Dog: Collapsing trachea

Narrowing of the trachea (windpipe) due to loss of rigidity from abnormal cartilage in the trachea. Most commonly seen in small breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles, Maltese and Chihuahuas. Genetic predisposition, congenital defects, allergic bronchitis, heart failure, obesity, trauma and tumors can all play a part in tracheal collapse. Clinical signs include coughing spasms, exercise intolerance, labored breathing and cyanosis. Once the collapse has occurred, coughing causes further irritation and inflammation which perpetuates more coughing. Excitement, eating, drinking, cigarette smoke or dust can provoke the coughing spasm. Tracheal collapse cannot be cured but medical management can greatly reduce the signs. Corticosteroids, bronchodilators, cough suppressors and antibiotics are used for medical treatment. Weight loss, using a harness instead of a collar and eliminating cigarette smoke can help manage the condition. Severe cases can be treated by surgically implanting artificial rings in the trachea to replace the defective cartilage.

Update version: 4/24/2014, © Copyright by
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