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Archive for the ‘Collapsing Trachea’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Collapsing trachea | what can be done to help your dog

Several years ago I wrote about my experience with my Pomeranian Precious and congestive heart failure. I never realized how many dog owners would share their stories with me.  After putting her down after her long struggle with CHF, I eventually decided I needed to get another Pomeranian.

I wanted a  dog closer in age to my other Pomeranians so I rescued a 6 year old Pomeranian who was supposedly a stray. Since she was a stray she didn’t have a name so I couldn’t help but name her Precious also. This can be annoying to some people because when I talk about my last dog I have to say Precious#1 as to not confuse her with my current Precious.

So when my new Precious developed a cough it really scared me. I thought please I don’t want to go through that so soon again. I can’t believe how grateful I was when my vet told me her heart was fine she just has the beginning symptoms of collapsing trachea.

Actually when I went home I realized this condition is not going to be any picnic either. As a pet sitter for the last 12 years I cared for a few dogs who had collapsing trachea. There was one Yorkies who I really loved whom I had the honor of pet sitting for several years who eventually just got so bad not even the surgery helped him recover.

The first year I had Precious her collapsing trachea wasn’t much of a problem but then she developed an upper respiratory infection with a runny nose and nasal congestion. This was an experience that could fill another post. When she finally recovered from this she wouldn’t stop coughing. Before she would only cough when she got excited now she coughed day and night. In the beginning the only thing to do is address the cough with cough supresants like hydrocodone. My vet gave her that and finally we both got some sleep.

I started to do some researching about collapsing trachea online and discovered some interesting facts. The sites mentioned that before  the diagnosis of a “collapsed trachea” in most instances there will have been chronic coughing for years prior to the diagnosis.  Because of this constant assault on the trachea these tissues are weakened resulting in the severe collapsing trachea. The trachea never has a chance to become stronger.  I wondered could barking extensively also cause this problem. Precious would also go crazy barking in the morning and every time I asked her if she wanted to go out. I suddenly felt like this was something I could no longer let her do. Easier said than done but I decided to try.  Could that be why mostly small breeds like Yorkies, Pomeranians, Poodles develop collapsing trachea because they are such good yappers? Have I made her prognosis worse because I have failed to correct this behavior?

I’ve tried to eliminate her constant barking and have noticed her coughing does get worse when she gets that excited. For now she is on hydrocodone twice a day and we are dealing with it. I have noticed sometime when she starts coughing in the middle of the night I will gently rub her tummy and she will eventually stop. I guess I’ll have more to say as this condition progresses. I can only pray it won’t be as bad as congestive heart failure with Precious #1 was.

Any comments on how any dog lovers coped with it or things you may of done to help your dog’s collapsing trachea will be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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