Chihuahua Reverse Sneezing vs Collapsed Trachea – The Guide

Last Updated on July 12, 2021 by Marco

Chis are prone to certain health conditions. That’s why we’ve assembled a Chihuahua Reverse Sneezing vs Collapsed Trachea guide to help you.

All living things are prone to developing health conditions. Likewise, your Chihuahua isn’t any different. However, certain health issues are very Chihuahua-centric. Two such conditions are reverse sneezing and collapsed trachea. Even though reverse sneezing and collapsed trachea aren’t similar at all, they still confuse many Chi parents.

If you’re trying to find reliable information about the two conditions – you’re in the right place. Our guide will not only focus on the cause and symptoms of reverse sneezing and collapsed trachea, but we’ll also highlight the treatment options involved. So, stick with us as we explain the differences between the health conditions more commonly found in Chihuahuas. 

 Reverse Sneezing In Chihuahua Dogs 

Reverse sneezing is pretty common in small dogs, but all canines are susceptible to the condition. The difference between regular sneezing and reverse sneezing is simple. In a normal sneeze, your pet exhales (or pushes air) out its nose.

However, if your doggo is reverse sneezing, it ends up inhaling air through its nose. That’s what produces the snorts. While reverse sneezing may sound worse than it truly is, it’s not a life-threatening condition. 


Just like sneezing helps expel any irritants caught up in your nose, reverse sneezing helps clear out irritants in your pet’s throat, voice box, or pharynx. It can be caused due to several reasons, but some of the most common causes are –

  • dust
  • mold
  • dander
  • pollen
  • smoke
  • perfumes
  • food allergies


Like we said earlier, reverse sneezing looks and sounds much worse than it actually is. During an episode of reverse sneezing, you can expect your pet to –

  • extend its head and neck
  • take in long and rapid breaths
  • produce snorting sounds
  • sound like something’s stuck in its throat or nose


If your Chihuahua is experiencing reverse sneezing, it’s best to take it to the vet to rule out other causes. Your veterinarian will only make a confirmed diagnosis after examining your pet for clinical signs, inquiring about its medical history, and running tests to rule out other possible causes. These include an upper respiratory tract infection, collapsing trachea, nasal polyps. etc. 

The good news is, reverse sneezing requires no treatment in most cases. The best thing to do when your pet is experience reverse sneezing is to help it calm down. Once the irritant causing the sneezing episode is eliminated, the sneezes usually subside. A reverse sneezing episode can last about a few seconds or continue up to a minute. 

However, if your veterinarian feels the need, they may prescribe your Chihuahua with certain medications. These are generally decongestants, anti-histamines, or anti-inflammatory medications.

Read more about: Life Expectancy Of Chihuahuas How To Make Your Dog Live For Longer?

Tracheal Collapse In Chihuahua Dogs 

Chihuahuas coughing with a dry or harsh sound may signify tracheal collapse. A collapsing trachea occurs when the rings of the cartilage lose strength or the membrane surrounding it sags or slackens. This causes the tracheal rings to flatten every time your pet inhales. The condition makes it difficult for your Chihuahua to get in enough air to its lungs. 

Collapsing trachea is more common among middle-aged to senior canines; however, younger dogs may develop the condition too. 


While the exact cause of a tracheal collapse isn’t known at the time, experts suggest the cause may be linked to genetics. While some breeds are more prone to the condition than others, dogs of all breeds and sizes can develop it.


The most common symptom of a tracheal collapse is dry or harsh coughing. The coughs sound almost like a goose honk. Another common sign is the cough worsening with pressure on the trachea. That’s why canines with a collapsed trachea may experience increased coughing when they’re excited or after eating or drinking. 


A collapsed trachea is a serious condition and may get progressively worse over time. Treatment options for the condition include preventive measures, medications, or surgery. Your vet may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and cough suppressants to help bring your pet relief. Bronchodilators can also be prescribed if your vet feels the need for them.

Learn more about: Healthy Weight For Chihuahua Dog

Why Is Chihuahua Reverse Sneezing vs Collapsed Trachea A Thing?

Here’s why Chihuahua reverse sneezing vs collapsed trachea is such a widely searched term. Despite having almost nothing in common, Chi parents often find themselves confused between the two health concerns for one reason. And that reason is that Chihuahua suffering from either of the two conditions can make sounds that are almost a cross between snorting and honking. 

If you’re having difficulty imagining what a noise halfway between a snort and honk will sound like – there are plenty of online videos available that can help you understand. That’s the primary reason why reverse sneezing and collapsed trachea are so often lumped together. 

No doubt, it’s difficult to imagine your little furbaby in pain. Nonetheless, we recommend Chihuahua owners learn about the sounds your pet can make in either of the health conditions discussed here. That way, you’ll know exactly what to do and what to avoid to help your furball.

Plus, you’ve got us! And, we wouldn’t be doing right by our readers if we left any of your queries unanswered. So, here’s us simplifying the situation. Here’s how you can remember the difference between a collapsed trachea and reverse sneezing easily. 

 Reverse Sneezing vs Collapsed Trachea – The difference

If your Chihuahua suddenly inhales, extends its neck to produce a snort-like sound repetitively after eating or becoming excited – chances are it is reverse sneezing. Conversely, if your pet produces a honk-like sound while breathing or coughs when you touch its throat – it’s possible your pet’s suffering from a collapsed trachea. 


As Chihuahua enthusiasts, we’re aware that thinking about your pet being in any pain isn’t easy. But, being aware of the health risks your canine may face can help you watch out for warning signs. Remember, early detection is key when it comes to treatment and your doggo’s recovery time. 

Reading about reverse sneezing and collapsed trachea can cause anxiety in pet parents. But, it’s essential to note that the information available on the internet is never pet-specific. The only vetted source of pet-specific information is your vet. That’s why it’s crucial to keep out with regular vet visits to ensure your furball gets the care it deserves. 

Leave a Comment