First, if your pet is showing any distress in breathing, I would recommend you have a complete physical examination by your veterinarian.
Sneezing is the body’s natural defense to clear offending agents from the nasal passages. Sneezing occurs with upper respiratory infections, foreign bodies, allergies, etc. In small dogs, we will also see dogs do a “reverse” sneeze. This can be caused by post nasal drip.
When a small dog stops and gasp for breath during activity or excitement, the first thing that comes to mind is collapsing trachea. These pets are fine in every other aspect and the episodes are often short lived. Conservative treatment would include minimize strenuous play and excitement, offer room temperature water, and use harnesses instead of collars.
However, it is very important to have your veterinarian do a full physical examination to rule out other underlying issues such as heart disease or lung disease.
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