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My 14 year old 4 month chihuahua has a severely advanced…

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My 14 year old...

My 14 year old 4 month chihuahua has a severely advanced collapsed trachea. She sounds like she is suffocating 12 hours a day. It is so painful to watch. She is on prednisone, hydrocodone pills/ syrup it is not getting any better.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?

Rosa

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Rosa?

She is not fixed when I got her at 9 weeks old I was 20 and thought that was mean, I regret they now. She has enlarged mammoty gland tumors but benign

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 20 hours by:
10/18/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 34,252
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian replied 8 months ago

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Rosa sounds like a surgical candidate for stenting but I can't imagine doing that at her advanced age.

Treatment for collapsing trachea is multimodal. It consists of cough suppressants (the hydrocodone), antiinflammatory medication (the prednisone), 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 - 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 Rosa's vet. Rosa'sprognosis 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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