Caring For Your Dog With a Collapsing Trachea

Collapsing trachea is a common condition for a toy or small breed dog-- mainly Pomeranians, Maltese, Toy Poodles, Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers-- that causes difficulty breathing. A collapsed trachea occurs if the cartilage that makes up the dog's windpipe becomes weak and doesn't stay open to allow air to pass through completely.

How to Relieve Symptoms

  • Medication to open airways
  • Surgery
  • Cough suppressants
  • Change in diet to lose weight
  • Use a harness instead of a collar
  • Limit strenuous exercise
  • Keep your pet out of heat and humidity
  • Steroids, but these aren't healthy in the long run and are generally used only in severe cases

Preventing A Collapsed Trachea

  • Prevent allergies, kennel cough or other respiratory infections by getting your dog vaccinated and keeping him away from sick or unknown dogs
  • Eliminate cigarette smoke and other pollutants with an air filter
  • Collapsing trachea is often a genetic problem, so check with breeders before purchasing a dog
  • Feed your dog a balanced diet to maintain healthy cartilage in the trachea