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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19703
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My dog occasionally make a snorting choking, breath gasping

Resolved Question:

My dog occasionally make a snorting choking, breath gasping sound. This started about a week ago. It seems as if when this is happening she cannot breath well . She is a Yorkie -poodle bred. Plse help, I'm worried.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 8 years ago.

It sounds like your Yorkie has a collapsing trachea. This is very common in these small breed dogs and is caused by the tracheal rings not calcifying normally. This leads to a narrowing as the trachea enters the chest and then the turbulent air flow and snorting, honking and rattling sounds. The decreased air flow leads to gasping and anxiety. Treatment for this is usually an anti-tussive medication like Butorphanol or Hycodan. Limiting excitation also helps. If the dog is overweight, getting some weight off helps tremendously. Rarely, surgical stents are placed to open the trachea and allow normal air flow. A radiograph and response to medications will determine if surgery is needed.

Other possible causes would be an upper airway disease like laryngeal paralysis where the vocal folds don't move normally. Heart disease can also cause similar signs but often it's coughing and exercise intolerance mainly.

I hope this helps, best of luck.

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