17 year old long haired doxy has deveoped a cough when she drinks. She is never out of her own yard and no other dogs are around her. I thought maybe kennel cough bu she only coughs when she drinks and then not everytime. Any ideas?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: >12
Type of Animal: Long haired Doxy mix
Name of Animal: Heidi
nothing don't know what to try.
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This coughing when trying to drink may be related to a collapsing trachea. It is something we do see when a dog's trachea is narrowed or collapsing. Additionally swollen lymph nodes or growths might lead to narrowing of the trachea. As the water is drank, the dog feels like they are choking and coughs to clear their throat which is why it occurs when they are drinking.
There are a few things that might help the situation if it is a collapsing trachea. Raising the water bowl to allow the dog to drink without having to lower her head will help keep the trachea from collapsing. Using a water bottles such as small pocket pets use can achieve the same results. See one here:
Additionally, you can supply your dog's water needs by adding water to her food and supplying water in solid form (ice). Many dogs love chomping on ice cubes rather than drinking water. These may provide a solution to the coughing while drinking.
However, since this is a new behavior and your dog is elderly, I strongly suggest you have her seen for an elderly check up and have your vet check for growths, swollen lymph nodes, and heart and lung issues.
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Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.
the coughing wouldn't happen when she eats if it was a collapsing trechia? Heidi has several growths very small that her vet is watching thay haven't grown in over a year. She had a small stroke when she was 14 that caused her to slightly drag her left hind leg. (she thought she was still a puppy and could do everything our addopted boxer could do. She still tries to keep up. Zoe is 7) She had a check up in March and other than watching the bumps, that ruth says coulld be calsium, and arthuritis she is pretty healthy. Heidi HATES the vet and gets very upset when we pull up to her office. I don't want to put added stress on Heidi after all she is old.
CustomerEating doesn't have the same sensation of choking as drinking triggers, so it wouldn't have the same effect. If you think going to the vet would stress her out, consider a mobile vet. You can find one here:http://www.vetlocator.com
Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Hi,I'm just following up on our conversation about Heidi. How is everything going?Jane Lefler
As I said she had a check up in march and at that time she coughed once in a while but has that reverse sneezing thing going on. Her vet said becouse of the type of dag she is that reverse sneezing is quite common when she getts excited or anxious. She wasn't concerned about the coughing then and her return call yesterday she isn't worried about it. I guess I am the only one it bothers
XXXXXXXXX,If it is as I suspected related to collapsing trachea or narrowed trachea, it usually isn't that much of a problem even though it has the potential to be serious. Most dogs live normal lifetimes with the problem. I would raise the water dish so she doesn't have to lower her head or give ice to supply her water needs. That should lessen the episodes. Additionally many owner report that rubbing the neck area during a coughing episode shortens the episodes.