Collapsed trachea in dogs is one of the major problems in the small breed dogs. Breeds like Chihuahua are more prone to this disease. The article Chihuahua collapsed trachea covers in information about topics like Home or Natural Remedies, Life Expectancy, Surgery Cost, Treatment, Symptoms.


If your chihuahua suffers from problems like Coughing, choking regularly, then it is possible that he has a problem with his trachea, also known as the trachea. There are other possible causes of a cough like this and many of these other problems are more common, so do not confirm immediately. Instead, have your dog checked by your veterinarian. If you think your dog has a problem, it’s helpful to know how your vet will diagnose and what to watch for.

Chihuahuas are known to suffer from problems with their collapsed trachea or soft palate. it is a health problem that characterizes the Chihuahua breed and is also commonly known as “reverse sneeze”.

Tracheal collapse is a condition in which the trachea flattens or collapses partially as your Chihuahua tries to breathe. This causes irritation and causes symptoms of wheezing, gagging and coughing. The airway of the trachea in your chihuahua is a very sensitive area.The trachea is the airway of the larnyx to the main bronchi in the lungs. it looks a little like that of a suction pipe and has many rigid rings with a flexible fabric connecting them.

Sometimes these rings are not stiff enough and cannot keep the trachea open against the air pressure created during breathing. the part of the trachea that is not rigid is then sucked into the airways, causing a partial obstruction, which makes breathing difficult for your Chihuahua. Viruses, bacterial infections, second-hand cigarette smoke, repeated heart disease, irritants, obesity and allergies are all factors that can lead to the collapse of the trachea in your Chihuahua. The collapse of the trachea can also be caused by damage caused by pulling the leash, especially if you use a collar to walk your chihuahua. It is recommended to switch to a dog harness suitable for the trachea to avoid any traction or thrust against the trachea.

If any of these symptoms develop, take your chihuahua to the vet immediately. This is an important health problem for the Chihuahua. untreated lesions can occur in the soft palate areas, nasal passages, larynx and lungs. Your veterinarian will provide you with the right medications and you can better prevent the symptoms.

Symptoms Of A Chihuahua Collapsed Trachea

• Look for a honking, dry cough. The main sign of a collapsed trachea is a type of honking, dry cough. The cough may look like a goose horn. An problem of coughing is more likely to be triggered when the dog is weighing heavily or by pulling on a collar.
• Watch for laborious breathing. In addition to a cough, your dog may have trouble breathing. It can be when he is breathing normally, or when he is too excited. This can cause respiratory distress. Your dog can also make a hissing sound when he breathes. The labored breathing can be triggered by irritants, such as dust and smoke, hot weather or obesity.
• Watch your dog during exercise. Another sign of a collapsed trachea is intolerance during exercise. It may be an inability to perform normal exercise or a laborious breathing.
• Watch to gag. If your dog gaggles while drinking and eating, it could be a sign of a collapsed trachea. This can happen because of the restriction in the tubes.
• While the dog is drinking and eating, look for signs of coughing as well.
• Check the blue gums. In extreme cases, if there is not enough air in the dog’s lungs, the membranes that line his tongue and mouth may turn blue. The dog can also turn blue when he is excited.
• In extreme cases, the dog may faint or lose consciousness.

Collapsed Trachea Treatment

Take Your Dog To The Vet

As soon as your dog starts to show symptoms, take him to the vet. The veterinarian will examine your dog for signs of respiratory infection, such as unusual noises in the lungs, fever, or swollen lymph nodes. Your veterinarian will probably want to perform blood tests and other routine tests. Other conditions may present themselves as a collapsed trachea. Coughing is a general sign, so not all coughing Chihuahua will have a collapsed trachea. Other coughs that may mimic this problem include a lungworm, heart disease, kennel cough or long soft palate. However, any cough must be checked by your veterinarian.

X-Ray The Lungs Of The Dog

The next step is for the vet to X-ray the throat and lungs of the dog. This will rule out a lung infection as the cause of the cough. Because of the way the collapse manifests on X-rays, the collapsed trachea may not always be visible on X-rays.

Get A Fluoroscopy To Your Dog

A fluoroscopy is a type of real-time radiography, where it is possible to look at the actual movements of the trachea. However, this type of equipment is not available in all clinics and referral to a specialized center may be required.

Ask For An Endoscopy

Your vet can determine if your chihuahua has a collapsed trachea with endoscopy of the trachea. This implies that a small fiber optic camera is transmitted in the trachea while your dog is anesthetized. The operator looks at the images to see if the trachea narrows during certain phases of breathing. However, endoscopy can cause problems in small dogs because the camera can absorb most of the diameter of the trachea and prevent the dog from breathing. Thus, the operator can only study the trachea for short periods of time before the camera has to be removed and more anesthetic gas is administered.

Understanding The Collapsing Tracheas

Find Out What Causes A Collapsing Trachea

The trachea, is the tube that carries air from the mouth or nose to the lungs. When a trachea collapses, instead of the rings holding a tube, they completely open and collapse. When this happens, the water cannot flow and it is difficult to circulate the air. The trachea can collapse because the cartilage rings are poorly formed and are narrow and too wide, because the ligament filling the space is flexible and too long, or because of a combination of these two factors.

1.The lining of the trachea is very sensitive, and in a Chihuahua, this flattening can make the dog cough. 2.Small breeds, such as Chihuahua, are the most endangered, probably because of a genetic tendency to ring deformity. Other commonly affected breeds include pugs, toy poodles, Maltese terriers, Shih Tzus, Pomeranians and Yorkshire terriers.

Monitor Older Chihuahuas

Collapsed tracheas can occur at any age. However, the disease usually appears around the age of six to seven years. Keep an eye on your Chihuahua as it ages.

Do not pull the collars

One of the reasons that dogs could end up with a trachea collapsed is that the owner pulls on the collar. Shaking the collar or using a choke chain can exert sufficient pressure on the trachea with a force that can cause it to collapse. Use a dog harness instead of a collar when using a leash on your do

Home Remedies For Collapsed Trachea In Dogs

If your dog has been been diagnosed with a tracheal collapse you may be looking for some tracheal collapse home remedies for dogs in hopes of helping your dog feel a bit better. Tracheal collapse is a condition that occurs when there is weakening of the cartilaginous rings that make up the dog’s trachea. These rings eventually end up collapsing causing the airway to suddenly narrow. The result is often a typical goosehonking cough that is aggravated by excitement and exercise. Correction of the problem requires trachea surgery (placement of a tracheal stent, prosthetic ring placement ) but there are some things you can do at home to manage this condition.

Help Shed Some Pounds

If your dog is overweight, you may want to consider getting that weight down so that your dog can be more comfortable. One way to determine if your dog is overweight is by feeling the ribs. Can you easily feel your dog’s ribs or must you push down to actually feel them? In a dog of ideal weight, you should be able to feel the ribs easily under the skin and distinguish one rib from another. If you have a hard time feeling them or cannot feel them at all, then most likely there is too much fat interfering. Also, your dog should have a nice waistline behind the ribs.

Your dog should have a tucked area behind the ribs compared to the diameter of the chest giving him an hourglass look. In some breeds like the Greyhound this feature is more distinct. Ask your vet if you are not sure whether your dog should shed some pounds or not. If your dog is soaring from tracheal collapse and is overweight, consider that overweight dogs have a harder time dealing with this condition, points out veterinarian Dr. Kristen McMahon. Shedding a few pounds may be benecial for the long term. Even half a pound can make a difference!

The Power of Vapor

Dogs who have tracheal collapse are often coughing and this can make the dogs quite miserable. If you are concerned about your dog’s coughing, you can ask your vet for cough medications for dogs (such as Temaril p, Tussigon or torbutrol) to help him cough less. In addition, your dog may benet from the addition of a humidier or vaporizer.

Dry air can be irritating to the dog’s airways, particularly in the winter. You can try running a humidier or vaporizer (without medications) to help your dog breath better. If you do not have a humidier, you can try turning on the hot water in your dog’s bath tub and close the door so that it gets steamy. You can then bring your dog in the bathroom and let him breath the steamy air, further suggests Dr. McMahon. Don’t let your dog get in contact with the water though, just let him breath the warm, humid air!

Use a Harness

A collar that puts pressure on the dog’s neck will only make tracheal collapse worse. If your dog is a puller this constant pressure can cause damage to the trachea, but also dogs who pull occasionally are at risk. For safety sake, it’s important to invest in a harness. This way, if your dog happens to pull to chase a squirrel, no pressure will go against the trachea. There are dierent types of harnesses for dogs. For larger dogs who tend to pull a lot, a no-pull harness is the best option, In this harness, the leash attaches to a ring in the front of the dog’s chest.

Examples of no-pull harnesses include the Easy-walk harness, the Freedom harness, the Sensation harness, and the Walk your dog with love harness. Other harnesses may have a leash that clips to a ring located by the dog’s back area. These harnesses can actually encourage a dog to pull, but they might work well for small dogs who don’t pull much.

Calm Your Dog

Coughing due to tracheal collapse can be often triggered by strong emotions such as enthusiasm, fear and excitement. It’s therefore important to keep your dog calm. This can be easier said than done with some dogs, but there are many calming aids out there that can help. Thundershirt, pheromone plug-ins and calming supplements are just some choices on the market nowadays. Providing your dog with training and mental stimulation can also help your dog become a calmer, better under control companion.

Some dogs with tracheal collapse may get anxious when they are having a coughing episode which only makes matters worse. If your dog gets anxious and starts gulping big breaths in, this only causes the trachea to remain in a collapsed position.
To calm your dog down and encourage her to breath normally, you can try this. With your dog standing in front of you, lift the front legs up so that your dog’s back is resting against your shins and start gently rubbing the belly.

This seems to help straighten the trachea and therefore calms the dog down, explains veterinarian Dr. Fiona. Some dog owners and that they can calm their dog down by extending the neck and rubbing the throat area. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s gums when he or she is having an episode. If your dog allows you to (don’t do this if you fear your dog may bite) lift the lip and look at the gums. They should be a normal bubble gum pink color. If the gums appear pale or blue, please see your vet.

Look For Supplements

Since the dog’s trachea consists of cartilage, your dog may benet from some joint supplements that are designed to help joint cartilage. Dr. Kristen McMahon suggests putting the dog on joint supplements such as Cosequin or Dasuquin. Both these supplements are available over the counter.

Natural Cough Suppressant

When dogs have a collapsed trachea, they are prone to get stuck in a cycle of cough – inammation – more coughing – more inammation. To help break the cycle your dog may need to be on a cough medication or for mild cases you can try this natural recipe: slippery elm with honey. Slippery elm comes in powder form and when mixed with water it becomes slimy which helps soothe the throat. Dr. McMahon suggests to boil one cup of water and mix in 1 heaping tablespoon of slippery elm. The mixture should be stirred carefully and then the heat should be turned off. Then 1 tablespoon of manuka honey should be added. She suggests giving 1 teaspoon of this concoction up to 3 times a day for a small dog like a Chihuahua.

Something to consider when using slippery elm is that it can decrease the effectiveness of other medications your dog may be taking. To prevent this interaction, you can give slippery elm at a different time, for example at least one or two hours after giving other medications. Always best to consult with your vet before trying home remedies and supplements.

Dog Collapsed Trachea Surgery Cost

A veterinarian friend told me if the collapse is intrathoracic (low down on the esophagus), you can put stents in the trachea. Depending on how many stents you need, the cost ranges from $3,500 up to $6,500. Why so much? Apart from the specialist surgeon needed, the stents themselves are $1,000 a piece and the number you need depends on how much of the trachea is collapsed. If the collapse is extra-thoracic you put stents on the outside of the trachea. Cost is about the same. Your veterinarian can help you understand your choices and their implications more clearly.

Tracheal Collapse Life Expectancy

We have found some of the best answers for this question and listed below

1. Collapsing trachea is a syndrome that is common in middle-aged and older small dogs. It occurs when rigid structures in the trachea (the windpipe) lose their strength and cause it to cave in or collapse. Mild cases cause a tickle in the throat that leads to coughing, especially when the dog is excited or when his throat is compressed by a collar. Severe cases are not common, but can lead to breathing difficulties that can be life-threatening.

2. Collapsed trachea’s are VERY common in small dogs, or dogs with pushed in faces.3 is young for that but really there is no expiration date on your pup. Just avoid collars on leashes and get a harness instead to avoid pressure on the throat. Avoid extreme exercise, and if you bring your dog to the groomers say NO kennel dryers since they can take their breath away. You will know if your dog is in pain or not, and its really hard to say. Some live a full life while others do not. Like I said there is no expiration date.

3. It depends on how severe the tracheal damage is now. This may be a congenital defect. If he has episodes of not being able to move air past the collapse, then he should be euthanized. Suffocating in the living room is a bad way to go.