Diagnosis and Treatment for Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

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If you want to see an example of tracheal collapse in dogs, look no further. This video shows a great example. Listen to the noise!

The diagnosis of tracheal collapse in dogs is very simple and straightforward. As you can see from the radiograph below, the red arrow points to the area that is collapsing. This collapse of the trachea makes it difficult for dogs to move enough air to feel comfortable.

Collapsed trachea is a common cause of airway obstruction in dogs and occurs when the tracheal rings begin to collapse.

This is usually either a congenital anomaly or occurs as an effect of aging and weakening tissues. As air is squeezed through a collapsed trachea, a characteristic “honking” cough occurs.

Tracheal collapse is most often treated with bronchodilators, corticosteroids, cough suppressants, and/or antibiotics.

If this type of management fails, or if severe signs or symptoms arise, surgery is recommended.

The current treatment of choice is an application of prosthetic rings to the outside of the trachea.

The overall success rate of this type of surgery is approximately 75-85%.

Owners can relieve symptoms of the collapsed trachea by keeping their dog at a healthy weight, switching from a collar to a harness, and avoiding respiratory irritants.

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