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  #1  
Old 04-18-2005, 08:23 PM
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Default COLLAPSED TRACHEA ARTICLE

I don't know if someone has posted an article on collapsed trachea yet, but I thought I would because my lil Chiquitita got the kennel cough when I brought her from the breeder, and I didn't know what it was...at first I thought she had a collapsing trachea but it ended up being that awful kennel cough. Anyway, here's the article

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 hould 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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Old 04-18-2005, 10:02 PM
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I really appreciate this article. Oliver is only one year old and he occasionally has that "honking like a goose" thing. The first time he did it - it scared the heck out of me. Then I read what it was and I had not been as concerned, but perhaps I should. I would say it happens about twice a month or so and then he won't do it for a while. I have only noticed it after he eats or while he is eating. I definitely feed him a high premium food and I'm trying to keep his weight down. He bounces between 7 and 8 lbs. I hope his condition does not get worse considering he is so young and it is more likely I think the article said in ages above 4.

I like the information from this group a lot!
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Old 04-18-2005, 10:59 PM
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Great article. Ever since we moved to VA, Zeus has been doing the honking/hacking thing. It's not excessive, maybe twice a day every other day for about 30 secs, but I'm definately keeping an eye on it.

Thanks!
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:07 AM
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Great article, thanks! Lola honks occasionally. I've noticed that she hasn't honked in quite some time, and the reference to humidity in your article makes sense to me. We've had a very dry few months, with very low humidity. I was considering getting a humidifier, but now I've changed my mind.

thanks
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:07 AM
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Great article!

One thing I'd like to mention is the big difference between collapsing trachea (hacking) and reverse sneeze (honking). Reverse sneeze is a harmless condition where the soft pallet dips into the trachea, preventing intake of air from the mouth, but allows it through the nose. As a result, the dog pulls air quickly through the nose and hence the "honking" ensues. Episodes usually last a few seconds and can be reversed (no pun intended) by getting your chi to lick you or swallow. It's easy to confuse the two since similar anatomy is associated. Don't be alarmed by reverse sneezing, it's one of those "things" that small breeds do. Incidences can be elevated during episodes of allergies or upper respiratory infections, but on the whole are not of great concern.

Collapsing trachea is a whole 'nother ballgame, it will be very clear when your chi has it, as it will sound like they sound like out-of-tune bike horns while exhaling (as opposed to inhaling with reverse sneezing)followed by continual hacking.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:46 AM
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Thanks for posting that, Armando! We also had an episode when I thought Richie has it, but it disappeared within few weeks, I read sooo much about this isssue at that time.

Richie's mom
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesadie
Great article!

One thing I'd like to mention is the big difference between collapsing trachea (hacking) and reverse sneeze (honking). Reverse sneeze is a harmless condition where the soft pallet dips into the trachea, preventing intake of air from the mouth, but allows it through the nose. As a result, the dog pulls air quickly through the nose and hence the "honking" ensues. Episodes usually last a few seconds and can be reversed (no pun intended) by getting your chi to lick you or swallow. It's easy to confuse the two since similar anatomy is associated. Don't be alarmed by reverse sneezing, it's one of those "things" that small breeds do. Incidences can be elevated during episodes of allergies or upper respiratory infections, but on the whole are not of great concern.

Collapsing trachea is a whole 'nother ballgame, it will be very clear when your chi has it, as it will sound like they sound like out-of-tune bike horns while exhaling (as opposed to inhaling with reverse sneezing)followed by continual hacking.
yeah i had gotten the collapsed trachea and the reverse sneezing mixed up with chiwi a few weeks ago, i never heard the sounds on such a tiny dog before so i was like what is going on! she did it at the animal hospital and i was like ok people what is this and they all laughed and said it's a reverse sneeze your fired lol! my shih tzu mixes do it but it sounds way different than little chiwi with her 1.11 pound self lol!
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmypuppet
yeah i had gotten the collapsed trachea and the reverse sneezing mixed up with chiwi a few weeks ago, i never heard the sounds on such a tiny dog before so i was like what is going on! she did it at the animal hospital and i was like ok people what is this and they all laughed and said it's a reverse sneeze your fired lol! my shih tzu mixes do it but it sounds way different than little chiwi with her 1.11 pound self lol!
When Lily does the reverse sneezing thing it sounds like Felix Unger clearing his sinuses. I stroke her throat and that seems to do the trick.
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