Collapsed trachea in dogs – Symptoms and treatment

Your dog is your best friend, wants to accompany you everywhere and give you affection, love and fun, so your life will never be the same after adopting one. That is why, at YourCatCareguide, we know that the most important thing is not only to give you all the care, care and food you need, but also your health should be the only priority for you.

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The dog is an animal resistant to most diseases, but at some point it can get to suffer some disease, so be aware of the signs. That is why we want to talk about the collapse of the trachea in dogs , their symptoms and treatment , so that they can detect this disease in time.

What is tracheal collapse?

It is a condition of congenital origin that small dogs usually suffer, especially Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Maltese and Pekingese, among others.

It consists of a deformation of the trachea , organ that connects the upper part of the respiratory system with the inferior one, and whose obstruction prevents that circulates sufficient amount of air . The trachea is composed of cartilages that deform, which means that the space to pass the air becomes smaller, occurring a collapse of the trachea.

The disease is progressive and degenerative , so the treatments, although they remarkably improve the quality of life of the dog, are not able to cure it. It is usually diagnosed between 6 and 7 years of age, and when it manifests before 12 months, indicates a more serious condition of evolution.

Depending on the stage or level of severity in which the collapse is found, it can be divided into four different degrees, where 1 is a minor deformation and 4 is the one where a minimal amount of air enters the airways.

Symptoms of collapsed trachea

  • Dry cough
  • Sickness
  • Dyspnea
  • To hate
  • Suffocation
  • Breathing noise

The cough usually manifests sporadically when the collapse of the trachea is minimal, usually under stress or strong emotions, and becomes constant when the condition worsens. Due to its characteristics, it is possible to confuse it with kennel cough , although when accompanied by other symptoms can be dismissed easily.

As the collapse of the trachea worsens over time , which prevents the animal from receiving the amount of oxygen it needs, it is common to develop other diseases, such as bronchitis , tracheitis, or even pulmonary hypertension, which in the long run can lead to in heart failure.

How is the diagnosis made?

Only the veterinarian is able to determine if your puppy suffers collapsed trachea or if it is one of the most common respiratory diseases in dogs. The most common is to perform an x-ray , in which the condition of the trachea and the rest of the respiratory system can be examined.

In addition, this can be complemented with a fluoroscopic analysis that allows to study the behavior of the routes during the breathing process. It is also possible that the specialist recommends a tracheobronchoscopy in order to better observe the state in which the cartilages are found.

What is the treatment?

When it comes to the first three degrees of collapse of the trachea, treatment with drugs is chosen, whereas in grade 4 only surgical intervention is useful:

  • Regarding the medications , bronchodilators are recommended to encourage breathing, antibiotics, if there is an infection, as well as the use of corticosteroids and, if a sedative is necessary, to reduce anxiety, since nervousness only stimulates even more coughing and makes breathing difficult. All these medicines, as well as their doses, must be prescribed by a veterinarian. The goal of the medications is to reduce the effect of the symptoms and improve the quality of life of the dog, although they are not able to cure the condition.
  • The surgery is recommended only when the dog comes to grade 4 of the disease, considered the worst. However, not all patients can be sent for surgery, it depends on each case whether this is a valid option or not. Surgical intervention attempts to reconstruct the shape of the trachea, and it may even be possible to use a prosthesis or endotracheal implants to improve respiratory function.

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In addition to following the treatment indicated by the specialist, we give you some advice that will help you provide a better quality of life to your furry friend:

  • Protect your puppy from temperatures that are too high or too cold, as well as from contaminated spaces that can affect your lungs, such as smoke, dust, strong odors, and so on.
  • Control your diet to keep you at a healthy weight, as an obese dog has more difficulty breathing.
  • Avoid putting on the typical dog collars , as they just press your neck when you want to pull it. Wear a harness, it will be much more comfortable and healthy for him.
  • Keep your vaccinations up to date to prevent canine cough.
  • Do not make major changes in the dog’s routine , as they could stress you and this would affect your breathing.
  • Do not try to get him to perform drills because it is very common for dogs with tracheal collapse to prefer to be quiet.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles like the collapse of trachea in dogs – Symptoms and treatment , we recommend you to come into our section of Respiratory .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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