What should I do if my dog has difficulty swallowing?

Normal swallowing in animals should be an easy task to do since most of them have lots of saliva in their mouth, which aids in the process. They have glands that functions to produce enough saliva to help them swallow smoothly and without any form of hassle. Under normal circumstances, these glands should produce enough saliva that can last a lifetime. Now when the animal, specifically the dog, can no longer produce enough saliva or is having a hard time to swallow due to pain, the best thing to do is seek medical assistance right away. You may never know it but maybe something very serious is happening to your pet.

The causes of difficult and painful swallowing can be broad and the experience of having this condition is not that pleasant. When humans face difficulty in swallowing, there seems to be so much discomfort. We can only imagine what it must feel for dogs whenever they have one. Problems related to swallowing can literally be a result of all sorts of discomfort and pain present in either the mouth or the throat area.

There are also other reasons that can cause pain and discomfort in swallowing among dogs. Among the various causes, the blockage of the windpipe or air passage due to the presence of a foreign or unwanted object is very common. This foreign object may cause the dog to swallow with much pain and difficulty because it can also lead to some degree of blockage to the dog’s oesophagus making it near impossible to breathe let alone swallow. The dog may also have growths of certain tumours in its oesophagus which is also equally dangerous.

The dog may also be suffering from neck paralysis, and too much straining in the gullet or oesophageal muscles. These muscles in the neck area stop working and go lame which can force the dog to swallow with difficulty. This is definitely not a normal occurrence in dogs. Hence, when something like this is suspected, the pet owner should carefully watch out for any suggestive signs.

With regard to the paralyses of the animal's neck and neck muscles, these can be a result of the following: poisoning, hormonal changes, trauma caused by a serious injury or accident and possibly infections. All these factors can can hinder the dog from performing properly. And unfortunately, one of the most basic and normal operation that dogs must perform per day for survival includes swallowing. Thus, it is also best to seek a second opinion from the vet if ever you have some doubts regarding your pet’s condition.

Lastly, pneumonia (specifically aspiration pneumonia) is said to be the most critical complication when it comes to having a difficulty in swallowing. If untreated, it is a deadly disease that tends to attack the lungs of the animal. This condition must be dealt with utmost care and caution because it drains the dog so much of his energy. Pneumonia can happen when the dog is eating. When food accidentally enters the air passage, it can cause blockage of the respiratory tract.


This pet health article is for reference only.

If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.