None of us like when our pets aren't feeling well, so it's important to have an understanding of the kinds of problems and illnesses that can occur for them, as well as how to address those issues!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. What Is A Collapsed Trachea In Dogs?
2. How Do Collapsed Tracheas Happen?
3. What Breeds Are More Susceptible?
4. Symptoms Of Collapsed Trachea In Dogs
5. Diagnosing A Collapsed Trachea In Dogs
6. Collapsed Trachea Treatment
7. Dog Tracheal Collapse Home Treatment
8. CBD For Dogs
9. Top CBD Products
10. Collapsed Trachea In Dogs: The Bottom Line
Illnesses and injuries aren't fun, but the more knowledge you have, the easier it will be to get your pet the help they need.
A collapsed trachea is an issue that can happen in any dog, but there are some smaller breeds that can be more susceptible. Let's take a look into what this issue is, how it occurs and what you can do about it to help your canine companion feel better!
What Is A Collapsed Trachea In Dogs?
A collapsed trachea is often the root of airway obstructions in dogs. It's a condition that includes the progressive destruction of the trachea, typically leading to frequent coughing in dogs as well as problems with breathing.
In short, cartilage rings make up the trachea. They typically exist in the shape of the letter “C”, where cartilage makes up most of the shape, while a smaller amount includes a thin tissue of membrane.
If either of the substances that make up the trachea loses strength, the entire system can begin to flatten. As you can imagine, breathing through a flattened windpipe can become quite difficult.
How Do Collapsed Tracheas Happen?
Most of the time, tracheal collapse is thought of as a genetic condition, as it is more likely to occur in certain breeds. However, it can also just be due to wear and tear on the windpipe building up until the area has weakened. Over time, this results in a collapse of the rings in the trachea.
What Breeds Are More Susceptible?
There are some dogs that can be more likely to suffer from a collapsed trachea than others. Although any dog can experience this issue, a collapsed trachea in small dogs can be a problem that is more likely than with larger dogs.
Susceptible breeds for collapsed trachea include:
Because breeds like these are more likely to suffer from the issue, it can be thought that there is a genetic variable behind the problem. This is worth keeping in mind if you have one of these breeds, or are interested in adopting a dog that fits into any of them.
It's also worth keeping in mind that this is a situation that can happen in dogs of all ages, but those who are middle-aged or elderly are more prone to it. From about 5 years of age, dogs can become increasingly more likely to suffer from with issue.
Symptoms Of Collapsed Trachea In Dogs
The most obvious signs of collapsed trachea in dogs include coughing. If you notice that your dog suddenly experiencing a bout of coughing that is dry, or sounds like the honk of a goose, there's a good chance your dog is suffering from a collapsed trachea.
You may also notice the cough getting worse in these situations:
- When your dog is excited
- In weather that is humid or hot
- When in the presence of smoke or dust
- At night
- When there is pressure on the neck
- Right after consuming water or food
In some cases, the intense cough can also be combined with gums that have a little bit of blue coloring. Furthermore, the dog may have a harder time with exercise, resulting in distress due to the inability to breathe enough. If the issues continue without treatment, it can also result in secondary heart disease. This is because of the wear and tear that can result from the dog struggling to breathe correctly. As a result, it's a good idea to make sure that you get your dog checked out as soon as you notice a honking cough or any difficulty with breathing.
Diagnosing A Collapsed Trachea In Dogs
If you notice that your dog is having trouble breathing, or coughing in a way that sounds like a honk, make sure to get them to the vet as soon as possible. They will be able to conduct some tests and discover the source of the problem, allowing them to then find solutions for it.
The following are some tests your vet might conduct:
When the vet takes an x-ray of the area, a collapsed trachea will show up as a tracheal opening that has become more narrow. All this takes is a standard X-Ray, which can be taken rather quickly.
In some cases, the vet may only have to touch your dog's neck to get an idea of the source of the problem. By putting a slight amount of pressure on their trachea, the vet can see if your dog begins to cough or have difficulty breathing. If they do, further tests will be done.
In this test, the vet uses a tiny camera to check out the airways in your dog's throat. This can be a very accurate way to gather the information needed to make a collapsing trachea diagnosis. With an endoscopy, vets can also take biopsy samples for further analysis.
Unlike a standard x-ray, this is an x-ray that watches the dog's trachea as they breathe. This can be a great way to figure out why they are having difficulty with breathing.
This test is one that your vet can use to check on your dog's heart function. When they've been experiencing difficulty breathing for a while, it can start to affect the heart so it's a good idea to check and make sure everything is in good condition, without secondary problems.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is extremely important when dealing with a collapsed trachea in a dog. There are a variety of other illnesses and conditions that can display some of the same symptoms, so the vet needs to be able to find the correct cause and address it thoroughly.
Collapsed Trachea Treatment
Once your vet has determined that your dog is suffering from a collapsed trachea, they'll get to work on deciding how to treat a collapsed trachea in your dog.
While you're following the plan your vet creates, there are some rules that are key in aiding your pet in recovery.
One of these rules includes avoiding placing pressure on the windpipe. That means trading in any collars for harnesses, especially while you're walking your dog. This is much safer and keeps the pressure away from their neck, allowing it to heal more efficiently.
In addition, it's a good idea to consider the environment your dog is in. For the best possible healing, they need to avoid irritants as much as possible, like smoke and other substances that might irritate their windpipe or lungs. This irritation can result in further complications, making it harder for your pet to heal.
If you have a dog that is overweight, it's also worthwhile to consider a diet plan for your dog to gradually bring down their weight. The extra weight they are carrying can result in more pressure on the windpipe and other respiratory organs, which makes healing more difficult.
With all of these things in check, your dog will have an easier time in the recovery process. In addition to the above tips, your vet will guide you through the entire process for treatment for collapsed trachea in dogs, with specific regard for your dog's case.
When your dog has just a mild case of tracheal collapse, often the treatment is based on trying to stop the coughing so that the trachea can heal properly without irritation. Coughing has a tendency to lead to more coughing, which just makes the overall situation worse.
Consequently, the vet may prescribe these kinds of medications:
- Cough suppressants
On top of these, your vet may also prescribe some medications to help with keeping your dog calm, that way they can avoid irritation due to anxiety or excitement.
When the situation has become serious, your dog may need surgery for their tracheal collapse. In some cases, the vet may need to assist in supporting the trachea by inserting plastic rings into the area. This typically happens when the problem lies within the thoracic inlet.
If the problem is in the chest, then a stent may be required to keep the trachea open and allow for easier breathing. Often, the surgery needed for these kinds of issues can be rather serious, and may leave your dog with some serious complications.
If your dog is in need of surgery, it's very important to make sure you find a highly capable surgeon to do the job. Before you have to actually experience the issue, you may also want to make yourself familiar with the dog collapsed trachea surgery cost.
Dog Tracheal Collapse Home Treatment
It's also going to be likely that your pet will need some treatment at home. If the situation isn't serious, then a holistic vet may provide you with information on some methods you can use to help your dog to heal in a more natural way.
This might include some additions to their diet that are made to strengthen their cartilage, such as:
Acupuncture can also be a method used for decreasing issues with coughing. Keep in mind that there can be many aspects to treating a collapsing trachea in dogs, so it will be up to your vet to determine what to do in each unique case.
CBD For Dogs
If you've yet to hear about the benefits that CBD can provide for dogs, then now is your time to find out! CBD is a wonderful product that is helpful to just about any dog, whether they're suffering from an illness or not.
CBD is geared towards reducing inflammation all around the body, which means that pain is decreased and the symptoms of conditions and illnesses are lessened. Furthermore, it offers a mild calming effect that can help anxious dogs to feel more at ease. For dogs that are already healthy, it's able to help keep them feeling great!
CBD For A Collapsed Trachea
CBD isn't able to fix a collapsed trachea, but it can assist with the irritation that comes with it. In mild cases, CBD can help to soothe your dog, keeping them from getting too excited and even easing the need to cough a bit. This can be a useful way to limit the other medications your dog needs.
In more serious cases, it can ease the post-surgery pain your dog experiences so that they can heal a little more easily. Just make sure to check with your vet to make sure it will interact well with other medications!
Top CBD Products
When you're shopping for the ideal CBD products, there are a few things to consider. The first is to make sure you're getting high-quality, organic CBD products. Hemp plants can have a tendency to absorb any chemicals that might be in the ground around them, so the fewer chemicals, the better!
Secondly, consider what options your pet might be more likely to enjoy. For dogs, there are fantastic CBD treats out there that they're sure to love. In addition, CBD oils can be used for dogs as well as cats and horses and can be dosed out much more carefully.
CBD oil is great for those who want to have the most possible control over the dosage their pets get. Each container comes with a dropped that allows you to decide just how many drops to provide. This is especially great if you have smaller dogs or cats who only require very small doses. CBD oil for dogs also comes with a flavor that is pretty neutral, so if you have a pet that is extremely picky, this can be an easier option as you can easily mix it into their food. Due to the liquid form, it's also easy to just place a couple of drops into the mouth of your pet.
CBD TreatsFor dogs that are a bit less picky and happy to receive a treat at any time, the CBD dog treats are a simplified option. Innovet's organic hemp treats are a very easy way to give your pet the care they need without having to worry as much about the exact dosing. If you have a larger dog or aren't concerned about having control over each little drop, these treats are a fantastic choice. They include three flavors that all dogs are sure to enjoy and there are handy guides on each package that help you to determine the best amount for your pet.
Collapsed Trachea In Dogs: The Bottom Line
A collapsed trachea can be a worrisome condition, and none of us enjoy the suffering of our furry family members. Naturally, the ability to breathe is extremely important for all living beings, so it's worthwhile to know how to handle this situation!
While it can be frustrating to know that it's unlikely you'll be able to prevent it or notice any symptoms prior to the actual collapse beginning to occur. However, there are a few ways in which you can help to keep the issue from becoming more serious!
Things like maintaining a home with as few irritants as possible, as well as being aware of what collapsed trachea symptoms look like. Once you notice these symptoms, getting your pet to the vet as quickly as possible can help to avoid a situation in which they may need surgery.
Armed with this knowledge, you can do everything possible to keep your pet happy and healthy!
Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade
Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books and making salted caramel cookies.
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The Innovet Team
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