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Pet insurance: Some symptoms seem scarier than they are

Posted on: January 24th, 2011 by

A dog with pet insurance displays odd pet health symptoms.

It seems like every month I’m typing a new symptom into search engines that my dog or cat has displayed. I try to stay on top of cat and dog health care so that I can speak confidently to the vet about what I observe.

There’s nothing better than breathing a sigh of relief when what I thought would surely result in a new dog insurance claim turns out to be nothing.

About once or twice a week, my 10-year-old Catahoula Leopard dog was snorting backwards, seemingly uncontrollably, for up to a minute at a time. I didn’t know if he was having an asthma attack, gasping for breath, choking, or trying to clear himself of post-nasal drip. It didn’t take much searching to find video of other dogs suffering from similar attacks, and find out that this phenomena is called “reverse sneezing,” or “paroxysmal respiration.”

The condition is called reverse sneezing because air is being rapidly pulled in through the nose, the opposite of a sneeze.

“Although it can be alarming to witness a dog having a reverse sneezing episode,” wrote Ernest Ward, DVM, “it is not a harmful condition and there are no ill effects.”

Of course, if a dog does display reverse sneezing too often for comfort, a veterinarian may test for nasal polyps, respiratory issues and collapsing trachea; tests that will likely be covered by pet health insurance, which is why it’s a good idea to ensure you have cat or dog insurance for your pet.

While Dr. Ward claims there is no exact known cause for reverse sneezing, “this problem seems to be exacerbated by allergies and environmental odors such as smoke, potpourri, and perfume.”

Should your pet display any symptoms you are not familliar with, seek the advice of your veterinarian, as Google Video and Pets Best Insurance blog posts should never be substituted for your veterinarian’s expert opinion.

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