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Collapsing Trachea In Dogs – Symptoms & Treatment

Collapsing Trachea In Dogs

Collapsing trachea is condition in dogs where the trachea collapses because of the trachea not having enough cellular rings of cartilage. Trachea is the tube that connects the throat to the lungs. Small rings of cartilage present along the tracheal wall maintain the tube shape of the trachea. This causes respiratory distress and non-productive coughing without fever in dogs.

Symptoms Of Collapsing Trachea

  • Bluish Gums
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Eating More
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Fainting
  • Lack Of Appetite
  • Low Energy
  • Not Eating
  • Gagging
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Treatment Options For Collapsing Trachea

This disease of the windpipe is irreversible. X-rays, endoscopy, or bronchoscopy may be required to confirm the investigation. Your dog may survive for up to two years after being diagnosed with a collapsing trachea.

This disorder, if mild can be treated medically also. With surgery, the survival period may go up to 4 years and more. However, the affected dogs may experience mild coughs throughout.

Your vet may prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cough suppressants. Sedatives may be needed at times to reduce the conscious irritation from cough.

If your dog is found with concurrent liver disease, visit the doctor regularly for liver monitoring.

Home Remedies For Collapsing Trachea

As much as possible, try to keep your dog from smoke, dust, and any other allergens.

Feed your dog with non-fatty, low-carb diets. Weight reduction is the main handle to reduce the hardness of the symptoms.

Prevention Of Collapsing Trachea

If you find your dog experiencing on and off bouts of coughing while exercising, eating, or drinking , take him to the vet immediately, so the problem can be diagnosed early.

Affected Breeds Of Collapsing Trachea

Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Middle Age Dogs, Senior Dogs

Additional Facts For Collapsing Trachea

You cannot find a reason until a date to decipher the cause of the tracheal collapse. Alternatively, the only reason is a congenital disorder (defect at the time of birth due to genetic or hereditary problems). The genetic factor is suspected by experts to have involved in this disorder.

To be more precise, a dog will be affected by tracheal collapse due to the problems in its cells. Actually, there are three grades of Tracheal collapse classified. If the portion of the lumen that holds the trachea is reduced by 25%, then it falls under grade one.

If it is reduced by 50%, then it is Grade two Collapsing Trachea and it develops into slightly flattened cartilage. For Grade Three, the lumen is reduced by 75% and the cartilage is almost fully flat. In Grade Four Collapsing Trachea, the lumen is entirely shrunken and the cartilage is flat.

This disorder is found most frequently in middle-aged dogs and senior dogs between 4 to 14 years of age. However, younger dogs are also not spared from this genetic disorder.

When To See A Vet

Continuous craggy dry cough or 'goose honk’ cough is the visible major symptom. Sometimes congestive heart failure may be overtaken as collapsing trachea as both exhibit the same symptoms. If you notice this symptom and are even one percent doubtful, take him to the vet for further investigation.

Food Suggestions For Collapsing Trachea

Liquified chicken with a little broth

In warm chicken broth, Soak the usual food into a warm mash and add some baby food.

Feed cooked skinless chicken breast and quartered potatoes with no added spices or salt

Scrambled eggs mashed with boiled rice


Unfortunately, there is no proper cure and treatment for collapsing trachea in dogs. Hence, it is indispensable to sincerely carry forth the treatments recommended by the vet and keep an eye on your dog's condition.

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