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Dr. Brian
Dr. Brian, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1231
Experience:  34 years in private practice, 2008 WA State Vet of the Year
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My minpin hacks and chokes alot all the time. Vet said she

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My minpin hacks and chokes alot all the time. Vet said she may have a collapsed trachea which I guess is known in this breed. What else could it be and what can we do to help?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Brian replied 8 years ago.

How long has it been occurring?
How old is she?
Is it getting worse or staying the same?
When does she cough- when resting, exertion?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This has been getting progressively worse for about a year.
The last month or so it is very bad. The time in between spurts is only about an hour or so. She wakes up during the night and she sounds like a pot belly pig -- she snorts and makes really weird noises like a very heavy human would moan and groan but she is not that overweight. She is a young 8 years old. She coughs and gags mostly when resting.
Expert:  Dr. Brian replied 8 years ago.
What are you treating this with?
Expert:  Dr. Brian replied 8 years ago.
It is probably a collapsing trachea. I would not expect a chronic bronchitis to get progressively worse and your vet would have picked up heart disease had that been the cause.
Treatment is a combination of anti-inflammatories like prednisolone, broncho-dialators like theophylline, and cough suppressants such as butorphanol or hydrocodone. Many dogs can get off the prednisolone but most require life time therapy with the other medications. Be sure to keep the weight under control as that can add to the problems.
Surgery has been advocated by some, though the surgical specialists in my city are not impressed with the results in most dogs.
Here is a link to an article for further reading.
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