Why Does My Dog ​​Cough After Drinking Water?

Why does my dog cough after drinking water

For dogs there is nothing better than a good bowl of fresh water to beat the heat, however, sometimes it can happen that after drinking water the dog coughs, but why does this happen? Today we tell you at Weepec the reasons why this happens.

You should know that if a dog coughs after drinking water, it is something relatively frequent and very normal. Do not be alarmed thinking that it could be something serious, since, if it is a normal cough, this can happen for 2 reasons, there was some irritant in the water that when you drink it causes the cough or the other cause, it may be that you have taken very quickly, a little water has gone badly and that will cause the cough reflex.

You may also be interested in Most Common Diseases in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

Now, you should know that although it is normal to cough from time to time, if the cough is constant, strong, noisy, and happens every time the dog drinks water, this might be a sign that something is off-base.

Do you want to know if your dog ​​cough after drinking water? Don’t miss the following Best Pets Lover article in which we will explain everything you need to know about Why does my dog ​​cough after drinking water?

Your dog just gags

Veterinarians around the world have received complaints such as “my dog ​​coughs after drinking water”, “my dog ​​vomits after drinking water” or “my dog ​​chokes on water”. However, if you complain that your dog gags after drinking water, the canine’s cough reflex has most likely been triggered.

This is an automatic reaction every time something passes the epiglottis it’s just a natural way the body uses to protect the lungs. An immediate contraction of the muscles will result in a cough, causing the affected dog to expel the offending substance. If it becomes a frequent occurrence, it may be necessary to train your dog how to take things in stride.

Easily aroused dogs tend to gobble down their food and water as if it were their last meal. The speed at which this food reaches the internal system gives rise to frequent coughs. To reduce the chances of this happening, have your furry calm down first before introducing him to food.

Debris or water in the dog’s trachea

When your pup coughs after taking a sip of water, your initial thought will be that something went down the wrong way – this is the more benign culprit, of course. However, a canine’s throat is quite complex, as the trachea is the main component consisting of rings of cartilage, muscle, and connective tissue. Moreover, the trachea is responsible for both the feeding and breathing of dogs.

When just breathing, a dog’s trachea is responsible for guiding air to and from the lungs, and through the mouth and nose. In contrast, when a dog ingests food, the epiglottis – a small flap of tissue – opens in the pathway to create a passageway into the dog’s digestive system. Thanks to this small flap of tissue, food and water particles do not reach the dog’s lungs. Similarly, in the case of humans, when we gobble up water at high speed, some of it goes down the wrong path. The same goes for dogs.

Your dog could be sneezing in reverse

In fact talking, a converse sniffle isn’t a hack. However, pet parents often mistake it for a cough. The sound is similar to a snort and is made when your dog’s larynx spasms and expels air as well. However, drinking or eating quickly is the culprit in this case.

Reverse sneezing is one of the common actions exhibited by canines, and even when it occurs frequently, and in quick succession, it shouldn’t cause any concern. What’s more, brachycephalic breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, are more susceptible to this condition.

Also, it’s best not to make assumptions about any of these short-nosed dog breeds, as many of them carry medical problems that other puppies don’t. Keep in mind that when the reverse sneeze occurs in a brachycephalic breed, it could be signaling a respiratory problem such as the collapse of the trachea, or even some degenerative conditions. Without a doubt, a veterinarian should be consulted for the correct diagnosis.

Your dog has kennel cough

Infection in a puppy’s bronchial tree and trachea is a compelling reason for a dog to cough after drinking some water – this is also called canine tracheobronchitis. This ailment is one of the highly infectious diseases among canines; dogs can easily pick it up from each other, or from surfaces and objects an infected puppy has been exposed to.

Kennel cough is a very apt name for the condition because it is widespread among dogs in kennels and is also common among dogs housed in large cages. Bordetella bronchiseptica is the main causative bacteria, but the Parainfluenza virus is the main viral agent. However, the canine coronavirus could also be responsible for less than ten percent of these health problems.

Speaking of manifestations, kennel cough presents with symptoms similar to those of tracheal collapse; the key is a cough that sounds like the quack of a goose. Pet parents in a multi-pet household should immediately isolate any dog ​​diagnosed with kennel cough: the sick puppy should have its water bowl and should do anything else away from other pets to avoid that they get infected. You can also help this sick dog with a dog water bottle to make sure he is always hydrated.

Additionally, once a dog with kennel cough ingests water, irritation or inflammation of the pup’s tracheobronchial tree will occur. As the water moves down your throat, it is likely to put more pressure on your already hypersensitive trachea. In normal situations, a dog without inflammation will swallow water without coughing, but inflammation of the trachea in a sick dog will cause the ordinary act of swallowing to put pressure on the adjacent trachea. That said, dogs suffering from tracheobronchitis may also cough after eating food.

It is also worth mentioning that there are several risks associated with kennel cough. Once the cough becomes severe in a puppy, it can be followed by pneumonia – this reduces the chances of recovery, and in extreme cases, can lead to death. Also, if severe kennel cough is not treated, it will never go away on its own but will continue to get worse, causing further discomfort to the sick dog. It does not take long to lead to something much more serious and, consequently, to death.

Regarding treatment, kennel cough can be controlled with antibiotics, which prevent other secondary infections, while calming the symptoms. Your vet may prescribe azithromycin for severe cases; however, mild cases may not require any treatment, as symptoms are likely to resolve without medication. And more importantly, when you notice that your furry friend continues to have a good appetite and is not behaving abnormally, medication may not be necessary.

Your dog is experiencing a tracheal collapse

The dog’s cough after drinking water may be the result of tracheal collapse. Although we have seen that different types of dogs suffer from this ailment, it is more common among brachycephalic breeds: they are more susceptible than others. It is broad among Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, and Toy Poodles.

Also, symptoms to watch out for in a dog with collapsed trachea is a honking cough, which sounds like this because air struggles to pass through a collapsed trachea, as the surrounding muscle and rings of the tracheal cartilage weaken. Also, the collapse of the trachea can be partial or complete and is a serious health complication, which is manageable – cough suppressants and steroids may suffice as treatment options.

However, some home remedies such as the correct diet and control of the level of daily activities can also work, but this depends on the stage of the collapse. The condition can also be completely cured through surgery, in which damaged rings of cartilage can be replaced with prosthetics. Harnesses are only recommended for dogs with tracheal collapse, as it is no longer safe for them to wear collars.

Related posts: Dog collars and dog harnesses

It is also vital to keep in mind that dogs with these types of conditions must lead a restricted life without regular physical activities, which involve effort. If the dog insists on being stressed, he may develop a lung or heart condition. This is because, as time passes, the heart and lungs come under more pressure as airflow is restricted. What’s more, obesity is another risk with canines that have a collapsed trachea, as the dog will be inactive while suffering from the ailment.

Your dog is experiencing a hypoplastic trachea

Canine cough after ingesting water can signify a more serious medical problem, especially in young puppies. There is this hereditary irregularity called hypoplastic windpipe. Hypoplastic refers to the rings of cartilage that are responsible for the shape of the trachea – the word also means underdeveloped. This inherited medical condition will prevent the trachea from developing to its expected width and size.

The hypoplastic trachea is also common among puppies of short-nosed dog breeds known as “brachycephalics.” The breeds that are most susceptible to the condition are the English Bulldog, Boston Terrier, and Pug. In addition, the condition also carries some symptoms, but it depends on how much the condition has narrowed the puppy’s airways. Also, as they get older, these puppies are expected to snort, snore, or resort to heavy breathing.

You may also be interested in 16 Symptoms Of Illness In Dogs

Additionally, puppies with the condition will begin to show symptoms at five to six months. Additionally, pups with a flat face will display symptoms such as low energy, accompanied by rapid weight gain as a result of inactivity.

The hypoplastic trachea can be mild, where there is no substantial effect on the diameter of the trachea – a dog can live with this undiagnosed and completely unnoticed. In many canines, one of the manifestations of brachycephalic airway syndrome can be the narrowing of the trachea – here, the shortened length of the pup’s skull engenders other cranial deformities, such as smaller nostrils, further restricting the oxygen intake of the puppy.

How do differentiate what is normal from what is dangerous? Well, as I indicated a few moments ago if the cough is very pronounced, constant, and happens every time you drink water, that, that is not normal. 

The causes of this type of ailment that manifests itself with a cough when drinking water, can be several and all are of care:

  • The tracheal collapse usually occurs in brachycephalic dogs, this is a serious medical complication that indicates that the trachea is collapsing, preventing, above all, the dog can breathe well.
  • Hypoplastic trachea usually affects puppies more and occurs due to a genetic anomaly in which the cartilage rings of the trachea do not fully develop, preventing air from entering the lungs correctly.
  • He suffers from respiratory diseases, such as Bordetella, a very contagious disease that can last up to a month and causes a lot of coughing at all times.

Final Thoughts

Although other affections can also be found such as inverted sneezes, which occur from drinking quickly, and speaking again of flat-nosed (brachycephalic) dogs, due to their short snout they can develop problems related to the trachea and problems breathing or drinking water.

In conclusion, you should know that if the cough is sporadic, does not always happen, and is usually isolated, it is probably nothing; but, if the dog coughs a lot, and it is constant, it is best to take it to a veterinary check-up.