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Collapse of the Wind Pipe in Dogs



Hospitalization will be required if your dog is having severe symptoms and is not able to breathe properly. To compensate for respiratory problems oxygen therapy is administered. It is also typical to heavily sedate dogs with a collapsed trachea. This is so that they are not suffering, but also so that they are not fighting against the physical restrictions caused by the disease and against the treatments that are being used. Activity needs to be kept as minimal as possible until the dog has stabilized.


There are several drugs that can be used in the treatment of tracheal collapse. Cough suppressant medication can be used to minimize the stress related to the continuous coughing that is commonly associated with tracheal collapse, and your veterinarian will also give medication to dilate the small airways to facilitate normal breathing. Other drugs for reducing inflammation in the trachea will also be started to reduce the symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be required, especially if obstruction is a problem. However, complications are common in these patients after surgery.


Living and Management


Though complete rest is recommended for these patients during recovery, gentle exercise and adherence to a healthy diet is highly advised for reducing weight on a long-term basis. Weight reduction plays an important role in the relief of symptoms, and most dogs respond well to a well planned weight reduction program. Talk to your veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist about a weight-loss program that is best suited to your dog's weight, age, health condition and breed.


Overexcitement is discouraged in these animals, as it may precipitate a crisis for their already compromised lung function. Gentle exercise is best, and you should use a harness instead of a collar and leash, which puts undue pressure on the throat area, further compromising breathing. The prognosis for remission from the disease is good if proper treatment and weight loss can be achieved.



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