Tracheal Collapse in Dogs: Causes and Effective Treatments

If your dog makes a wheezing or honking sound when breathing, particularly when excited or active, it may have tracheal collapse. It is frequently seen in middle-aged dogs, around seven years of age, and small breeds.

It is a condition that requires treatment. This article will discuss the causes of dog tracheal collapse home treatment methods that are effective. 

What Is Tracheal Collapse?

Tracheal collapse is a condition that causes the trachea to narrow and stiffen, making it difficult or impossible for air to flow through the tubes. The trachea is the tube that carries air from the nose and mouth to the lungs.

There are two types of tracheal collapse: acquired and congenital. Acquired tracheal collapse is the most common type of tracheal collapse in dogs. It occurs when the cartilage that supports the trachea weakens or deteriorates. 

Congenital tracheal collapse is a congenital disability that occurs when the cartilage in the trachea is deformed or missing. It is a much less common form of tracheal collapse.

In most cases, this leads to chronic coughing and respiratory distress in dogs. It is also known as tracheal stenosis or congenital tracheomalacia. 

Collie breeds (especially Rough Collies), German Shepherds, Akitas, and other large-breed dogs are more likely to develop a tracheal collapse than smaller-breed dogs because they have longer windpipes susceptible to damage. 

Common Reasons for the Condition

Here are some of the causes explained:

1) Genetics

Some small breeds are born with a trachea that’s not as strong as it should be. It makes them more prone to developing the condition, especially during old age. For example, the Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, and Pomeranian are more likely to develop tracheal collapse than other breeds.

2) Obesity

One of the most common health problems in the US today is obesity. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54 percent of dogs in the US are overweight or obese. 

Carrying around extra weight puts added pressure on a dog’s trachea, leading to collapse. Your veterinarian will likely recommend a weight-loss plan if your dog is overweight. It may include changes to your dog’s diet and exercise routine.

Common reasons for obesity include:

-Sedentary lifestyle


-Eating high-calorie foods

-Lack of exercise

You should make lifestyle changes like:

-Feeding them a balanced, low-calorie diet 

-Exercising them regularly 

-Avoiding collar pulls and other activities that put pressure on their necks 

3) Injury or Trauma 

When your pet experiences blunt trauma or injury to the chest, it can cause their trachea to collapse. It is more common in small breeds of dogs since they have smaller and more delicate chests.

If you think your dog may have suffered some injury that caused their trachea to collapse, it is vital to immediately take them to the vet.

4) Allergies 

Allergies are another common cause of the tracheal collapse in dogs. When your pet is allergic to something, it causes inflammation and swelling in the airway. It can lead to the trachea collapsing.

The standard type of allergies are:

-Environmental allergies (atopy) 

-Food allergies 

-Contact allergies 

Allergies can be treated with medication and allergy shots.

5) Congenital Abnormalities 

Some dogs are born with congenital abnormalities that make them more likely to develop a tracheal collapse. These abnormalities can include:

-Narrowed airways 

-Weakened cartilage 

-Everted laryngeal saccules 

6) Tumors 

Tumors in the trachea or bronchi can also cause the trachea to collapse. These tumors are usually benign but can still cause problems.

They can be treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

7) Tracheal Paralysis 

It is a rare condition caused by damage to the trachea nerves. Injury, tumors, or disease can cause this damage.

The treatment for tracheal paralysis depends on the underlying cause. If an injury causes it, then physical therapy may help. If a tumor is a cause, surgery may be necessary.

Some Effective Treatments for Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

Here are a few ways to treat this medical condition:

1) Surgery

It is the most common and effective way to treat tracheal collapse. It is also the most expensive option.

The surgery will usually involve an incision in the dog’s neck and then placing a cartilage graft inside the trachea. It will help to support the trachea and prevent it from collapsing.

Several surgeries can correct tracheal collapse: cartilage grafting, stenting, and Brachioplasty.

Cartilage grafting is the most common surgery performed to correct tracheal collapse. It involves taking a piece of cartilage from another part of the dog’s body and placing it inside the trachea to help support it.

Stenting is another type of surgery that can be used to treat collapse. A stent is a small metal tube placed inside the trachea to help support it.

Brachioplasty involves removing a portion of the dog’s rib cage. It will help create more space for the trachea and prevent it from collapsing.

2) CBD Oil Treatment

Here are the benefits of using CBD for treating dog tracheal collapse as a home treatment:

a) Relax the Airways 

CBD is effective in relaxing the airways and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help soothe the symptoms of tracheal collapse and make it easier for your dog to breathe.

Home treatment for tracheal collapse involves using a humidifier, nebulizer, or vaporizer to increase the moisture in the air. It can help thin the mucus and make it easier for your dog to breathe.

Adding CBD oil to the humidifier, nebulizer, or vaporizer will help to relax the airways.

b) Reduces Inflammation 

CBD oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the inflammation in the trachea, which will help to ease your dog’s coughing.

It is also thought to reduce anxiety and stress, contributing to tracheal collapse effectively. CBD oil is a natural, safe treatment for dogs with this condition.

c) Strengthens the Immune System 

The oil can help strengthen your dog’s immune system, which can help prevent tracheal collapse. It is a natural way to improve your dog’s overall health and well-being.

It contains elements like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help boost your dog’s immune system.

Final Thoughts

If you see your pet displaying any signs or symptoms associated with a collapsed trachea, it’s essential to seek professional medical help. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating this condition, and the sooner you get your pet to a veterinarian, the better their chances are for making a full recovery.

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