Collapsed Trachea In Dogs

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Tracheal collapse is caused by an anatomical defect in toy breeds, particularly the Yorkshire terrier but also the Chihuahua, Pomeranian and Toy Poodle. Rather than possessing its normal rigidity, the rings of the windpipe are prone to collapse. An affected dog coughs like a honking goose. Coughing is triggered by excitement or physical activity and is more likely to occur in overweight individuals or those suffering from respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis.

  • The condition is confirmed by our x-raying the windpipe and treatments vary from conservative to dramatic, depending upon the severity of the collapse. They include:
  • Weight loss back to normal weight
  • Elimination of pollutants such as cigarette smoke from the pet's environment
  • Behaviour training to reduce excited behaviour
  • Mild sedation
  • Bronchodilators, cough suppressants, corticosteroids and antibiotics
  • Drugs to suppress coughing and reduce secretions
  • Surgery to insert a tubular support for the collapsed windpipe. (This is only practical for the section of the windpipe in the neck, not for the section in the chest cavity.)

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