One of the reasons why we normally recommend that you stop your dog from barking excessively is to ensure that it does not become hoarse or lose its voice as a result of the behavior. Your dog may develop a temporary case of hoarseness as a result of excessive barking and excitement, but this condition typically does not last for very long. If your dog has not been barking loudly and excitedly for an extended period of time prior to the onset of hoarse sounds, there is a possibility that there is an underlying medical cause for the hoarse and raspy bark that your dog is producing.
Your dog, just like you, makes sounds with his larynx, such as barking, for example. Sounds that are hoarse or raspy and muffled are typically the result of damage or disease to the larynx. In this article, we will discuss some of the more common medical conditions that can cause your dog to have hoarse barking, as well as how to treat or prevent it.
The following are some of the known causes:
- Laryngeal trauma
- Laryngeal paralysis
- Poisoning and other forms of toxicity
The Reasons Behind Hoarseness in Dogs
If your dog has not spent the entire day in a barking fit but seems hoarse or raspy, you have reason to be concerned about its health. Your dog’s voice may become hoarse if he is suffering from one of several medical conditions that affect the larynx.
Laryngitis is an inflammation that affects the soft tissue and cartilage of the larynx, also known as the “voice box.” This region is located at the very top of the trachea. Inflammation can be brought on by an infection caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, as well as by inhaled allergens. Other symptoms that you should be on the lookout for include fever, bluish gums, increased heart rate, and coughing or gasping for air.
An injury to the dog’s neck could result in laryngeal trauma, which would cause your dog’s voice to become hoarse and labored. Injuries can be sustained if the neck is jerked or if the person is wearing a choke collar. Injuries and hoarse sounds can be the result of a perforation to the neck caused by an animal bite or by sharp foreign objects such as a bone or a small stick. You should seek immediate medical attention for your dog if you are aware of or have reason to suspect that he or she has suffered a traumatic injury.
Laryngeal paralysis is brought on when the nerves that control the muscles that hold and move the tissue of the larynx become weak and the cartilage of the larynx begins to collapse inward. It is not known what causes dogs to develop paretic nerves; however, an injury to the neck or the development of a mass (tumor) can injure or compress the nerves in the neck.
Irish Setters and Labrador Retrievers are more likely to be affected by laryngeal paralysis as they age, despite the fact that the condition can occur in any breed of dog at any age. Bouvier de Flandres, Siberian Huskies, Bull Terriers, and Dalmatians have an increased risk of developing congenital forms of laryngeal paralysis as well as having an earlier onset of the condition.
Poisoning and other forms of toxicity
Your dog may develop a hoarse voice or bark if he is exposed to toxins from certain plants or other items found around the house, including those found in the household. Plants like the Virginia Creeper, the Flamingo plant (Anthurium), and the American evergreen (Nephthytis) can be found growing wild in certain areas of the country, or they can be cultivated as houseplants. If either of these or any other plants are consumed by your dog, he runs the risk of becoming poisoned. Diarrhea, vomiting, excessive vocalization, or obstruction of the airway are some additional warning signs to look out for.
What to Do in the Event that your Dog has a Hoarse Voice
Visit your local veterinarian if you have any suspicions that your dog’s hoarse barking might be the result of a medical condition. Your veterinarian will ask you questions like how long you’ve had hoarseness and if there are any accompanying symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or conditions like recent trauma.
They will also ask if there are any accompanying signs. Your dog will be subjected to a physical examination, and your veterinarian will examine his or her larynx using an endoscope. If your dog is having severe difficulty breathing because of an obstruction in his airway, your veterinarian may insert a tracheotomy tube into his neck to stabilize his breathing until the problem can be resolved.
A dog that has moderate paralysis of the larynx can have its symptoms managed by your veterinarian using medications such as bronchodilators, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs that he or she prescribes. However, surgery will be necessary for the majority of dogs diagnosed with paralysis of the larynx.
Sutures are tied in the trachea during surgery in order to maintain an open passageway for airflow. In the time after surgery, you should refrain from giving your dog wet food and using neck collars. The likelihood of your dog aspirating increases when they eat food that contains gravies.
If you have reason to believe that your dog has consumed a plant that may have resulted in his having a hoarse voice, you should identify the plant and determine how much of it your dog may have consumed. It’s possible that poisonous plants have an unpleasant taste, which means your dog won’t eat very much of them before he gives up.
Before taking your dog to the veterinarian, you should first try to get him to drink some cool water by rinsing his mouth with it and encouraging him to do so. Bring a sample of the potentially harmful plant or substance to your veterinarian so they can examine it. If a significant amount of the plant or substance was consumed by your dog, your veterinarian will likely administer intravenous fluid therapy as a means of preventing dehydration and assisting in the elimination of the toxin. In addition, antihistamines and pain relievers may be administered to your dog in order to help alleviate the symptoms of the condition.
The following are some examples of home remedies that you could try:
Honey: Because honey naturally contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help soothe your dog’s throat and reduce inflammation. Honey is a great option to consider. It does this by forming a protective layer over the irritated tissues in the throat, which helps to reduce the likelihood of coughing.
Oral administration of honey can be accomplished by either incorporating it into the diet of the dog or providing it to the animal on its own. Honey, on the other hand, should not be given to diabetic or obese dogs because of the high level of sugar it contains. This is an important point to keep in mind.
You Should Get a New Collar for Your Dog: When you pull your dog around by the collar, it could result in your dog developing a hoarse bark, which would be a problem for you as the owner of the pet. Traditional collars pose a risk of injury to the neck of your dog if it pulls too strongly on the leash, which is a common scenario.
Because the dog’s neck is such a sensitive area, if you constantly jerk on the collar, you run the risk of causing permanent damage to the dog’s neck. The constant strain placed on a dog’s neck can even cause long-term health problems, such as the destruction of the surrounding tissue in the neck as well as the glands that produce saliva and thyroid hormones.
A chest harness, which will place very little strain, if any at all, on the dog’s neck, is one option for a safer alternative to neck collars.
Ensure Your Dog Barks Less: One more helpful piece of advice that can be used to treat your dog’s hoarse bark is to try to get your dog to bark significantly less frequently. If you are able to assist your dog in decreasing the frequency of its barking in this scenario, it will be possible for its larynx to recover more quickly.
Your dog’s voice box can become inflamed from chronic barking, which can make your dog’s hoarse bark even worse. This is because chronic barking tends to put a strain on the voice box. Because of this, it is a good idea to come up with preventative measures that will stop this problem from getting worse.
Slippery Elm: Because it is rich in mucilage, slippery elm can help coat and soothe the throat, thereby reducing inflammation and irritation. Additionally, it may help to lessen the severity of coughing and soothe the digestive tract. Dogs can have slippery elm in the form of a supplement, powder, or capsules mixed with water, or added to their food. Slippery elm can also be given to dogs directly. However, before giving your dog any new supplements, it is imperative that you discuss the matter with your dog’s regular veterinarian.
Marshmallow root: Marshmallow root contains mucilage, which has anti-inflammatory and throat-soothing properties and can help reduce inflammation. It also has the potential to assist in the recovery process of damaged tissues. Dogs can have marshmallow root in the form of tea, a supplement in powder or capsule form mixed with water, or added to their food. These forms of administration are all possible. Before administering it to your dog, however, it is imperative that you discuss it with your dog’s veterinarian, as is the case with any new dietary supplement.
Apply Warm Compress: Applying a warm compress to your dog’s neck can help increase blood flow to the affected area, which in turn promotes healing and reduces inflammation as well as pain. It may also help to break up any phlegm or mucus that is stuck in the throat, which will make it simpler for your dog to breathe. Warm compresses can be made by soaking a clean cloth in warm water, wringing it out, and then applying it to your dog’s neck in a gentle manner for a few minutes. Be careful not to scald your dog’s skin by heating the water to a temperature that is too high.