move permanently.


  1. […] Rogue has a soft trachea. Back in May Rogue had made us suspicious of this possibility when she had 48 hours of reverse sneezing episodes, but with the use of the Easy walk, we didn’t really understand how bad the problem was. After […]

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