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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Healthcare Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in canine health and behavior. 20 years of experience with dogs
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Why does my dog choke and cough when he drinks water He is

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Why does my dog choke and cough when he drinks water? He is 16 years old.


What breed and weight is he?
How long is he doing this?

What does he eat?
Does he take any medication or have any known health issues?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He is a shizu/bichon and weighs 20 lbs. When he drinks he begins to cough and then choke and he spits up. He doesn't spit it all back up. He's been doing this about a year or so. He eats Kibbles & Bits and Purina Canned and I give him a canine asprin daily, a Nutri-Vet senior vitamin, aNutri-Vet bladder control tab and 1/4 t. glucosamine advanced joint liquid. He is over 16 years old. He eats well and doesn't choke on his food, he rarely vomits food. He walks every day and has at least one bowel movement daily. He has a bladder control problem at night and wears diapers but we do well in the daytime.

Dear friend,


I am sorry your baby is having trouble


The most common cause of this type of cough is irritation to the tracheal. While it could be a parasite infection or other infections the fact that it is ongoing, only occurs after drinking and the sound of the cough leads to one very clear diagnoses which is tracheal collapse.


Tracheal collapse is a condition in which the trachea partially collapses as a dog breathes, leading to tracheal irritation, coughing and sometimes secondary changes in the lungs or upper airways. It is most common in toy breed dogs but can occur in larger breeds at times. It is reported to be most common in Terriers, poodles, Chihuahuas, pugs and Pomeranian have been reported to be the breeds most commonly affected by this condition but it is reasonably common in all dogs including large breed dogs.


Sometimes a steroid will help with this condition.


Slow down his drinking by adding ice cubes to his bowl of water.

Due to his age he should be seen and checked for dental issues.

Please let me know how he is doing.


Best wishes for him,








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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I suspected that you would say something of this nature. I know his breed has dental problems and he has lost several teeth already. I will take him to the vet. I've put it off because of his age and fearing that our days with him are numbered. You know how that is. We don't want him to be 16. He's been such a good dog but we can see him going down hill pretty rapidly.

Dear friend,


I honestly feel your baby can be treated with a steroid and dental scaling.

He may have some swelling in his mouth that is interfering with his drinking and swallowing ability.

I have a dog that is older than him and has lost most of her teeth. But she does fine eating soft food.


I hope he can be helped and you two will have more good years.


Warmest best wishes,