Tracheal Collapse in a Dog

Andrew Linklater, DVM, DACVECC, Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, Glendale, Wisconsin

ArticleLast Updated February 20181 min readPeer Reviewed
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An 8-year-old neutered male Yorkshire terrier is presented for respiratory distress. The patient had been exhibiting a loud, progressive, honking cough for 18 months before presentation. The owners had attempted nebulization and coupage at home without improvement. Physical examination reveals a distressed patient with a respiratory rate of 60 breaths/min, loud upper airway stridor and stertor, and coughing. Temperature is 103.9F (39.9C), heart rate is 160 bpm, and mucous membranes are a muddy/cyanotic color. Oxygen is administered, and the patient improves enough for lateral radiography; radiographs reveal a grade III to IV tracheal collapse at the thoracic inlet and a mild interstitial pattern, most prominent in the caudodorsal region of the lungs (Figure 1).

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Radiograph showing grade III to grade IV tracheal collapse and a mild interstitial pattern