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Piper has a collapsed trachea

4465 Views 27 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  janiebabes
Took her for a vet visit tonight because lately, while running and playing, she's been having coughing attacks where she will hack and hack until she gags. I knew it wasn't reverse sneezing, because Gizmo does that.

The vet said it's a collapsed trachea. I am heartbroken. :(
He said it's nothing that we did, it's just a common ailment for Chihuahuas.

For now, he said not to let her become overweight because that will make the condition worse. I aksed him if we should limit her activity, because her and Gizmo FLY around the house like maniacs, but he said to let her do what she wants. However, everything I've read tonight said that I should not let her exert herself to the point of panting, because that will aggrevate the situation.

She'll be 6 months old at the end of the month. He said he's not ready to spay her because she's developing slowly. She weighed in tonight at a whooping 3.8 lbs.

He said that when he does spay her, he'll do an x-ray to check on the collapsed trachea.

I'm so sad. She such a perfect little girl. :(
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how sad for little piper... i will be praying and keep you all in my thoughts. i think she is still perfect... :)

i have a question-- how do you differentiate between reverse sneezing and collapsed trachea? occasionally zoey does something where she sort of wheezes -- it happens randomly. sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night doing it. she also does it sometimes when she's been running around too much.
Oh no! How sad for you and Piper. :( I agree, she's still perfect. :)
This cough sounds like she's trying to cough up a furball, or something stuck in her airway. It's a hacking/honky sound. She coughs and coughs, and then it seems like she's trying to throw up whatever it is that's keeping her from breathing freely. Tonight she is quiet, but I'm not letting her run around.

Reverse sneezing is a more snotting/snorty sound.
Don't you just love my adjectives? :wink:
Poor Piper! How does the vet know it's a collapsed trachea? I'm just asking because when Buster does that he sounds different too, not like Mr. Peepers does. He does it at odd times too. I thought it was reverse sneezing but it sounds bad. Is she in any kind of pain?
Owned, I suspect Poppy has this collapsed trachea too. How you described the hacking sound and then its as if she is trying to throw up at the end...its exactly what Poppy does. Being in Beijing, our vet doesnt speak alot of English so trying to describe anything complicated to him is impossible.But I am sure that Poppy has it. I have read up about it on the net and most sites say that it happens in older dogs, but Poppy is almost 4 months. I am just going to do my best for her..and would appreciate hearing whats going on with Piper so that I can try to understand more about the condition. as I said to my husband..I dont care what she has, as long as I can keep her happy and pain free..I love her to pieces. I do understand how sad you are, as I also feel helpless...chin up :)
I am so sorry about Piper. I hear about collapsed treachea all the time but didn't know if there was anything they can do for it. I hope it doesn't effect her too badly. She is so precious :(
Poor baby, I am sorry to hear this, can this be fixed w/surgery or anything? It kinda scares me, cuz I know my chi's reverse sneeze, but they hack like a fur ball is coming too. They both do it, so I guess it isn't the trachea thing, but gosh what a hard thing to indentify. I am glad you found out though and you will watch her closer. Take care and I hope she can still continue w/a healthy and regular life. :)
Hi all! Let me shed some light on what you are talking about.

The reversed "sneeze" you are all talking about isnt a "reversed Sneeze" at all. What is happening is the treachea is collapsing that is why they honk and cannot breath. Piper has a much more severe case of the treachea collapsing. It can be cured with surgery. :wave: If you are all wondering who I am I am Lori and new to this Forum. I posted my hello's in the newbie corner, but for those who have not had a chance to look at the post yet, I have been breeding Chihuahuas for 15 yrs and I have been a Vet Tech for 10 yrs. :) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE feel free to ask ANY questions about anything I am here to help!
I hope Piper feels better! I am confused now, LOL. Do all chihuahuas experiance the trachea collapsing? But Piper's case is more extreme? Also, what is the difference in "noise descriptions" between reverse sneezing and the trachea collapsing? EDIT- nevermind I read Owned's descriptions, just had to read a little better. :wink:

TIA. :)
All chihuahuas at one point or another do experiance this. However the noise difference to what everyone is referring to as the "reverse sneeze" vs the treachea collapsing they are one in the same. When the treachea is collapsing part way they "honk" I call it their SEAL impression LOL. When the Treachea collapses completely they hack and couch and sometimes vomit.

HERES A TRICK: When your Chi is experiancing the "honking" Grab the Treachea and apply pressure to each side with your Pointer finger and your thumb. This will releave the "collapse" and hold it until they attack passes.

I hope this helps!!
Thanks for the informative information, that really helped!!

Jessica :D
Thanks for the info Lori..Poppy has two definate different "sounds". One is the more scary honking that ends with a sound like she is trying to vomit. The other is exactly like a seal, shorter intakes of breath, that last for maybe 2 minutes but dont end in the vomit sound. It worried me to death at first, but when it happens I normally try to distract her. I will try the pressure on the trachea...thanks again! :wave:
I'm pretty sure my vet explained them as two different conditions.

Here's part of an article I found last night:

What are the signs?
Collapsing trachea or Reverse sneezing

With reverse sneezing the pharynx (back of the throat) goes into spasms. The dog finds it difficult to draw in air through the spasms, so it stands still, stretches out her neck, and thrusts its elbows out (like a bowlegged bulldog) as it honks, wheezes, or snorts. Often eyes open wide. The spasms will stop if she swallows a couple of times.

Close off her nostrils with your fingers so it has to breathe through its mouth for a few seconds. Gently rub its throat. This works for some. Distract it by carrying the dog outside into the fresh air.

Young puppies can reverse sneeze, but the first episode typically occurs in late adolescence. Stay calm and get it to swallow with one of the methods described above. In a few seconds to a minute, it will run off to play. Reverse sneezing is a harmless phenomenon which needs no vet consultation and no medical treatment whatsoever. It is very common in toy breeds.

Other signs, however, will help you distinguish the two conditions: If it makes these sounds when excited or after eating or drinking, or turns her elbows outward and extends its neck and gasps inward with a rhythmic snork! snork! snork!, this is reverse sneezing. If it breathes through the mouth sometimes, or breathes with a raspy sound, or coughs reflexively when you simply rub its throat, it could have a collapsing trachea. If the cough is one or two expulsive outward bursts (forcing air through the trachea to open it), typically with a gag or empty retch at the end, she could have a collapsing trachea.

The most common clinical sign of collapsing trachea is a chronic cough. It is often described as dry and harsh and can become quite pronounced. The term "goose honk" is often used to describe it. Coughing is often worse in the daytime and much less at night. The cough may also begin due to excitement, pressure on the trachea (from a leash), or from drinking water or eating.

If you suspect collapsed trachea or are confused as to the difference between the two, contact your vet ASAP.
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Great artical Owned, I guess that shows just how many different opinons there are out there!!
She's doing okay. :)

The coughing spells are much, much less frequent lately. We removed her collar, to avoid aggrevating her neck area, so she's running around nekked. :) She coughs sometimes when she eats, but no longer when she's running around like a nut.

I've been reading more about the condition (or the suspected condition to be exact), and I'm trying to think positively.

Please keep thinking happy puppy thoughts for us.

Here she is all nekked! :love10:
Hehe, my girls are always nekid until we go outside. :D
I love little Piper...hope she feels ok, she has a good mama looking after her... :)
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