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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Collapsed Trachea

For past week, Momo has been getting difficulty in breathing, as if she's having an asthma attack. Brought her to the vet and upon several examinations and x-ray, the vet suspect that she might what they call collapse trachea. I was told that this might be genetic and in common in small breed dogs.

I am still waiting for the breeder to get back to me on Momo heritage but is wondering if anyone else in this forum is having the same problem.

At the mean time, Momo has been given cough suppressants for the following 2 weeks until the next check up.

Please advise.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 10:21 PM
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So sorry to hear of Momo's problem. I have no experience with this but wish you both the best of luck!

Holly & Murphy
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 10:26 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear this. Will the trachea heal itself?

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 10:40 PM
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One vet, not our usual one, said that her trachea was in a funny spot. I wonder if it is collapsed. I have been meaning to clarify this with my usual vet.
Nala coughes only occasionally. Hope you find out more soon.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-10-2009, 10:59 PM
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I have experience with this. My pomeranian has a collapsing trachea.

No, this will not heal itself. In fact, it will get progressively worse over time as the muscles around the trachea weaken.

There is a surgery that can be performed, but the success rate is not that great (if your vet recommends surgery, google it before you make any decisions). Basically the surgery installs reinforcement to the trachea rings. The reason it is not always successful, is that when the dog swallows or coughs, the reinforcement can move until it is no longer supporting the weak rings, so it is doing no good at all.

I can't let my dog get excited EVER or it sends her into a terrible coughing fit. No play time, no walks, nothing that could excite her. She does get lots of cuddles and belly rubs, though.....

It isn't life threatening, even in extreme cases. The worst thing that will happen is the dog will pass out from coughing (from excitement), then the trachea will relax, breathing will become normal, and the dog will wake up.

I've never had that happen, but I'm very careful not to let her get excited.

If there is a coughing fit, try to make the dog look up (toward the ceiling) and try to make them lick (like they are giving you kisses). This focuses their mind on something which brings the level of excitement down, and the licking opens up their throat. A good way to do this is to put a tiny bit of peanut butter (or some other favorite treat) on your finger, and hold your finger just over their head so they have to look up and lean back just a little to lick the treat from your finger.

You do have to be cautious with weight gain, because the dog cannot be exercised (no heavy breathing, because no excitement).
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shauu View Post
For past week, Momo has been getting difficulty in breathing, as if she's having an asthma attack. Brought her to the vet and upon several examinations and x-ray, the vet suspect that she might what they call collapse trachea. I was told that this might be genetic and in common in small breed dogs.

I am still waiting for the breeder to get back to me on Momo heritage but is wondering if anyone else in this forum is having the same problem.

At the mean time, Momo has been given cough suppressants for the following 2 weeks until the next check up.

Please advise.
Did the vet hear her? Could it be a reverse sneeze? That is common in our breed.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 12:45 AM
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The reason most of us do not use collars...

I was told when Riki was a baby not to put a collar on him as toy breeds have a challenge with collapsing tracheas. I found a good article that explains what it is.

Collapsed Trachea: The Health Problem Every Owner of a Small Dog Should Understand

Have you ever heard a dog cough, take shallow, quick breaths,
and honk like a goose?

Those are symptoms of a collapsed trachea, a health problem
found almost exclusively in Toy and other miniature dog breeds.

Not every Toy breed will develop this but enough do
(estimates range from 20% to 40%) that owners should
learn more about this condition.

Highest risk breeds are Chihuahuas, Italian Greyhounds, Maltese, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers.

The trachea or windpipe is held open by rings of cartilage.
When the cartilage weakens, the trachea begins to collapse
and the amount of air that can get through is severely restricted.

This condition usually appears between the ages of 4 to
14 years. The restricted airflow puts excess stress on
the heart and lungs.

Heat, humidity and excitement exacerbate the problem. A
dog will have trouble breathing and may try to vomit
to clear his airway.

A dog with a collapsed trachea usually can't exercise without
having problems and in some severe cases, may even pass
out from lack of air. Any exercise is likely to fatigue him.

If your dog does develop symptoms, the condition
usually can be managed with medication and restricted activity.

Sometimes children's flavored cough suppressants can
help or your veterinarian may want you to use a prescription
brand to treat coughs.

In more severe cases, steroids may be used for a time
to reduce inflammation in the trachea. Because of their
side effects, including weight gain, they are seldom
used for long.

In worst cases, the dog's tongue and gums turn blue and
acute attacks require hospitalization. About 1% of dogs
with this condition do die from complications.

A surgical procedure that uses stents to widen the trachea
is available, but this is a risky and expensive surgery that
should only be done as a last resort and only
by a veterinary specialist.

Although the condition is congenital or inherited, there
are things that an owner can do to lessen the onset
or severity of the condition:

1. Feed your dog a high quality dog food

Proper nutrition helps formation of cartilage especially in
the puppy years.

2. Don't overfeed, however, as overweight dogs are
affected more than others

3. Use a harness rather than a collar when walking your dog

He can wear a collar with his tags but don't attach a leash
that adds pressure and pulling around his neck.

4. Don't smoke around your dog

You wouldn't smoke around a human baby, would you?
Remember that it doesn't take much smoke to damage
the airway of a 5-pound dog.

5. Keep vaccinations up to date
This helps prevent respiratory infections.

Watch your dog for symptoms and ensure that he gets
treatment if any symptoms do develop. Most affected dogs
can lead normal, although somewhat restricted, lives.

Note: This article may be reprinted and used by other publishers
and webmasters provided credit is given to Louise Louis and www.ToyBreeds.com.

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Linda
Loving Havanese since 2003
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 01:07 AM
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I'm with Kathy... are you sure it's not a reverse sneeze?


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 03:20 AM
 
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Gosh how scary. I would flip out every time I heard him or her make a noise. Good luck. I hope everything turns out ok and that it is only a reverse sneeze. Which by the way sounds really weird to me when our Havs do it. But when Bugsy does it, he looks weird and it makes me laugh. LOL
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2009, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Reverse sneezing huh? I remember reading something about it when I was doing some research before I brought Momo to the vet. How serious is reverse sneezing? Is it treatable? What causes this to happen?

Also, Momo is only 15 months old. The visit yesterday was $250, expensive if this is a long term battle. Should I start to look into getting medical insurance for her? There's so many in the market, so confusing.


Last edited by shauu; 09-11-2009 at 10:26 AM.
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