Veterinarian column: Tracheal collapse in dogs

by Alice's Dog & Cat獣医師

There are many people who have been diagnosed with tracheal collapse at a veterinary hospital and are looking for a harness that will not put strain on their pet's trachea. This column is about tracheal collapse, and what kind of disease is it? Is there a cure? What can you do to prevent it? I will explain in detail.

Structure of the trachea

The trachea must be flexible enough to bend with the movement of the neck, and the lumen must be protected from collapse to allow air to flow in and out continuously. It has a cylindrical structure made of stacked C -shaped cartilages to maintain flexibility and hardness. The tracheal cartilage is C -shaped, so there is no cartilage at the back, and it is made up of smooth muscle called a membranous wall.

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

What is tracheal collapse?

The trachea becomes flattened (collapsed) due to weakening of the tracheal cartilage and elongation of the membranous wall. The cause is unknown.

As a possible triggering factor

・Genetic predisposition

·High-temperature and humidity

・Increase in intratracheal pressure due to frequent barking

・External pressure such as pulling on a leash

And so on.

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs


You may experience a temporary cough. In severe cases, the cough becomes persistent. In mild cases, there may be no particular symptoms, but as the disease progresses, it can cause a duck-like breathing sound and difficulty breathing, and in more severe cases, it can cause respiratory arrest and death.

dog breeds that are prone to

·Yorkshire terrier

·toy poodle




It is said that the onset of the disease is common between the ages of 1 and 5 years old, and there is a tendency for people to become obese .

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

Although it is not common, it has also been seen in non-toy dog ​​breeds.

・Shiba Inu

・Golden Retriever

・Labrador, retriever, etc.

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

Brachycephalic airway syndrome may be accompanied by tracheal collapse.


・French bulldog

・Boston Terrier

・English Bulldog

・Shih Tzu

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs


・Clinical symptoms

・Palpation and cough test

・X-ray examination

・X-ray fluoroscopy

・Bronchoscopic examination

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs


medical therapy

Medical therapy cannot completely cure tracheal collapse. The purpose of medical therapy is to alleviate symptoms and save lives in the event of acute deterioration.

Obese dogs undergo weight loss. Depending on the symptoms, we administer sedatives, antitussives, expectorants, bronchodilators, steroids, and oxygen therapy.

surgical therapy

When tracheal collapse progresses and clinical symptoms are severe, surgery is indicated for complete cure. Surgical treatments include placement of extratracheal proteases and endotracheal stents.

The prognosis is said to vary depending on the severity and the experience of the surgeon.

What you can do to prevent it

・Obesity prevention

・Manage room temperature to avoid high temperature and humidity environments

・Changing to a harness that does not put strain on the trachea

・Environmental cleaning, such as removing dust and dust, and smoking cessation for smokers.

・Try not to bark

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

Veterinarian Column Tracheal Collapse in Dogs

In mild cases, tracheal collapse may not cause any symptoms, and may be discovered during a health check and pointed out by a veterinarian. It is a disease that cannot be stopped or cured medically. In severe cases, there is a risk of death due to difficulty breathing or respiratory arrest. Avoid things that are thought to trigger symptoms even if you have not developed symptoms. Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with tracheal collapse, even if you have no symptoms, be sure to do what you can to reduce the burden on your trachea.