Why Do Chihuahuas Make a Choking Noise? (Solved & Explained!)

Chihuahuas can make a choking noise for several reasons. This could be due to reverse sneezing or they’re choking on their favorite toy. But, it could also be a medical condition such as a collapsed trachea, pneumonia, kennel cough, heart disease or even allergies. Usually choking isn’t too serious, but you should watch the dog for signs of illness.

Chihuahuas tend to be excitable and overzealous dogs. They love their owners, are suspicious of strangers, don’t necessarily like other animals and adore their toys. All of these things can produce a choking noise in a Chihuahua which can be quite worrisome for their owners.

How Does Reverse Sneezing Sound Like Choking in a Chihuahua?

Sometimes, a Chihuahua’s choking can sound like the dog is making an attempt to inhale or breathe in a sneeze. The sound can also come out as hacking, snorting, gasping or honking. This often occurs because the precious pup is getting excited but it can also take place after running, pulling on its leash, eating or drinking.

Why Do Chihuahuas Have Difficulty Breathing?

The genetics and design of the nasal cavity is what causes Chihuahuas to experience difficulties with breathing. Their noses are very narrow which means very little air can travel in and out. When things get irritated or inflamed, the poor pup will start coughing, choking and reverse sneezing, along with a host of other strange noises.

This is why it’s incredibly crucial to pay attention to the Chihuahua when you notice it having respiratory issues. See what triggers allergies and what fragrances are abhorrent to the dog. If the dog has trouble breathing after running, it’s important to build up the dog’s tolerance to reduce respiratory struggles and fatigue.

What Else Causes a Chihuahua to Make a Choking Noise?

Aside from reverse sneezing or difficulties breathing, there are some other things that could cause a Chihuahua to make a choking noise. Anything like kennel cough, heart disease, allergies or pneumonia can create a sound of choking. But it could be due to particles in the air such as smoke or dust.

How Can a Chihuahua Catch Kennel Cough?

Chihuahuas can catch kennel cough from being around another dog that has it or from bacteria floating around in the air.  They can get it from sharing a toy with another dog infected with it. Animal shelters, boarding shelters and even overnight stays at the vet can bring it about. Anywhere there’s poor airflow and air quality, a Chihuahua is sure to develop kennel cough.

If the dog frequently coughs, wheezes and sneezes combined with lethargy, it’s important to call the vet right away.

How Do You Help a Chihuahua When They’re Choking?

There isn’t a whole lot you can do when a Chihuahua is choking. But, when you notice the dog cough, hack and wheeze in such a way as to sound like choking, it’s important to observe the associated behavior. If it’s a toy, remove it from the dog’s mouth.

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Also, you can hold the dog with one arm and gently lift up its chin with the free hand. This will open up all the air passageways and reduce the dog’s choking.

What Proactive Measures Are There to Prevent a Chihuahua from Choking?

It may be a good idea to keep an air purifier on hand and nearby the dog. This will ensure the environment remains clear of any potential danger to the Chihuahua. Also, make sure the dog doesn’t have toys with tiny parts that can get lodged in its mouth.

Are There Any Treatments or Medicines to Give Chihuahuas When They Choke?

Some Chihuahua’s respiratory issues respond well to tea tree essential oil. Just waving the bottle in front of their nose seems to do the trick. Do not use eucalyptus as this is toxic to dogs. Also, avoid using a diffuser or oil burner; it’s not good for dogs to inhale droplets of essential oils.

In the case of kennel cough, you can give a Chihuahua about a ½ tablet of Benadryl once or twice per day for a week. But you should first consult with your vet to ensure that Benadryl will be safe enough for the Chihuahua in question.

Can a Chihuahua Choking Sound Like a Goose Honking?

Yes, a choking sound from a Chihuahua can be very much akin to a goose honking. If this is a persistent thing, your dog might be experiencing a collapsed trachea.

What Is a Collapsed Trachea in Chihuahuas?

It’s very common for Chihuahuas to incur a collapsed trachea. This is because it’s easy for them to have their windpipe experience damage. It comprises a series of cartilage rings and, in Chihuahuas, they’re soft. This means anything from excessive barking to playing too rough with a toy can contribute to the dog having a collapsed trachea.

If the damage is bad enough, it can cut off the dog’s oxygen altogether. Obviously, this can be fatal if left untreated. In severe cases, sometimes surgery will be necessary.

How Do You Prevent a Collapsed Trachea in Chihuahuas?

There are several things you can do to help prevent, or at least stave off, a collapsed trachea in a Chihuahua. First, ensure you reduce overexcitement as much as possible so it doesn’t get overzealous and worked up. Next, you want to help the dog strengthen the muscles around its trachea, this will protect it from damage.

Also, make sure the dog’s collar isn’t too tight and monitor your dog with certain toys it tends to choke on. Plus, it’s a good idea to pay attention to how much and often the dog coughs, chokes and wheezes. If you notice an increased amount of this activity, call the vet ASAP!

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Regular checkups and examinations by a vet is the best way to catch a collapsed trachea before it starts. This means keeping a close eye on your precious fur baby and understanding all its nuances when it comes to choking sounds.