Collapsing Trachea

The respiratory system consists of upper and lower airways. Mouth and nose are parts of upper airways and the lungs are part of lower airways. Trachea connects both the part of the respiratory system. Trachea is made up of circular cartilage rings which give flexibility to it. The cartilage rings are incomplete and a thin membrane is present at the incomplete portion of the ring. This thin membrane is present throughout the length of the trachea and interferes in the lumen of the tract to hinder the air flow. This is present in case of small dog breeds. In some animals, the trachea may fold upon itself and cause the obstruction of airflow. This collapsing of trachea happens in those animals who have a long trachea. Both of these conditions lead to obstruction of airflow and cause inflammation. This inflammation is shown by the animal in the form of a loud cough or honking cough. Cough due to obstruction of the tract is evident mostly after some exercise and excitement. Your veterinarian can diagnose the collapsing of trachea on the basis of medical history and physical examination of your dog. Radiographs can be used to confirm the diagnosis. The degree of obstruction of the trachea due to collapse varies. Some dogs can have a severe problem while others have minute problem. Maintaining a healthy weight is important if your dog is facing the problem of tracheal obstruction. A lower body weight minimizes pressure on trachea. If the trachea is closed for longer time, animal is vulnerable to infections. If infection is present, antibiotics and cough suppressant medicines may be needed. In some cases, a surgical intervention is necessary. A stent is placed inside the trachea to stop the recurring closure of trachea.