I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow me to speak to customers by phone in this venue. Please stay in this conversation if you wish.
Treatment for collapsing trachea is multimodal. It consists of cough suppressants, antiinflammatory medication (the steroids), bronchodilators, and in severe cases, surgically fluoroscopically, or endoscopically placed stents to decrease the severity and frequency of cough and associated clinical signs. Freddie's vet needs to know that steroids alone aren't doing the trick.
Acute general treatment involves supplemental oxygen and the judicious use of sedatives and cough suppressants such as acepromazine and butorphanol respectively. Butorphanol is a narcotic antitussive which can lessen acute severe cough and respiratory distress. Acepromazine can provide sedation that breaks the cycle of airway irritation and coughing when a bout of extremely severe, collapsing trachea-related coughing occurs.
Chronic treatment involves weight loss because obesity leads to decreased lung expansion and increased breathing effort; antitussives which help reduce irritation or damage to the tracheal epithelium from chronic cough such as butorphanol, hydrocodone, or diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine; antiinflammatory therapy to decrease larygneal or tracheal inflammation - steroids should be tapered and discontinued after 5-7 days of use, however; bronchodilators may benefit dogs with intrathoracic - within the chest cavity - collapse or expiratory effort that doesn't improve with inital therapy - terbutaline, albuterol, and theophylline are bronchodilators to consider; and, finally, surgical stenting in the most severely affected dogs.
Feel free to share our conversation with Freddie's vet. Freddie's prognosis for survival is good. With appropriate therapy most dogs show improvement but with varying degress of persistent symptoms. The prognosis for cure is poor because collapsing trachea is irreversible and progressive. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.