Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Collapsed Trachea in Small Dogs

A collapsing or collapsed trachea in a small dog is caused by a weakening in the rings of cartilage that hold the trachea open so that your dog can breath.  Some dogs are born with this weakened condition, others develop the condition with age. While the condition is not limited to small dogs, it is most common in small dogs.

The trachea in dogs, humans and most other mammals is the "tube" that runs from the nose and throat that carries air to and from the can also be called the windpipe.  When it is collapsing or collapsed, dogs make an unusual sound caused by what some call backwards coughing...a sound like a honk.

Many dogs have this condition occasionally or chronically and live normal healthy lives.  If your dog is "honking" often and over an extended period of time, please do see your veterinarian as he or she will teach you how to manage the condition and perhaps suggest medications that will open up the breathing.  Surgery is not often needed.

If the characteristic cough is just occasional, your dog should be fine, this is up to you to determine.

Here are a couple of things we do:

When I (Aspen) cough like this, my owner gently lifts my head and strokes under my neck...she didn't read about doing this anywhere, it's just something she did one day, and it helped.  Maybe it helped me relax, maybe it helped open the trachea, we don't know, it just worked...but it's just a gentle lift and very gentle stroking, nothing more.

DO NOT walk a dog using  a regular collar with this condition, use a harness.  In fact, do this anyway with a small dog as a collar could contribute to causing the problem.

Do more research on the condition online, there is quite a bit of information out there, and thank you for visiting, we hope we helped you learn a bit more about tracheal collapse and hope you find help with your dogs collapsed trachea.

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