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I have a Yorkie that we think is about 9. He was abused and…

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I have a Yorkie...

I have a Yorkie that we think is about 9. He was abused and adopted from animal control. I was told he has a collapsing trachea but he is coughing really bad. Suggestions

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the dog's name?

Kipper

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Kipper?

Yes he has skin allergies. He eats chicken and rice that I prepare

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 2 hours by:
9/30/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 35,536
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 10 months ago

I'm sorry to hear of this with Kipper. Collapsing trachea can be confirmed by performing X-rays of his trachea from different angles and when his neck is in different positions.

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.

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 - tracheal collapse or expiratory effort that doesn't improve with initial 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 Kipper's vet. Kipper'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.

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