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Small Dogs and Dry Coughs: What You Need to Know

If you notice your small breed dog coughing on occasion, you need to know about this serious, chronic and progressive disease that can affect your dog's breathing and quality of life. And make sure you don't do this, or you can unknowingly make the situation worse.

tracheal collapse


  • Tracheal collapse is a serious, chronic, progressive disease that affects breathing and quality of life; the condition is most often seen in small breed dogs
  • The condition can be present at birth or can develop over time; dogs with tracheal collapse should not be bred to avoid passing it on to future generations of puppies
  • The first sign of tracheal collapse is often a dry cough; as the disease progresses, dogs often develop exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing
  • Mild cases of tracheal collapse can often be successfully managed with a multimodal treatment approach; in severe cases that can’t be medically managed, surgery may be the best or only satisfactory option
  • Dogs with the condition do best in a very clean, nontoxic environment and also benefit from cartilage-building supplements; they should wear a harness when walking on leash — never a collar

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