It’s never easy to see your beloved pet choke after they’ve had a drink of water. You might be surprised that this occurrence can have several causes ranging from minor inconveniences to severe medical conditions. These include genetic conditions like hypoplastic trachea and infectious diseases like kennel cough, fast drinking, etc.
This blog will carefully unpack why dogs may choke post-drink and offer insights on when you should seek veterinary help.
Dive in – and let our guide help ensure every sip is safe for your furry friend!
- Dogs may choke after drinking water for various reasons, including genetic conditions like hypoplastic trachea and infectious diseases like kennel cough.
- Fast drinking or excessive excitement can cause dogs to inhale water or debris into their windpipe, leading to choking episodes.
- Tracheal abnormalities, such as a misshapen or collapsed trachea, can also contribute to dogs choking after drinking water.
- Proper hydration techniques, separating infected dogs (for kennel cough), and considering medical interventions for tracheal abnormalities are essential in managing and preventing choking incidents.
Possible Reasons for Dogs Choking After Drinking Water
Dogs may choke after drinking water for various reasons, including hypoplastic trachea. This genetic condition affects the thickness of their windpipe, and kennel cough, an infectious respiratory disease commonly spread in places with multiple dogs.
Hypoplastic trachea (genetic condition)
If you’ve noticed your dog choking after drinking water, a possible cause could be hypoplastic trachea. This is a genetic condition where the dog’s windpipe or ‘trachea’ is narrower than it should be.
Breeds like Bulldogs and Yorkies are more likely to have this condition due to their distinct body structures. The reduced size of the trachea makes it difficult for dogs to swallow large amounts of water at once, leading them to choke.
Especially in an eager or anxious state, they may drink too quickly, which can aggravate the issue further, as mentioned in our important facts section above.
If you suspect your pet might have hypoplastic trachea, consult your vet, who will run necessary tests and suggest appropriate treatment options.
Kennel cough (infectious canine tracheobronchitis)
Kennel cough, also known as infectious canine tracheobronchitis, is one of the possible reasons why your dog might choke after drinking water.
It is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can be contracted in places where dogs are close to each other, such as kennels or dog parks.
This condition can cause a persistent dry cough, worsening after drinking water. While kennel cough is usually not severe and often resolves on its own within a few weeks, it can lead to discomfort and occasional choking episodes for your furry friend.
If you suspect your dog has kennel cough or if they continue to choke after drinking water, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
Causes Related to Water and Windpipe
Water or debris in the windpipe can cause a dog to gag and potentially choke after drinking water.
Water or debris in the windpipe
One possible reason why your dog might choke after drinking water is if water or debris gets into their windpipe. When dogs drink too fast, they can accidentally inhale some of the liquid, causing it to go down the wrong pipe and leading to choking.
This can be particularly common in dogs overly excited or gulp down large amounts of water at once. Small objects or debris in their water bowl could also get lodged in their windpipe, triggering a choking episode.
It’s essential to monitor your dog’s drinking habits and ensure they are swallowing enough amounts of water quickly to prevent this issue from occurring.
Gagging is another possible cause of dogs choking after drinking water. Sometimes, when dogs drink too fast or eagerly, they may accidentally inhale some water along with the air.
This can lead to gagging as their body tries to clear the excess fluid from their windpipe and throat.
Certain medical conditions, such as an obstruction in the throat or esophagus, can also cause dogs to gag after drinking water.
It’s essential to monitor your dog’s drinking habits and ensure they are not gulping down large amounts of water at once, as this can increase the likelihood of gagging episodes.
If your dog frequently gags after drinking water, it is best to consult a veterinarian who can evaluate its overall health and provide appropriate guidance.
Other Health Issues
Other health issues that may cause a dog to choke after drinking water include misshapen and collapsed trachea.
A misshapen trachea can also contribute to dogs choking after drinking water. Some dogs are born with a genetic condition called hypoplastic trachea, where the windpipe is narrower than usual.
This abnormality can make it difficult for air and water to pass freely, causing coughing or choking episodes after drinking water. Additionally, certain breeds may be more prone to developing a collapsed trachea, which can also lead to similar symptoms.
Suppose your dog frequently chokes or coughs after drinking water, and you suspect a tracheal abnormality. In that case, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for further evaluation and guidance on managing this condition.
A collapsed trachea is one possible reason your dog may choke after drinking water. The trachea, also known as the windpipe, can weaken or lose its structural integrity over time, causing it to collapse and obstruct the airflow.
This condition is more common in smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers.
When the trachea collapses, it narrows the passage for air to enter and exit, leading to coughing or choking episodes, particularly after drinking water. This happens because when dogs swallow water, their muscles contract forcefully to push it down into their esophagus.
However, in dogs with a collapsed trachea, this process can put extra pressure on the weakened windpipe and trigger coughing fits.
If your dog frequently chokes or has repetitive coughing episodes after drinking water, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention. Your veterinarian can perform tests like X-rays or bronchoscopy to diagnose a collapsed trachea accurately. Treatment options may include medication to reduce inflammation or surgery if necessary.
Managing Choking Episodes
To manage choking episodes in dogs, it is crucial to separate infected dogs if kennel cough is the cause, practice proper hydration techniques to prevent fast drinking, and consider medical interventions for tracheal abnormalities.
Separating infected dogs (for kennel cough)
If your dog is experiencing coughing after drinking water, it could be a sign of kennel cough. Kennel cough, also known as infectious canine tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes dogs to experience a persistent, dry cough.
To prevent the spread of disease, it is crucial to separate infected dogs from healthy dogs. This can be achieved by isolating infected dogs and minimizing contact with other animals, both in households and at dog parks.
Suppose you notice your dog coughing after drinking water and suspect it may be due to a kennel cough. In that case, it’s best to consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and guidance on managing the condition.
Proper hydration techniques
Ensuring your dog stays adequately hydrated is essential for their health and well-being. However, it’s important to be mindful of how they drink water to prevent choking incidents.
One technique you can use is to provide your dog with a shallow bowl instead of a deep one. This helps minimize the water they can gulp down at once, reducing the risk of choking.
Additionally, you can use a slow-feed or puzzle bowl specifically designed to make dogs drink slowly.
Another helpful tip is to give your dog smaller amounts of water more frequently throughout the day rather than one large serving all at once.
Medical interventions for tracheal abnormalities
Medical interventions for tracheal abnormalities in dogs can help manage and alleviate the symptoms of choking after drinking water.
Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment options may include medications to reduce inflammation and relax the airways, such as bronchodilators or corticosteroids.
Surgery may sometimes be necessary to correct structural issues, like a collapsed or misshapen trachea. It’s crucial to consult a veterinarian specializing in respiratory health to determine the best course of action for your dog.
Early intervention and proper medical care can significantly improve your furry friend’s breathing and overall quality of life.
Dogs may choke after drinking water for various reasons, including fast drinking and medical conditions such as hypoplastic trachea or kennel cough.
It is imperative for all dog owners to take necessary measures to prevent choking incidents and maintain their beloved pet’s health through proper hydration techniques.
Seeking veterinary advice should be an absolute priority and not overlooked at any cost.