Why Your Dog Coughs after Drinking Water

When your dog coughs after drinking water, it may not mean anything that is of concern, but it may also indicate he has a serious condition that will need treatment. The most common reason a dog coughs after drinking water is that he has developed either tracheal collapse or Kennel Cough. Both of these conditions will need proper treatment and care, so knowing the signs and symptoms will help you determine if your dog has developed a collapsed trachea or Kennel Cough.

Collapsed Trachea in Dogs

A collapsed trachea occurs when the cartilage of the trachea weakens, causing the trachea to lose proper support. A collapsed trachea is most likely to occur in smaller dog breeds, although it can develop in any breed. Common symptoms of a collapsed trachea include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low energy
  • Coughing
  • Gasping for air

If the condition is severe enough, the dog may have a blue tongue and gums that occurs with restricted breathing.

Risks of Collapsed Trachea

Most dogs that suffer from a collapsed trachea live restricted lives, and are unable to engage in normal physical activities. The restriction of air flow can put stress on the lungs and heart over time, causing heart or lung problems. There is also the risk of obesity in a dog who has a collapsed trachea because he will not be able to exercise and remain active while suffering from the condition.

Treatment of Collapsed Trachea

Depending on how advanced the condition is, treatments such as medication, cough suppressants, diet and restriction of activity can be used to treat a collapsed trachea. A dog suffering from tracheal collapse should no longer wear collars, only harnesses. In severe cases of tracheal collapse, surgery is required.

Kennel Cough in Dogs

Kennel cough is an illness presented in dogs that is characterized by an inflamed upper respiratory system. The condition is highly contagious and may be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Common symptoms of Kennel cough include:

  • A very distinct cough sounding like clearing of the throat
  • Coughing during exercise or activity
  • Coughing while drinking water
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

Symptoms of the condition most often occur weeks or months after being exposed to the infection.

Risks of Kennel Cough

If a dog develops severe kennel cough, pneumonia can follow quickly, which can lead to death and a lesser chance of a full recovery. If left untreated, severe kennel cough can continue to worsen, resulting in serious illness or death in the dog.

Treatment of Kennel Cough

Antibiotics may be prescribed to help calm symptoms and to prevent any other infections from occurring. Azithromycin may be given to treat the condition. If the condition is mild enough, treatment may not be needed and the symptoms will likely disappear on their own. If your dog has a good appetite and isn't acting abnormal, usually medication will not be used and the condition will leave on its own.

Coughing After Drinking Isn't Always Serious

Often a dog will cough after drinking water simply because he drank too fast or has something in his throat. While it is important to keep an eye on your dog if you notice any type of coughing, often coughing does not indicate any serious conditions or illnesses.