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LennyDVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  30 years as owner of a mobile practice treating dogs, cats, horses and other pets.
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pomeranian: cough..swollen pharynx and tongue despite dex

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Ever seen pomeranian (7 y.o.) without prior cough or exercise intolerance, collapse and essentially die from tracheal collapse? Upon resuscitation, but after 5-10 min of hypoxia, he has brain damage, swollen pharynx and tongue despite dex, and a normal echocardiogram. How to tell if seizure activity now is related to recent brain damage and was secondary to the hypoxia vs. primary seizure disorder? I don't want to just use meds for siezures if the underlying problem has not benn addressed.

I have not seen the specific scenario you describe; however, I have seen dogs develop seizure disorders caused by extracranial disease (hyperthermia, hypoxia, liver disease, poisons).


I would not expect a dog with no signs of coughing or exercise intolerance to collapse from tracheal collapse. However, I can envision a dog with no prior history of exercise intolerance getting tracheal edema if he was exercising harder/longer than usual, if the temperature and humidity were higher than usual, if another irritant (dust, insect sting, etc.) were involved.The resulting increased breathing effort could result in residual trachea damage. I can also envision mild tracheal disease getting worse over time with the first obvious signs being severe particularly if stressed more than usual and in a breed (Pomeranians) predisposed to tracheal collapse. There are medical and surgical treatments for collapsing trachea.


You are correct that underlying disease needs to be treated. Disease resulting from the hypoxia (brain edema, tracheal edema...) also needs to be treated and ongoing seizures need to be treated. If seizures are in clusters, last more than a few minutes and are frequent, standard seizure medication is indicated.


Is the tracheal collapse a confirmed diagnosis? Diagnostic imaging can confirm this condition (x'rays, fluoroscopy, endoscopy). How is it being treated?


How frequent are the seizures and are they being treated?


Let me know if this is the info you need and if you have follow up questions.

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