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Kristen McMahon
Kristen McMahon, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 182
Experience:  2001 VMD from University of Pennsylvania, 2007 Advanced Course in Veterinary Homeopathy
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What treatment can be done for a collapsed trachea in a Po

Customer Question

What treatment can be done for a collapsed trachea in a Pomeranian?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Kristen McMahon replied 6 years ago.

Kristen McMahon :

Hello, I'm one of the veterinarians here at Just Answer. I'd be happy to try and help you with George.

Kristen McMahon :

Is George a normal weight or is he a little on the heavy side?

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

We want to know what else we can do to help him as he is coughing continuously. He was diagnosed with a collapsed trachea approximately 2 and half years agp/

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

He is 15lbs.

Kristen McMahon :

Would you say 15# XXXXX XXXXX for him? Can you easily feel his ribs through his fur or do you have to push harder and rub his side to feel them?

Kristen McMahon :

The reason I ask is because dogs that are overweight have a much more difficult time with collapsing trachea.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

Vet says he is a little overweight but he is a large pom. - only maybe a couple of pounds.

Kristen McMahon :

For long term help a little bit of weight loss could be very helpful. What type of food do you feed?

Kristen McMahon :

Also is he actively coughing now? I can try to help you to get him to stop.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

He has vet dried food but with cooked chicken or liver. No canned food. We want short term immediate action as he is coughing continuously, day and night.

Kristen McMahon :

This can be difficult to stop, but here is what you can try. If you have a humidifier or vaporizer that might help. Humid air is less irritating than dry air. If you don't have one of these you can try turning on the hot water with the door shut to the bathroom. You can put him in the bathroom (not in contact with the water) and the steamy air might help.

Kristen McMahon :

Do you have any of the temaril p or tussigon at home right now and have you given any today?

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

Yes, he has been on the Temaril for the past 2 days as the Tussigon is failing to work. He is also on a tranquilizer prescribed by the vet, plus lasix.

Kristen McMahon :

Does he have a heart problem in addition to the collapsing trachea?

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

He has had 2 pills today, plus one at around 5 am this morning.

Kristen McMahon :

2 of the Temaril p or 2 of the Tussigon?

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

The Temaril superceded the Tussigon as they had stopped working. He does not have a heart problem. His lungs are clear. He had an xray on Thursday, but the trachea is very inflamed.

Kristen McMahon :

Sounds like he had the normal dose of Temaril-p. Do you have any honey? sometimes that can help. If you do I'd try to give him 1/2 teaspoon.

Kristen McMahon :

Some pharmacies carry Thayers slippery elm lozenges. This works for some dogs. Make sure that you don't get the sugar-free ones as dogs don't do well with artificial sweeteners.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

We have been giving him honey for this condition for the past 6 months. What we want to know is what we can do to help him, is this a case where if the Temaril does not appear to be working by Monday, that we should put him down? This is worse case scenario but we cannot let him just cough all the time as he is suffering.

Kristen McMahon :

If you want all of the options there is a surgery.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

But I heard that it is not that successful.

Kristen McMahon :

It is a pretty invasive surgery and most of my clients do not want that option. I did have one dog, a young dog, that had the surgery and it helped her, but not 100%.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

So what do you suggest that we do? You are the expert - if he is not responding to the pills by Monday, should we put him down?

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

If he responds and stops coughing continuously, will this just be a short term panacea or is there any way that this could get any better?

Kristen McMahon :

It is a quality of life issue. If he were my dog and nothing was working I would probably consider it. The only other thing I want to mention - just so I've told you everything about my experiences. I did have one Pomeranian that didn't respond to Tussigon, but she did well on Torbutrol.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

So what happened? Did your dog last some while before becoming immune to the drug and how long?

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

He is now on Temaril NOT Tussigon. Is Torbutrol better than the Temaril?

Kristen McMahon :

She was older, and also had some heart problems, but she was fine for almost a year. I did have to use a dose that was on the high end so she was a little sleepy at times. I'm not sure if that would work for George, but I did want to let you know about it.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

OK, what is your final suggestion here? If the Temaril is not working, should I ask for Torbutrol to try and if that doesn't work, we should consider putting him down? We can't bear to see and hear him suffer so would rather he was out of his misery if nothing is going to work.

Kristen McMahon :

You can certainly ask for the Torbutrol. Usually if it is going to work it does so right away. If nothing is working, it isn't the wrong decision to let George go.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

Do you think the Temaril should have worked right away too?

Kristen McMahon :

Not always for the temaril-p. It is really trial and error sometimes with these collapsing trachea dogs - as to what will work. But in my experience, the temaril -p can take a little longer than the narcotics that are used as cough suppressants.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

Thank you very much. We will see how he is on Monday - if not better will ask the vet for Torbutrol or something similar and if nothing is working, we will have to put him down. Very sad, he was a rescued dog 3 years ago and it has taken up to thelast 6 months for him to trust us and other people.

JACUSTOMER-ws12bzwm- :

Thanks for your help.

Kristen McMahon :

You are welcome. I'm so sorry about George, I wish that I had something that I was 100% sure would help him. The only last thing to try - if you have both the temaril-p and tussigon both at home. You could try giving them together. There shouldn't be any interaction.

Kristen McMahon :

Let me know if you ever need any more help with George. I know that this is a very difficult time so don't hessitate to contact me if you have any other questions.

Kristen McMahon :

I just wanted to check on George and make sure that he was fine overnight. Please let me know if you need anymore help.

Kristen McMahon :

Hello, I have been thinking about George and I just wanted to check in to see how things went on Monday. And if you need any other assistance just let me know - I'd be happy to help.