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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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My dog was recently diagnosedwith tracheal stenosis. What is

Resolved Question:

My dog was recently diagnosedwith tracheal stenosis. What is the reason and the progonosis
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gen B. replied 7 years ago.
I am sorry that no one online earlier felt able to discuss this with you...if you still need help, please tell me:

1) What breed is she?

2) Exactly how old is she?

3) How was the stenosis diagnosed (x-ray, by symptoms alone, etc.)?

4) What are her symptoms?

5) Were these medicines the only treatments recommended?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Mixed chihwawa, one year old, diagnosed by xray, has an enlarged heart, her symptoms are stridor at times like she is choking. Those were the only medicines
Expert:  Gen B. replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for researching this very important question...I am so sorry that you and your Dear Friend are having this difficult and distressing experience!

Very small dogs and those bred to have round, "cute" faces can develop a number of serious problems with their upper airways and the trachea (windpipe). When there is no history of trauma or accident (he has never been in a situation where his neck was impacted), then it is reasonable to assume that there is some developmental weakness of the rings that hold the trachea open, or that his trachea is simply too narrow to function properly.

When airflow to the lungs is interrupted, the heart starts to work harder and harder to move oxygen around the body. This increased work load will stretch the heart muscle over time...causing an enlarged silhouette on x-ray, and potentially causing failure of heart function in time.

Surgery to either remove an excessively narrow portion of the trachea, or to install a stent to hold a weak part of the trachea open can be performed to help these pets.

Most general practice hospitals are not equipped to perform these procedures, so you should seek a referral to a surgical practice.

Beside the very real possibility of her heart failing, she may at any time experience a catastrophic blockage of the windpipe if she encounters a situation where inflammation develops and/or mucous build up and plug the trachea.

A consultation with a surgical specialist would help you to organize what your options are.

To get additional support with this subject, please "REPLY", otherwise I thank you in advance for clicking "Accept".
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I think trauma may have played a part because when she goes walking she is always pulling hard on her leash. I have stopped using a collar. As a result of this due you think that over time there will be an improvement in her condition? I notice that she is not having the choking episodes as frequently as before since she started her medication. Do you think her heart will get smaller over time if her condition gets better? I guess what I also really want to know is if there is no more trauma to her neck if she is able to heal. THANK YOU !
Expert:  Gen B. replied 7 years ago.
Harnesses are used with these pets to reduce the added strain that a collar puts on the throat...the type of trauma I have in mind as a Cause for stenosis that is strict enough to cause stridor would be a kick to the neck, a car accident, or something similarly able to break or scar the tracheal rings.

The pressure she might put on her neck with a collar is not strong enough to have been the original Cause of the stricture...even though it can make things worse. This would contribute Secondary exacerbation of her symptoms...using a harness will only address the secondary effect.

Her heart's ability to heal would depend entirely on how badly it has been strained so far...this is not something anyone can tell you "online". An ultrasound evaluation and ECG would be able to tell you how much cardiac stress she has. If surgery is performed soon enough, yes, most of these pets can go on to have good cardiovascular health.

Hycodan works in two ways:

1) It dries up secretions (so there is less saliva for her to cope with during coughing episodes);

2) It depresses the cough reflex in the brain through a narcotic effect...while it does not provide any relief where the stricture is in the trachea, it will reduce additional inflammation that coughing may cause, and may cause some relaxation that prevents pets from being physically very active.

This medication only suppresses some does not really "cure" anything in terms of the True Cause of her breathing troubles.

Surgery is considered the most appropriate way to get these little ones back to normal.
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