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It’s Like Trying to Pull Air Through a Flattened Straw — Is Your Dog at Risk?

The condition can be congenital or acquired by chronic disease, but either way it can be terrifying to your pet if he suddenly can't breathe. The breeds most at risk, the first signs to look for and the changes that occur as the disease progresses, plus, 5 factors that can trigger symptoms.

tracheal collapse in dogs

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Tracheal collapse is a condition in which the rings of cartilage that function to hold the windpipe (trachea) open are abnormally formed or weaken over time
  • Tracheal collapse can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired, and is seen most often in middle-aged toy dog breeds. Contributing or triggering factors include obesity, environmental pollutants, and respiratory infections
  • Symptoms of tracheal collapse, when present, include a dry harsh cough and exercise intolerance
  • About 70% of dogs with the condition can be successfully medically managed
  • Any dog with tracheal collapse or another severe respiratory disease should undergo regular liver function tests, as oxygen deprivation has been linked to significant liver disease

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