Can Dogs Damage Their Vocal Cords by Barking Too Much?

by Jane Meggitt Google
    Excessive barking is more than just annoying -- it can harm your dog's larynx.

    Excessive barking is more than just annoying -- it can harm your dog's larynx.

    George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    Your dog's incessant barking is more than just a nuisance. Over time, it can cause damage to his voice box, or larynx. If your noisy pal becomes hoarse, take him to the vet for an examination. Your vet must rule out other causes of canine hoarseness, such as kennel cough or throat cancer.


    While other triggers can cause laryngitis, such as respiratory tract infections, smoke or dust, constant barking can result in voice box inflammation. Brachycephalic barkers -- short-headed breeds like the boxer or Lhasa apso -- are particularly vulnerable. Besides hoarseness, symptoms include coughing and difficulty breathing and swallowing. Fluids accumulate and the larynx swells up. In severe cases, a dog might collapse and die.


    Your vet might prescribe steroids for swelling reduction, along with anti-inflammatory medication and cough suppressants. Not only do you need to keep your dog calm while he recuperates, you need to keep him quiet. That might be easier said than done, but keep him away from windows so he doesn't see people or activities that stimulate barking.

    Photo Credits

    • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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