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Collapsed trachea. Small haired chihuahua. I don’t have her…

Collapsed trachea Veterinarian's Assistant:...

Collapsed trachea

Veterinarian's Assistant: What sort of animal are we talking about?

Small long haired chihuahua

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the Chihuahua?

I don’t have her yet but i wanted to adopt her from the shelter and the staff told me she has a collapsed trachea with a cough

Veterinarian's Assistant: Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the Chihuahua's name and age?

Nina and i don’t have an age for her yet

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

She’s still at the shelter

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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/9/2018
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,999
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

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 5 months ago
okay that’s fine

I am sorry to hear that Nina has a collapsing trachea, but I am glad that they are being honest with you about her condition.

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, avoiding over strenuous exercise. The more active she is the more she will cough and the more she coughs the more damage she does to her trachea 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 antibacterial oral rinses (such as CET rinse). The more bacteria 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 light 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.

If she is coughing consistently 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 6-8 hours. The side effect most commonly seen is sleepiness. Do NOT use these along with prescription products with hydrocodone, rather these are nonprescription cough suppressants 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 of surgery.

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.

Best of luck with your pup, let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,999
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified
Dr. Kara and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you so much , extremely helpful
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