Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Reverse Sneezing, Causes of Hair Loss, and more ...

Reverse Sneezing: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention
Dr. Patrick Mahaney/The Honest Kitchen Blog

When I first saw Jasmine reverse sneeze, I was freaking out. It can look so scary. It looked like she couldn't breathe. Was she choking on something? Was she indeed have difficulty breathing?

No, she was reverse sneezing. Once you've seen and and identified it, it is easy enough to tell the difference. When something irritated her soft palate, she'd do that. We did, of course, see a vet the first time it happened. Reverse sneezing may or may not be a concern, depending on the severity which has to do with the cause. Mild irritation will cause a short bout of reverse sneezing and that is that. During Winter months, it was more likely that this would bother Jasmine. It probably had to do with the dry air because when we started using humidifier, it got much better.

Severe episodes or episodes that are not stopping are a concern and potentially a reason to be treated as an emergency.

While causes for minor, short episodes of reverse sneezing may be relatively benign, things like infections, periodontal disease and other more serious issues that can be behind severe or chronic bouts need to be addressed.

There are a few things that can be done to relief an episode. I've tried all of them and none of them worked for Jasmine other than getting her to swallow. Offering a small, soft treat which would get her swallow usually worked like a charm.

For more awesome information and tips on dealing with reverse sneezing check out Dr. Patrick's article.

Copper Storage Disease in Dogs – A Toxic Situation!
Dr. Christopher G. Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Copper is an essential nutrient needed in trace amounts. That, however, doesn't make it any less important. Copper is needed for absorption of iron, development and maturation of red blood cells, formation of connective tissues, hair pigmentation and other processes.

Just because the body needs something it doesn't mean it cannot cause trouble in excess amounts or when the body cannot handle it properly.

If you watched House MD, you've seen what problems "bad" copper can cause. Normally the body has ways of removing things that don't belong or things that are in excess. But sometimes this system breaks down. When that happens, a nutrient becomes a toxin.

Some breeds are particularly predisposed to copper toxicity.

Dr. Buyers offers wonderful, comprehensive information on copper storage disease.

5 Common Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs

Jasmine suffered hair loss on a few occasions, two of which were due to infections. She lost a little bit with each of her hot spots (just a tiny bit because we caught and treated it very quickly) and when she had hair follicle infection around her tail area. That time she lost quite a lot. The whole area around her tail became bald.

Couple times she developed a bald patch on her flank for no clear reason. There was no infection of any kind and it wasn't any place where you could suspect hair getting rubbed off for any possible reason. Nobody knew why that happened but it resolved with melatonin supplementation.

The five most common causes of hair loss in dogs are allergies, infections or infestations, pressure sores, Cushing's disease, or genetic predisposition.

Fear-Free or "frozen"?
Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB/dvm360

Jasmine's vet never took our dog into the back other than for procedures such as x-rays, surgeries, dental work and the like. Everything else he did right there, in the exam room, with us present.

At the new clinic, they seem to be in the habit of whisking the dog with them into the back for many simple things. It's how they do things but all we had to do was to speak up and let them know that we want to be present with the dog at all times. (again, with exception of lengthy procedures and procedures requiring anesthesia, depending on the situation)

However good reasons vets might have to take patients to the back, is it a good idea for your dog? It might make things faster and more efficient. And many veterinarians believe that the dogs are calmer when away from their concerned owners.

But is that actually true? Are they really calmer? Or frozen/shut down from fear?

See what Dr. Lisa Radosta says about that.


  1. It's nice to see a video of reverse sneezing, I've read so much about it but until you see it/hear it for yourself it's all left to the imagination.

    1. Yeah, descriptions don't do much. That's why I like to include video every time I talk about it. Once you see it, though, you won't mistake it with anything else.


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