Snoring, Sneezing & Reverse Sneezing
These are generally normal bodily functions for dogs, just as they are in people. However, if your dog seems to do any of these excessively then a vet visit may be needed. If you think your dog has ingested anything, and may be experiencing a blocked airway, then a veterinary visit should not be delayed and x-rays taken to determine the best treatment plan.
Snoring isn't something that is seen commonly in the Italian Greyhound breed, as it is in other dogs with more muscle and fat mass, or shorter snouts like Bull Dogs, Pugs or Chinese Shar Pei breeds as examples. Just like in people, dogs often snore slightly if they are laying in an odd position where their airway is not fully open for air to proceed to the lungs. However, if an Italian Greyhound does this regularly, then it could indicate that they are overweight, have some irritation in their airways (Rhinitis), or even that they may have a severely infected tooth that is inflaming their nasal cavity above. Most of the Italian Greyhounds seen in rescue who snore are due to them being overweight or obese, and decreasing their weight often resolves the issue. If a dog does not have a history of snoring and begins over a short period of time, it is probably a good idea to have it checked out by a veterinarian.
Sneezing is usually caused by an IG inhaling something that irritates the airways, such as dust, allergens or even smoke. A sneeze here or there is not an issue, but if you can identify triggers to the sneezing then it may be best to avoid them. Sneezing may be more frequent when a dog it outdoors for long periods of time, during specific times of the year, or if they are exposed smoke or chemical smells that irritate the airways. Trying to identify these triggers if often the best way to remedy the problem.
A pet who sneezes a lot may indicate allergies, especially in combination with pawing at the face, chewing on the paws, red or itchy patches on the skin, and/or watery eyes. There are allergy tests which can be performed on dogs to help identify the triggers, whether it be environmental or food triggered, to help identify the potential causes.
In rare instances, we have seen dogs who sneeze frequently have nose mites, something they can pick up from other animals or their environment. A vet can easily identify this as the cause by taking a quick peek inside their nose with a scope, and then treat it inexpensively with a nasal spray or drops.
"Reverse Sneezing" or Snorting
Reverse sneezing or snorting is something seen somewhat regularly in the Italian Greyhound breed, and the cause can be a slight irritation of the airways or fluids that have built up in the nasal passages. Often an IG may reverse sneeze after being outside for an extended time, after a walk, or if the air is heavy with dust or allergens. To an inexperienced IG owner, it may sound very scary, but for people who have owned the breed before it is something that happens every-so-often, and isn't much to worry about. It may also occur when a dog has a cold or sore throat where fluids are constantly being produced and drainage may be slow. Reverse sneezing episodes may last for the better part of a minute to a few minutes even. Generally this is not something to be overly concerned about when it occurs.