Reverse Sneezing -
This is called reverse sneezing because a dog will have spasms that cause him to quickly draw air into his nose as opposed to a sneeze in which air is quickly blown out.
When this happens, a dog will make a sort of snorting noise and extend his neck… and this can appear to be a cough, although it is not. The exact cause of this is unknown, however it can become worse if a dog is inhaling certain substances such as perfumes, rug cleaners, etc.
Normally, this does not last for a long time and it does not harm a dog. With random cases, medication will not be prescribed.
If a Chihuahua suffers from prolonged and frequent attacks, anti-inflammatories, antihistamines or decongestants may be prescribed. Typically, gently massaging a Chihuahua's neck (long, smooth strokes down the neck area) can calm down the spasms.
Just like us humans, dogs can have hiccups and some owners can mistake this for coughing. These can occur out of the blue or a Chihuahua may hiccup after eating too fast
or after exercise
Anything that causes a changing to the dog's breathing pattern can help to make them go away, therefore encouraging your Chihuahua to drink or to have a small snack can stop the spasm.
A Goose-like Honking Noise | Coughing and Wheezing
If your Chihuahua is making noises that can be described as a honking sound, this can point to Collapsed Trachea. The dog may also appear to gag, struggling to breath and making a wheezing sound as if the he is having trouble with the airway.
This is a somewhat serious condition that many toy breed dogs are susceptible to. The windpipe of a dog is made up of rings of cartilage. If one or more of those rings are damaged, they can collapse inward and cause an obstruction in the windpipe.
This causes a Chihuahua to have difficulty breathing at which time the puppy or dog will make coughing noises that sound similar to a honking.
The Chihuahua is a breed that is prone to this issue. For some, it is a genetic issue that causes those rings to be weaker than they should be, which makes them more prone to this type of injury.
For other Chihuahuas, even if there is no genetic weakness to the cartilage, injury can still cause this to happen.
The #1 reason that Chihuahuas suffer from this is due to being led on a leash that is connected to a dog collar. When a Chi wears just a collar and is walked on leash, all pressure and strain is put on the very fragile neck of this tiny toy sized dog.
It does not take a lot for that pressure to crush a tracheal ring.
The main goal will be to allow the ring(s) to heal. This is done with the use of cough suppressants, bronchodilators and corticosteroids (to control swelling). In many cases, 2 weeks are given to see if this treatment works well enough. If not, surgery may need to be performed.
Roughly 70% of dogs recuperate well enough to not need surgery, yet will need to have ongoing care such as keeping weight at a healthy level (being overweight
contributes to problems) and wearing a harness and never a collar as mentioned above.