Does Your Dog Cough After Drinking Water? Here’s What it Means

It isn’t uncommon for dogs to cough after drinking water from time to time. After all, dogs can drink faster than what they can handle for pretty much the same reasons as humans, meaning that it is perfectly possible for them to suffer from water going down the wrong way. However, coughing after drinking water shouldn’t be more than an occasional thing for normal dogs, meaning that if a dog owner notices that their dog is always coughing after drinking water, they should see that as a sign for serious concern.

Why Is Your Dog Always Coughing After Drinking Water?

If a dog is always coughing after drinking water, the chances are good that something is wrong with its trachea, which some people might be more familiar with under the name of windpipe. Unfortunately, there are a number of potential explanations for what might be causing the problem, meaning that figuring out the exact nature of the problem is an important step in finding a solution.

First, it is possible that the dog has kennel cough, which is an infection of the upper respiratory tract. There isn’t a single cause so much as a number of potential culprits that can cause similar symptoms, meaning that it isn’t too inappropriate to compare kennel cough in dogs to the common cold in humans. This is particularly true because the infectious nature of kennel cough means that it spreads easiest when dogs are situated in close proximity to one another, whether because they are living in the same household or because they have come into contact with one another through a shared dog groomer. Generally speaking, dog owners won’t miss the signs of kennel cough because its single most common symptom is a cough that has been compared to the honking of a goose. Luckily, while the presence of kennel cough means that the dog should be kept away from other dogs for the duration of the disease, said duration shouldn’t be too long because most cases of kennel cough will clear up within a couple of weeks.

Second, it is possible that the dog has a hypoplastic trachea. Essentially, this means a trachea that is underdeveloped, which can be mild enough that it passes unnoticed or serious enough that it can have a notable impact on the dog’s daily life. There are a number of factors that could suggest that an underdeveloped trachea is to blame for the constant coughing. For example, if the dog is a young puppy, that could be a sign of this particular problem. Likewise, there are some breeds such as Pugs and English Bulldogs that are likelier to suffer from hypoplastic trachea than most other breeds. On top of this, it should be mentioned that dog owners might want to watch out for flat-faced puppies that are notably lower-energy than most of their counterparts, which could be a sign that they are being affected by an underdeveloped trachea as well.

Third, a trachea can lose structural integrity, thus making it more difficult for dogs to get enough air. Generally speaking, while a hypoplastic trachea should be showing up in dogs from a very young age, a tracheal collapse tends to be something that shows up in dogs that are either older or getting older, which is something that can see some variation from breed to breed. Regardless, dogs with tracheal collapse show similar signs to dogs with kennel cough as well as dogs with hypoplastic tracheas, meaning the very distinctive cough. Moreover, they could see a loss of energy as well as suffer from an increased chance of getting tired, which tend to be particularly noticeable in dogs that were once energetic. In most cases, tracheal collapse isn’t something that happens all at once but rather something that comes in gradually, meaning that dog owners will have time to do something about it.

What Can You Do About This?

If a dog doesn’t stop coughing even after a couple of weeks have passed, it could be a sign of something more serious than kennel cough. As a result, dog owners should bring them to the veterinarians so that they can get a proper diagnosis. In less severe cases, solutions might range from helping their dogs lose weight to switching their dogs from the use of leashes on collars to leashes on harnesses. Meanwhile, more serious cases can involve medication as well as surgical intervention.


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