Have you noticed your dog is snorting like a pig and don’t know why? Maybe it’s the first time you have heard this noise and are curious about it? Or perhaps it’s happened a few times, and you are starting to get concerned? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
The likely reason your dog is snorting like a pig is that it is reverse sneezing. Generally, it is nothing to worry about and is caused by your dog’s throat muscles spasming and their soft palate being irritated. They inhale too much air, creating a pig-like sound!
We know how concerning it can be when your dog starts to make different noises and you aren’t sure if they are normal or not. It can be scary, confusing and leave us wondering if our beloved pets are okay or not. And with so much confusing and conflicting information available online, it can be hard to know where to turn or who to trust.
Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out why your dog snorts like a pig, if it’s normal, and anything else that you need to know! Prepare to find out more about your dog’s unusual noises today!
What happens when my dog reverse sneezes?
You will hear the snorting, but their neck will stretch, their chest will expand, and their trachea will narrow. You might notice hacking, coughing, wheezing, or snorting. It can be scary when your dog makes these sounds, but most of the time, it’s just your dog sneezing.
Could it not be reverse sneezing?
Yes, there are some other common causes such as allergies, infections, or a collapsed trachea which can be quite serious. These are usually rare, but it’s worth knowing the symptoms of these so you can be prepared. We have lots more detail on this below!
What Dogs Snort Like A Pig?
Reverse sneezing is more common in smaller breeds and brachycephalic breeds. These include but aren’t limited to: Pugs, Chow Chow, English Bull Mastiffs, Yorkshire Terriers, and Beagles.
These dogs have smaller throat and nose structures, making them more susceptible to sounding like pigs!
Common causes that aren’t reverse sneezing
Now in some cases, particularly in smaller dog breeds, the snorting isn’t always reverse sneezing. So what else could it be?
Sometimes it could be due to allergies, nasal mites, an infection, or something stuck in their nose like a blade of grass. Now don’t panic; more often than not, it’s reverse sneezing, but it’s always good to know the other options too!
In these cases, a trip to the vets will give you the diagnosis you need and any treatment your dog might need. If they snort like a pig a lot, it might be worth paying a visit to the vets, just to rule out any infections. Usually, there will be some other symptoms, but if you have concerns, don’t sit on them. Take your dog straight to the vet for an examination.
Another cause for the pig-like snorts could be a collapsed trachea. We see this in smaller dogs more, especially our beloved Yorkies.
A collapsed trachea is when part of the trachea gets obstructed by a tracheal ring collapsing. As the trachea helps your dog breathe, this can be incredibly serious, and you will want to see your vet immediately.
What are the symptoms of a collapsed trachea?
A collapsed trachea means that your dog’s airways will be blocked. You might see other symptoms like labored breathing or a lack of interest in exercise. If you suspect your dog has a collapsed trachea, be sure to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
What is the treatment for a collapsed trachea?
Your vet can prescribe antibodies, cough suppressants, or steroids. They will also recommend changes such as using a harness when walking your dog, reducing contact with irritants, or weight loss for your dog. With these steps, you can manage the condition, and it won’t be as scary as it sounds!
Other times your dog might snort
Snorting, as you can see, is pretty common and isn’t just exclusive to one breed. To help you narrow down the cause of your dog’s snorting, there are some factors you should consider, especially when they are young. Make a note of when your dog snorts, oinks, or grunts.
Are they excited? Are they pulling on the leash? Have they encountered a strong scent like perfume? If there is a pattern, you can make some changes to help reduce the snorting. Instead of using a lead, you can use a harness to take pressure off your dog’s neck and reduce the snorting.
You can keep him away from perfumes, reduce the number of air fresheners or strong scents in your home, and see if you notice a difference. Ruling out whether it’s situational or not can help determine if your dog’s reverse sneezing or reacting to a situation and help you better care for your pooch.
If you aren’t sure or have any concerns, then be sure to contact your vet. They can offer you more information and help you find a diagnosis if needed. This information will be tailored to your dog and its breed, offering you more exact information, which is always helpful!
If your dog has anything stuck in their breathing passageway, the vet can remove it easily and safely. They can also prescribe antihistamines to alleviate any allergies, which should also reduce the reverse sneezing. The same applies to nasal mites; the vet can prescribe you the necessary medication to help your dog.
Often, this is done during a consultation, but you might need x-rays so that your vet can better understand what is going on internally.
Don’t feel embarrassed or as if you are wasting your vet’s time by taking them in for this! If you have any concerns or questions, it is always best to go to a professional for advice, so seek out the help you need!
Are these noises a sign of something serious?
Usually, no these aren’t a sign of anything serious. However, if reverse sneezing becomes chronic, it’s worth visiting the vet for any anti-inflammatory medicine. If the noises start suddenly, there could be an infection. If this does not stop in a few days, then you should consult your vet.
When to encourage the behavior
Ideally, you want your dog’s reverse sneezing to last for as little time as possible. It could be uncomfortable for them, and the noise can be scary! Usually, it doesn’t last for very long and the reverse sneezing should only be temporary. Remember, if it is becoming chronic or you are concerned, you should see your vet for an examination and treatment plan!
Something could have irritated your dog, causing the reverse sneezing as they try to remove it from their body. You can help here by massaging their throat, softly blowing in their face, or you can hold their nostrils closed for a few seconds.
You can also tap them gently on the nose, which can encourage them to swallow. This can help to get anything stuck in their passageway out and reduce the time they are reverse sneezing.
After doing this, you should notice that the spasms should come to a stop and your dog should stop reverse sneezing and snorting like a pig!
When they are sneezing, do not put your hand in their mouth. This can confuse your dog and might even lead to them accidentally biting you! It’s best to keep your hands away from their mouths at all times, you don’t want to get nipped in the process!
If you notice that the sneezes are incredibly long, or this is becoming a regular occurrence, then it’s time to call in the professionals! They can help to determine the cause of the problem and provide you with a treatment plan.
It’s worth taking in some notes of when you notice the sneezing happen, as this will help your vet identify any causes or triggers that you can reduce or avoid to help your dog.
If you have a small breed like a Yorkshire Terrier and you notice this happening frequently, then it is best to speak to your vet. It could be a collapsed trachea like we mentioned earlier, and it’s best to get this ruled out as soon as possible.
Usually, reverse sneezes aren’t anything to worry about and you shouldn’t need to encourage or aid your dog in any way.
However, if you suspect something is irritating their passageway, try the technique we suggested above to help your dog out. Just be sure that you don’t cover their nostrils for very long as this could impact their breathing even more!
Can I stop them snorting like a pig?
Unfortunately, there is little you can do to stop your dog from snorting like a pig! Where possible, note any triggers that set your dog off and look to reduce or eliminate them. If you do have serious concerns, then be sure to consult your vet.
And there we have it! There are a few reasons why your dog snorts like a pig, but it is likely to be reverse sneezing most of the time. Those with dogs that are more susceptible to this will be familiar with this noise and can take some reassurance knowing that it’s usually nothing to worry about.
However, in the cases where there is something more serious going on, be sure to keep an eye out for other symptoms and take your dog to the vet to be checked out!