Has your dog been having trouble breathing, making strange respiratory noises, or exercising less than usual? Maybe her gums and tongue are turning blue from lack of oxygen. Maybe he has fainted or suddenly developed a "goose-honking" cough.
These may be signs of a condition called tracheal collapse. Tracheal collapse occurs when the tissues of the windpipe lose their rigidity, causing the c-shaped rings that give the airway its shape to collapse. As these rings collapse, the windpipe flattens, and mild to severe blockage of the airway occurs.
The condition is seen most commonly in small-breed dogs, such as the miniature poodle, Yorkshire terrier, Pomeranian and Chihuahua.
Although the cause of tracheal collapse is not well understood, some proposed factors include genetics, diet and neurologic problems.
Because tracheal stents and surgery have proven to have frequent complications and often do not completely correct the issue, surgery as a treatment method has fallen out of favor. Although that may change in the future, for now the condition is managed medically with cough suppressants, activity restriction and weight loss. If there are other underlying issues noted at the time of diagnosis, those are treated separately.
Medical therapies can provide relief and, in many cases, prolong the life of your dog. If your dog is showing signs of trouble breathing, give your local veterinarian a call or come see us at Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052