Identifying a Reverse Sneeze
Reverse sneezing is very common in dogs, less so in cats. When pets reverse sneeze, they typically stand, extend their head and neck, pull back their lips, and inhale repeatedly and forcefull through their nose. A distinctive, loud "snorking" sound is heard each time they inhale. Generally, a pet will reverse sneeze a few times in a row, and the entire episode will be over within 10-15 seconds or so.
Normal Causes of Reverse Sneezing
Reverse sneezing and "regular" sneezing are closely related reflexes. The purpose of both is to expel an irritant from the upper part of the respiratory tract (coughing plays the same role further down). Irritation to the nasopharynx (the area that lies behind the nasal cavities and above the soft palate) causes dogs to "reverse" sneeze.