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8 year old yorkie with a collapsed trachea and enlarged

8 year old yorkie...

8 year old yorkie with a collapsed trachea and enlarged heart has trouble breathing and is wheezing a bit

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the dog's name?

Missy

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

She has a good appetite has normal bowels and urine and just has trouble breathing

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/2/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,801
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ok
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No phone call refund my $.

I'm sorry to hear that Missy has trouble breathing and is wheezing secondary to a collapsed trachea.

It is common to see what appears to be right sided heart enlargement in these little dogs. The right side of the heart is responsible for pushing blood through her lungs/respiratory tract and will often work harder in an attempt to improve oxygen exchange.

What has been done for her so far to control her disease?

This can be a difficult disease as there is no cure, only things we can do to help manage the severity of her symptoms and try and slow the progression of her disease.
As far as controlling her tracheal collapse, try to keep her as quiet as possible. The more active she is the more she will cough and the more she coughs the more damage she does to her trachea by causing inflammation and weakening her tracheal rings further.
Use humidifiers to moisten the air that she breathes as that is soothing to her airways. You can also take her into the bathroom with you when you run a hot shower or bath so she can breathe in the steam.
Keep her teeth and gums very clean with brushing and using an antibacterial oral rinse (such as CET rinse). The more bacteria that is in her mouth the more she breathes the bacteria into her airways which leads to more irritation/inflammation and coughing. Sometimes we need to use antibiotics periodically to keep secondary infections under control.
If bronchodilators (like theophylline) and cough suppressants (like hydrocodone) aren't enough in some cases we need to use oral steroids to reduce tracheal inflammation.
Keep her on the thin side, the heavier she is the more pressure on her pharynx, airways and chest and the more she will cough.
I recommend using a harness rather than a collar as that will be less irritating to her trachea, putting less pressure on her trachea.
Over the counter cough suppressants you can try are Robitussin DM or Benylin Expectorant. Use only products with Dextromethorphin or Dextromethorphin and Guaifenesin. Never give those with Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Ibuprofen or a decongestant as those are toxic for dogs. Give 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight every 6 hours. The side effect most commonly seen is sleepiness. Do NOT use these along with hydrocodone cough suppressants, rather they are a different cough suppressant to try.
A collapsed trachea puts stress and strain on the heart and reduced amounts of oxygen in the blood with a collapsed trachea can lead to heart disease, heart failure, and organ disease. So while the condition itself isn't deadly, unless the airway completely collapses and no air is moving, the stress on her heart can be harmful and lead to deadly heart failure or other organ failure from low oxygen levels.
Some dogs are affected enough that surgery becomes an option.
There are two primary types.
One is more invasive and involves putting artificial plastic rings on the outside of the trachea to support it. This requires a longer anesthetic and more tissue trauma when the rings are placed, but the effects from this procedure should last the longest.
The other procedure involves placing a stent inside the trachea to keep it open. This is less invasive and creates less tissue trauma, and it is a very quick procedure, and thus anesthetic time is less. The downside is if the stent shifts or breaks it is no longer effective and may cause more inflammation. With the newer stents available this seems less of a concern.
I know this isn't the case now but if your girl gets into such distress that she is refusing to eat I recommend that she see a board certified surgeon to discuss surgery. In the meantime they can keep her in an oxygen cage to improve her blood oxygen levels and make her more comfortable, and this may allow her to eat better.
Best of luck with your pup, let me know if you have any further questions

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Sorry about the offer of a phone call. That is an automatic, site generated additional offer that many licensed veterinarians are unable to fulfill anyway. You are in now way obligated to take that offer to continue.

Many states/province licensing boards do not allow veterinarians to communicate via phone calls, unless they have previously physically examined a pet anyway. The states and Province I am licensed in have that restriction. I could lose my license for doing so. If you have any questions about my written response you can reply and ask any follow-up questions and I will be happy to respond to them via this venue, thanks, ***** *****

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks

You are very welcome. Do you have any questions about what I have written?

Does my information make sense?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Very informative

I'm glad I could help, best of luck with your little one.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you

My pleasure. If we are all set I would appreciate if you would rate my response, thank you!

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,801
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
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