Snorting, (You Know, Like a Pig)

“Reverse Sneezing” usually has allergic causes. Antihistamines should help.



I have a 3 year old female pug named “Pug”. I know we should have come up with something else instead of “Pug” but….,anyway about once a month, she has what I call a seizure, but all  I’ve read doesn’t describe what she has. Pug acts like she’s trying to “hock up a loogey”. It lasts for about 15-30 sec and then she’s fine. Sometimes it reoccurs a few minutes later and lasts maybe 10-15 seconds. It’s not like she’s trying to throw-up. She’s exhaling extremely hard and making a grunting sound like she is trying to “hock on up”.


Dr. Nichol:

Hocking up Loogeys? You are so crude. No wonder Pug behaves like a barbarian. Maybe if she had a more refined influence at home she wouldn’t be such an animal.


OK. I’ll take the high road on this one and explain Pug’s problem. She is not having a seizure. She has post nasal drip. Just like a person with allergies or a cold she gets a gob of mucous that hangs off the back of her soft palate. But instead of discreetly expectorating like the actors in the movie “Titanic” Pug just does her best to gross you out whenever the whim strikes.


So what do you do about it? If she makes enough noise with all this hocking to keep you awake at night you can give her an antihistamine like Benedryl at bedtime to dry up those mucous secretions for several hours. Or you can join her. A family that hocks loogeys together stays together.





Our 7-year old terrier mix has a reoccurring respiratory problem. Our vet calls it reverse sneezing. The attacks last 1-2 minutes; she wheezes violently, can’t walk and her ears seem to hurt. In the past, the vet prescribed steroids. Now they are back to several a day. We feel helpless; the attacks look so uncomfortable.


Dr. Nichol:

You describe a problem that has vexed dog owners, and wives, for centuries. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, space and time are frozen as all normal activity stops. The head lowers, and the mouth closes, as a guttural scraping noise erupts from the viscera of the beast. Just when horrified bystanders believe the worst is over, a veritable ball of slime is brought forth from the depths of what had been, only moments earlier, a seemingly civilized individual. Men and their dogs. Hocking up loogies. It tears at the very fabric of our society.


I assure you that the above description results only from exhaustive scientific study. No one in my family would ever stoop so low. But hey, a little allergy, a little mucous-maybe it’s normal. But snorting, or reverse sneezing as it is called in polite company, is not painful. If you don’t care to listen to it, give that uncouth no-good low down polecat (dog, husband) Benedryl, one tablet per 25 pounds of body weight. Dry up the mucous and sleep well.





More Reverse Sneezing


I have a 4 year old Brussels Griffon. Lately she seems to be having asthma attacks, they sound like a backward sneeze. They started about a month ago.


Dr. Nichol:

You’re close-it’s actually called a reverse sneeze. Much like the snort a person might indulge in when not in polite company, your Brussels Griffon is sucking a gob of mucus off her soft palate. If she knew how, she would spit, or in the parlance of teenaged boys, hock a lugey. Today’s youth has no concept of polite company.


Your dog’s locomotive imitation could be due to an allergy. You can test this theory with Benedryl. Give one tablet per 25 pounds of body weight, every 12 hours for a couple of days. If her post nasal drip doesn’t come to an abrupt end there could be a more serious cause. Asthma would be unlikely.


Some dogs produce excessive mucous because of inflammation from nasal mites, others struggle with bacterial infection. Before asking your veterinarian to sleuth out an obscure diagnosis consider any airborne irritants in your home like perfumes, incense, smoke, air or carpet fresheners, or cleaning products. Do whatever it takes. If your girl doesn’t dry up soon she could get much sicker.