Why Your Dog Coughs When Drinking Water

My dog coughs and chokes when he drinks water: why?

Why does my dog choke after drinking water? What does this cough mean? This article should help you to find the answers.

Few sights are as hypnotic as watching a dog’s tongue curl as he laps water from his favorite dish. Like any of us, often our dogs drink too fast or they are briefly distracted, and a couple of drops go down the incorrect method. You’ve started seeing a troubling trend, however. It seems that each time your dog stops briefly for a bit of liquid drink, the action is followed right away by the noises of coughing and gagging.

What Causes Coughing in Dogs during or after Drinking a Water?

Non-health related reason: It is possible that dog might be drinking too rapidly and inhaling a few of the water causing coughing. Putting items such as tennis balls in the water bowl may assist slow he/she down, along with taking breaks from drinking then enabling your dog to come back and drink more a minute or two later on. It is also possible that yor dog is sticking his/her whole nose in the bowl while she consumes, causing her to inhale some and causing the coughing. Keeping the water level low (but always filled up and accessible) might assist keep dog from snorting it up.

Health related reason: If a dog coughs when drinking water or after that consistently, there may be more to it than quick or reckless swallowing can explain away. A minimum of three medical issues may be the reason a dog coughs after drinking water, all them including the trachea:

  • Kennel cough
  • Hypoplastic trachea
  • Collapsed trachea

Each of these conditions can affect any dog, however there are significant differences and differences that we can draw in between them to determine what course of action a veterinarian might take to reduce a dog’s suffering. Age, breed, size and associated symptoms are all substantial elements.

Tachea Function in Dogs

The trachea, or windpipe, is a tube made up of cartilage, muscle, and tissue, located in between the throat and the lungs. Through it, air passes from the nose or mouth into and from the lungs. It shares its entry point into the body with the esophagus. A small flap called the epiglottis closes when food or water goes into, leading it towards the gastrointestinal tract, and opens for breathing. When the trachea’s structural stability is jeopardized, so too is its performance.

Whether the problem is irritation and swelling throughout respiratory diseases, a fault present from a young age due to genetic irregularities, or one which establishes with advancing age, a weak trachea prevents dogs from getting the oxygen they need. Since dogs sweat hardly any, panting provides not just fresh air but also heat relief, making the trachea seriously essential during the warmer parts of the year or throughout intense workout.

Now, let’s further analyze those three factors a dog coughs after or even during drinking water.

1. Kennel Cough in Dogs

Also referred to as contagious canine tracheobronchitis, kennel cough in dogs is the least serious reason a dog coughs when/after drinking water. Kennel cough is basically the common cold for canines. Like any contagious disease, it spreads out most efficiently in locations where there are a number of dogs in close quarters. From the dog park to the groomer, and from boarding centers to vets’ offices, kennel cough can affect any breed of dog at any age.

The major sign of this mild breathing infection is a cough that sounds like a goose honking. The more the dog coughs, the more inflamed and irritated the trachea becomes. In a multi-pet household, a dog with kennel cough must be isolated from other dogs and their bowls cleaned and sanitized. Kennel cough tends to pass within a number of weeks, and any coughing with it.

2. Hypoplastic Trachea in Dogs

If a dog coughs after drinking water, especially if that dog is a young puppy, it could signal a more major health problem. A hypoplastic trachea is a hereditary abnormality. “Hypoplastic” means “underdeveloped,” and typically describes the rings of cartilage that offer the trachea its shape. The effect of this inherited condition is that the windpipe does not develop to its full size or width. This disorder mostly impacts puppies from short-muzzled types, technically referred to as “brachycephalic.”

Types most at danger for hypoplastic trachea consist of the Boston Terrier, English Bulldog and Pug. Symptoms depend on the degree to which the puppy’s respiratory tract is narrowed by the condition. These dogs are currently understood, as they age, to snore, snort or breathe more greatly; with a hypoplastic trachea, symptoms like these can begin showing up as early as five or 6 months of age. Extra symptoms to look out for in flat-faced pups consist of low energy, along with fast weight gain due to minimal ability to exercise.

By itself, a mild case, where the trachea’s diameter is not significantly affected, may pass totally unnoticed and undiagnosed. In some dogs, the narrow trachea can be a symptom of brachycephalic respiratory tract syndrome, where the abbreviated length of the dog’s skull causes other cranial abnormalities, such as smaller nostrils, which even more restrict a dog’s oxygen intake.

3. Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

Where proof of an underdeveloped trachea tends to occur rather early in life, symptoms of a collapsing trachea have a much later onset and tend to affect a different subset of dogs. This is a degenerative condition where the trachea loses structural stability with time. Envision slowly flattening a roll of bathroom tissue and you have a decent picture of what happens to the dog’s windpipe. As the air passage narrows, it becomes gradually harder for the dog to take in sufficient air.

Symptoms of a collapsing trachea have the tendency to appear in midlife or seniority, which for these long-lived lap dog types might be anywhere from the ages of 4-6 years or later on. Much like kennel cough and hypoplastic tracheas, the trademark of this disorder is that beeping cough, accompanied by a gagging noise. For lap dogs who have been energetic and perky throughout life, a loss of energy or getting tired after hardly any effort might be more disconcerting signs of a weakening trachea.

Anything with the word “collapse” or “collapsing” in it sounds dire, but in most cases, this is a very slowly establishing health issue. It is most often seen in Yorkshire Terriers, but it prevails throughout a variety of small and toy dog types. In addition to Yorkies, tracheal collapse can likewise affect Chihuahuas, Lhasa Apsos, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles and Pugs.

How You Can Help to Your Dog?

So, if your dog coughs while or after drinking water, do not panic. Kennel cough tends to last only a few weeks. If the dog is a short-muzzled puppy or an older small or toy breed, it is worth consulting a vet about the possibility of a hypoplastic or collapsed trachea. Depending upon how narrow the pup’s windpipe is and the rate at which it is collapsing, afflicted dogs may be able to live out their normal lives with few changes.

Excess weight or obesity puts additional strain on oxygen intake, so it is vital to decrease that pressure by not overfeeding at-risk dogs. Dogs with leashes connected to their collars, specifically ones who yank on their leashes, might take advantage of changing to a harness to limit unintended wear and tear on their neck and throat. In cases where tracheal collapse is serious, management can be more costly and may involve either medication to manage symptoms or surgery to enhance the trachea.

Reyus Mammadli
Having engineering and medical education, in recent years actively engaged in the study of the development, reproduction of domestic animals. Special attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of diseases of Pets.
Pet Health
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