What Are the Treatments for Tracheal Collapse in Dogs?

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Tracheal collapse is a medical condition that occurs when one wall of the trachea begins to close inward, narrowing the space for air to travel. In dogs, tracheal collapse often becomes progressively worse and requires treatment to relieve coughing and shortness of breath.

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Identification

Veterinarians typically begin treatment for tracheal collapse in dogs by using medicine to alleviate symptoms. If this is unsuccessful, surgery to correct the collapse becomes necessary, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center.

Medications

Cough suppressants like tramadol and hydrocodone, corticosteroids like prednisone and airway dilators like theophylline are used for tracheal collapse in dogs.

Success

Approximately 71 per cent of dogs benefit from medicinal treatment from tracheal collapse, according to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center.

Surgery

There are two main options for surgery in the treatment of tracheal collapse, implanting rings into the trachea to provide support and reinforce the wall or using a mesh sleeve called a stent. Rings require major surgery with an incision, while stents are minimally invasive, according to the University of Pennsylvania.

Risks of Surgery

Risks associated with trachea rings include excessive bleeding, voice box paralysis and loss of blood supply to the voicebox, warns the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center. With stents, coughing often persists even after the procedure and the mesh sometimes needs replacing, which requires an invasive surgery to access the stent.

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