Hello everyone, Chili Dog here!
Welcome to our very first blog! For the next few blogs we are going to focus on Senior dogs and some of the health issues that I have personally gone through.
Our first topic is one that I have recently been stricken with and it has effected so many pups out there.
Collapsing Trachea is a serious condition that touches the lives of millions of dogs. Small breeds such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers and Pomeranian's are most likely to have this condition. Age, weight and genetics has shown to be a factor in this disease. We will be focusing on what had worked for me but there are countless other options out there including supplements, acupuncture and herbal therapies.
My family is unsure of my true age and history because I was a skinny, blind senior that showed up at our Animal Control facility 3 years ago. I was in very poor condition and was severely emaciated.
Collapsing trachea seems to show up at middle age in most small breeds but can show up even earlier depending on weight and genetics.
What is collapsing trachea exactly? The windpipe is a ridged tube made up of rings of cartilage (you can feel your own throat and the ridges that hold it together). It is very similar to a vacuum (Hoover) hose or the hose to your clothes dryer. The rings hold the airway open. In a dog with CT, the cartilage is weak and under certain circumstances, collapses flat upon your pup trying to breathe in. The cough is caused by the dog's inability to breathe in but the ability to breathe out. Think of a straw that collapses while sipping a very thick milkshake. The result of the collapse causes a panic and struggle. Calming your pup down and re-directing their attention can cause the muscles to relax so the rings pop back up in shape.
How do you know your little one has a problem that can be collapsing trachea?
• A harsh, honking cough that occurs during temperature changes.
• Coughing after running or being excited for meal times
• Coughing when needing to go out to potty.
• Coughing when under stress
• Choking after drinking water and sometimes coughing up an "egg white" or a clear fluid.
• Coughing for no reason that you can detect but causes your little one to cough so violently that they can collapse
• Coughing so hard that your pup's tongue turns blue, they stiffen up and fall over backward or they faint
There is help and many options on how to help your Little One.
• is your pup a little plump? This is a very important topic to discuss with your Vet! Added weight can cause CT to become worse. Losing weight slowly, under Vet direction, can make a huge difference.
• Maybe your pup is pretty fit and takes regular walks but he/she coughs because they pull on their collar. Pulling on the collar causes stress on their delicate tracheal rings. We would suggest a harness that fits well (take good measurements requested by the manufacturer) less stress on their throat will help them to live the life they deserve!
• Be aware of your Fur Baby, do you hear coughing? Sometimes this means "I'm stressed" and I might need potty, food, diaper change or I just need you.
• Please, do not try to treat collapsing trachea on your own, you should consult your Veterinarian and they may refer you to a specialist if needed. The medication I am on now, Theophylline and Diphenoxlate/Atropine has helped control my condition.
• We have found that a cool vapor humidifier next to my bed has helped when the cold winter air depletes the natural humidity in our home. I actually sleep with my face near the humidifier to help me breathe.
• Learn how to re-direct your pups attention when the coughing starts. Try talking in a soothing voice while petting them, scratch a favorite spot, say a word or noise that always gets their attention, also having them smell a favorite treat might get them to stop struggling so the trachea relaxes.
◦ Prednisone has showed help with this condition but has side effects and if you are Diabetic, steer clear and listen to your vet.
◦ We want you to know the signs of possible collapsing trachea which is very different than Reverse Sneeze. Reverse sneeze is very common which is a snorting sound and not outright coughing. Reverse Sneeze is very distressing but can be re-directed by blocking the nostrils with your fingers and they will breathe through their mouth, stopping the cycle. It doesn't always work but it depends on your pup.
◦ We hope that this helps you to recognize collapsing trachea and you can get information from your vet to help with any issues that you may have discovered. We care deeply for you and your family and please consult your Veterinarian for any health problems you might have.
◦ Tresa and Chili
◦ Dog Denton's
My name is Chili Dog and I am a Blind, Diabetic, Senior dog that found himself picked up by Animal Control in Murfreesboro, Tn and my family did not come to get me out. This blog page is to help other pups like me with similar health conditions and what my Mom has learned to help me live a wonderful life! We hope to make life better for pups in need and also make it easier/less expensive for our Pup Parents!