Do dogs have Adam’s apples? An Adam’s apple is a small lump or swelling on the neck, shaped like an apple. All adult dogs have Adam’s apples, but they’re not always easy to see. Only boy dogs have visible Adam’s apples, and they are more obvious in some breeds than others. You might easily see a Labrador’s Adam’s apple for example, but have to search to find one on a Curly Coated Retriever. Today we’ll help you to decide whether the lump on your dog’s neck is actually an Adam’s apple, and share how to find your dog’s Adam’s apple if it’s hidden.
Do Dogs Have Adam’s Apples?
Have you noticed a lump in the middle of your dog’s neck? Seeing even a small swelling can put you on alert to potential health problems. But if the lump is straight down from the dog’s chin, it’s probably his Adam’s apple.
What is an Adam’s Apple?
The Adam’s apple, also known as the laryngeal prominence, is the lump usually detected in front of the throat. In both humans and dogs like Labradors, it’s made up of thyroid cartilage that wraps around the front of the larynx and protects it from harm.
When boys develop a larger larynx during puberty, it creates a bump at the front of the throat and causes their voices to become lower as their testosterone levels increase. Men have more bones in their necks. As they grow, their vocal cords lengthen, and their voices deepen. Women also have Adam’s apples, but they’re hardly perceptible, whereas, in men, they’re very noticeable.
Do Female Dogs Have Adam’s Apples?
You might think a female dog doesn’t have an Adam’s apple because it’s not visible. However, like males, girl dogs also have Adam’s apples, it’s just not nearly as prominent.
Why Do Dogs Have Adam’s Apples?
The primary function of the Adam’s apple is protection. It keeps the voice box and vocal cords, which lie immediately behind it, from injury. As puppies grow, they experience physical changes, including growth in the larynx or voice box. The result of this enlargement causes the dog’s bark to deepen. Male dogs with a deep, resonant bark signify a prominent larynx and large Adam’s apple.
Why Don’t You See a Dog’s Adam’s Apple?
If you’ve never noticed your dog’s Adam’s apple, it may be because it’s small in size. A dog’s anatomy is such that their Adam’s apple doesn’t protrude and isn’t as noticeable in a male dog as it is in a human male. However, there’s another reason you might not be able to see it, and that’s as simple as your dog’s hair covers it. This is especially true if your pup has long, thick fur.
Unless you’re looking for it or feel it accidentally while petting your dog, their Adam’s apple may go undetected.
How to Find a Dog’s Adam’s Apple
If you want to locate your dog’s Adam’s apple, apply mild pressure using your forefinger and thumb from the front of the neck below the chin. Once you feel the firm cartilage in the middle of his neck, you’ve found it. It’s important to use only gentle pressure because it will be uncomfortable for the dog and could make him cough.
Is it an Adam’s Apple or a Lump?
If you’ve located a lump in your dog’s throat and are unsure if it’s their Adam’s apple or something more nefarious, it’s best to take them to the vet. Dogs can develop lumps in their throat, but luckily tumors are pretty uncommon, and not all tumors are cancerous. Lipomas are common benign tumors in dogs, which present as movable masses beneath the skin.
If you notice that your dog is in pain when you touch the lump, the lump has changed, or there have been alterations in their behavior, including weakness, change in their bark, lethargy, or vomiting after eating, he needs to see the vet right away.
Can Dogs Get Laryngitis?
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx that also affects dogs. It’s caused by an upper respiratory tract infection, inhaling dust, smoke, or other irritants, or too much barking. Laryngitis can also accompany conditions such as tracheobronchitis and distemper.
Brachycephalic breeds and obese dogs are particularly at risk of developing laryngitis from excessive panting due to overexcitement or overheating.
A cough is usually the first noticeable sign, but gagging, bad breath, and difficulty breathing or swallowing are other symptoms. Most mild cases resolve quickly, and the sooner your dog sees the vet for treatment, the better the outcome.
Do Cats Have Adam’s Apples?
Yes. Like humans and dogs, cats also have Adam’s apples. The larynx at the top of a cat’s windpipe is a hard structure that tends to be larger and more pronounced in males. It may be hard to detect in long-haired cat breeds, but it’s the part of the cat’s throat making the noise when he meows.
Do Dogs Have Adam’s Apples?
Dogs have Adam’s apples—even females. Although you may not notice it, especially if your dog has a lot of fur, you can probably feel it if you gently examine their throat with your fingers.
Have you located your dog’s Adam’s apple? Let us know in the comments.
Learn More About Labrador Anatomy
- Fitzpatrick et al. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Adam’s Apple.” National Library of Medicine, 2022
- Subramanian et al. “Cutaneous lipoma in dogs.” Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies, 2020
- Ramirez et al. “Cartilaginous Tumors of the Larynx and Trachea in the Dog: Literature Review and 10 Additional Cases (1995 – 2014).” Veterinary Pathology, 2015
- Nieves et al. “Males have larger skeletal size and bone mass than females, despite comparable body size.” PubMed, 2004
- “Laryngitis in Dogs.” Merck Veterinary Manual
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website