Dogs also face a lot of health issues just like we humans do. One of the very common diseases among these is the difficulty in swallowing. We can also call it Swallowing Difficulties in Dogs. You will find sometimes your dog really faces issues in taking the food from the mouth to the stomach. This is where it begins. This disease is called dysphagia among dogs. This generally occurs due to inflammation, some neurological conditions, or muscular issues. Apart from this, many reasons could also be behind this problem faced by your pet.
Though this is not a big deal if it happens for some time and this can be treated as well, if this goes for a longer time, it can lead to choking. It is really important to find the issue on time and treat it. Let’s read more about the symptoms, causes, and diagnosis of this disease. Also, you can find more about the health of your dog and dog hiccuping and swallowing in the article below.
Symptoms of Swallowing Difficulties
As mentioned above, it is really important to observe the symptoms on time so that the right treatment could be given to your pet. Also, there are different phases of eating and swallowing the food in which your dog might be facing this issue. This includes the oral swallowing difficulty where the dog faces issues in the first stage of swallowing. Another one is Oropharyngeal Dysphagia where the dog faces issues at the pharyngeal stage of swallowing and there are two other stages as well. Below are some of the general symptoms to find out if your dog is facing any kind of swallowing difficulty or not.
- Though dogs usually drool when they are hungry or they see food, in case your pet is drooling too much or frequently, this can be a symptom. In case you observe any such drooling issue, do take your pet to the vet at least once for consultancy.
- In case your dog seems well from the outside but is retching again and again, which means vomiting, then this might be again a symptom of dysphagia.
- Coughing is also one of the majorly seen symptoms. If your dog is coughing too much, you must rush to the vet at least once.
- There are other symptoms like Ravenous appetite, aspiration, gagging, etc., which are really crucial and one needs to be careful and consult a vet if you observe any of these in your dog.
Causes of Swallowing Difficulties
Reasons behind dogs facing swallowing difficulties differ from dog to dog. Some dogs have neurological issues, while others face the problem of weak muscles. These swallowing issues are the results caused by a lot of things and you will find some of them below.
- In case your dog has really large lymph nodes, then it is most likely that this one is going to face the swallowing issue.
- Dental pain can also be one of the major issues in swallowing. Your dog will not only be able to chew your food and swallowing is also going to be a problem.
- Cyst in the mouth is one of the most common issues that dogs face leading to oral dysphagia. This usually happens under the tongue and hence leads to a lot of pain in swallowing the food.
- There can also be serious issues like tumor or toxoplasma behind the swallowing issues that your dog faces. In case there is any such problem, then only the vet can help you with the right treatment.
Diagnosis of the issue
Identifying the exact phase of dysphagia is not that difficult. Different symptoms tell you where the actual problem is. The vet also diagnoses the issue by asking you for the symptoms that your pet has.
Let’s say your pet is facing an issue in the oral phase, then you will find the symptoms like remaining food in the mouth of dogs. However, if you see that your dog is gagging or retching a lot, then the issue is with the second stage, which is the bolus or pharynx area. This is how the issue is diagnosed.
Swallowing is a major concern for dogs as well as dog owners. If you detect these symptoms, you should reach out to a veterinarian to consult and understand symptoms, causes, and diagnosis. You can easily cure this problem without being worried about anything.