Are you concerned that your dog may have a collapsed trachea? Are you looking for answers to the questions that you have? A dog having a collapsed trachea sounds terrifying, especially for dog owners who dedicate their life and love to their fur-baby. While doing research and flickering between sources may make your head whirl, you want to know there are answers so you can prepare to take care of your pooch. Below, your question may be answered.

How Long Can A Dog Live With A Collapsing Trachea?

While there doesn’t seem to be a concrete answer for this question, it seems dogs live an average of 2 to 5 years with a tracheal collapse. The answer depends on a few determining factors such as the dog’s age, the dog’s breed, the severity of the collapse, and when/if a tracheal stent is surgically placed.

Reports from both the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine and Embrace Pet Insurance report similar numbers in how long the average lifespan of a dog is after their corrective surgery on their collapsed trachea: 2 to 3 years. [1] [2]

How Do You Comfort A Dog With A Collapsed Trachea?

Methods commonly used to comfort dogs with collapsed tracheas include switching from a neck collar to a body harness, holistic approaches thought to help with coughing, and medications such as sedatives to help control anxiety and excitability. [3]

This is because common symptoms of tracheal collapse include difficulty breathing, coughs that sound like honks, and increased symptom severity when excited. While they are not methods of treatment, these are some ways for you to comfort your pup.[4]

Another solution for your dog includes dieting, as if your dog is overweight, that weight does more damage to the trachea. There are also medications used to treat airway inflammation to help your dog breathe a tad better.

Can A Dog Live A Long Life With A Collapsed Trachea?

Similarly to the answer of how long a dog can live with a collapsing trachea, the answer to if dogs can live a long life with a collapsed trachea depends on a group of determining factors. Each dog and its situation is unique. There are various stages of tracheal collapse, and the severity of it is what decides the fate of a precious pup.

More commonly diagnosed in middle-aged dogs, collapsing tracheas may not even bother your dog until they are in their older years. So long as the circumstances are not severe, with the proper care, your dog can continue to live life as they are used to. [5]

How Can I Strengthen My Dogs Trachea?

While there doesn’t seem to be any veterinarian-backed methods of strengthening your dog’s trachea, there are some beliefs that you can strengthen the cartilage using supplements and exercises.

A better suggestion than strengthening your dog’s trachea is to protect your dog from any trachea damage. Use body harnesses instead of neck collars when you walk your dog and keep an eye on their breathing habits. If you notice your dog has begun coughing more often, take them to the vet to see how you can treat it.

If you treat the problems before the severity becomes unsurmountable, you may be able to give your pal more time for relaxation.

Can Dogs Die From A Collapsed Trachea?

There is a chance that dogs will die from a collapsed trachea, as tracheal collapses can be lethal if treatment is not sought for the disease. It worsens further if no changes are made to the daily routine either.

A tracheal collapse is the collapsing of the windpipe in your dog, and the severity of the collapse is ranked from Grade I – the least severe – to Grade IV – the most severe. If your dog reaches Grade IV with no medical help or treatment, they may be doomed to pass from suffocation due to the insufficient amount of oxygen making it into their system. [6]

Can A Dog Recover From A Collapsed Trachea?

Dogs cannot recover from a collapsed trachea, as it is a disease that is progressive that does not go away. There are ways that you can manage the side effects that come along with the disease, however.

While the trachea will only ever be repaired again temporarily by a stent that can be placed surgically, there are ways for owners to soothe their fur-babies. If you contact your local vet with questions, they should be able to provide you with some solutions. If you go in to be seen, they may even be able to prescribe you medications for your dog.

Is Honey Good For Dogs With Collapsed Trachea?

Honey can be okay for dogs with collapsed tracheas if used in homemade cough syrup recipes that are dog friendly. While the honey will not be doing anything for the trachea itself, there are holistic beliefs in honey and it is commonly used to treat and suppress coughing in multiple species.

If you are trying to use honey as the primary means of treating the collapsed trachea, you will not see much improvement over time unless other changes are may as well. While the substance can help soothe a dog’s coughing, it can sadly not undo the damage. [7]

Will Benadryl Help Dog With Collapsed Trachea?

Benadryl may offer some relief from inflammation symptoms, but there is nothing to support that Benadryl helps with collapsed trachea aside from symptom treatment. As an antihistamine, Benadryl is also known to help with coughing, which can provide some much-needed break from any coughs that may be rattling your dog today. [8]

Benadryl is also known for its drowsiness, which may be another reason it is prescribed or recommended by your vet. The drowsy side effect can help with dogs who have anxiety or who get overexcited. This will prevent faster breathing which will prevent a coughing fit for your dog.

Is It Dangerous To Intubate A Dog With Tracheal Collapse?

While intubation can irritate your dog’s airways, there isn’t much danger to intubate a dog with a collapsed trachea. After intubating, a dog will be sent home with medications to help with post-surgery coughing, especially the breeds more likely to experience tracheal collapses.

If your dog has a tracheal collapse already, vets may leave them intubated as long as possible as they wait for the inflammation to go down. If they do not wait for this, the trachea may close shut entirely. Without an open airway, it is nearly guaranteed that your dog would pass away from suffocation.

Can A Collapsed Trachea Heal Itself?

There is no permanent healing solution for collapsed tracheas and the trachea cannot heal itself. The dogs who deal with this disease will have to coexist with the disease until their passing after they are diagnosed. While there is a medical intervention that may prolong your dog’s life for a few years, even this surgery will not provide a solution that lasts.

If your dog is diagnosed with a collapsed trachea, you will want to stay in touch with your vet to be sure you follow treatment methods that will allow your dog to live comfortably despite this issue.

What’s The Difference Between Reverse Sneezing And Collapsing Trachea?

Reverse sneezing is a common occurrence in the lives of dogs of all shapes and sizes that is not permanent, while collapsing tracheas are a progressive disease. While collapsing tracheas can also appear in all dogs, it is dominantly displayed in toy breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Toy Poodles, Yorkies, and Shih Tzus. [9]

Reverse sneezing can sound like snorting, gagging, or coughing and it can happen a few times throughout your dog’s life. However, collapsed tracheas are much more severe. The intense hacking and coughing of a collapsed trachea will be persistent, growing increasingly common until it can happen every hour. A reverse sneeze should fix itself within a matter of minutes.

What Causes A Dog To Have A Collapsed Trachea?

While tracheal collapse can happen in any dog, because it is so dominant in toy breeds such as Yorkies, it is suspected that many cases of tracheal collapse are due to multiple factors, such as genetics, nutrients, and allergy triggers. Otherwise, there isn’t much of a cause for tracheal collapses. [10]

Regardless of what causes a collapsed trachea, a collapsed trachea is the thinning of your dog’s airways until they can barely breathe. Pay close attention to your dog to confirm there is no heavy breathing or intense coughing, as these are some main symptoms of tracheal collapse.

What Does A Dog Sound Like With A Collapsed Trachea?

Due to the restricted airflow, your dog’s coughing may resemble that of a goose’s honk. [11]

It can be agreed that anytime pet dogs make a loud noise that isn’t a bark, there is a good reason to be concerned. While dogs are capable of many sounds that range all across the board, there is an intense fear that may run through you when your dog starts sounding like a goose.

The narrowing of the airways causes irritation through the throat, which will lead to coughing. If that is the case, take your dog to the vet as soon as you can to find management options for your dog and its condition.

Do They Put A Tube Down A Dog’s Throat During Surgery?

Yes, just as they may with humans during surgery to ensure oxygen continues reaching the lungs, they might intubate your dog during surgery. There are some risks of irritation from this, but medications are generally sent home with dogs – especially toy breeds – to treat the side effects of the intubation. [12]

The way you can tell the difference between general intubation irritation and a collapsing trachea is how long the symptoms last. If the symptoms only last for seven days or less and then go away, it can be said that it was just the surgery intubation’s irritation. If the coughing and other symptoms last longer, it may be a case of a collapsing trachea.

How Do I Stop My Chihuahua From Reverse Sneezing?

If your dog begins reverse sneezing and you want to give them a hand, you can gently blow in their face. This will make your dog swallow a few times, which may help alleviate the spasm they are having.

Reverse sneezing happens because of a spasm at the back of a dog’s throat, according to Dr. Lori Teller from Texas A&M. This spasm causes them to start coughing and “sneezing” to deal with the itch at the back of their mouth.  [13]
Other ways of soothing your dog during a reverse sneezing episode are gently rubbing their throat while talking softly or by opening their mouth and pressing on their tongue.

How Long Should Reverse Sneezing Last?

Most reverse sneezing episodes last for less than a minute, but it isn’t completely unheard of for episodes longer than a minute to be reported. While it may seem scary during the time that it lasts because you are not sure if your furry friend can breathe, there is nothing deadly about reverse sneezing. [14]

The only time that it should be a concern is if it begins happening more than once on a recurrent basis. Snorting and coughing could indicate that something is wrong with your dog and it might be best to visit your vet.

Does Reverse Sneezing Hurt Dogs?

Reverse sneezing does not hurt dogs, but it definitely isn’t a fun experience. Dogs who go through reverse sneezing episodes are generally reacting to an allergen or getting too excited over something. Though it doesn’t hurt, you should try to do your best to stop the reverse sneezing and get your dog back on track in its daily activities.

Reverse sneezing is bound to happen to a dog at least once in life and there is no harm unless the problem is consistent. If the reverse sneezing goes away on its own and doesn’t come back, there are no other worries to have.

Is My Dog In Pain With Collapsed Trachea?

Unless the collapsed trachea is severe, your dog’s quality of life shouldn’t be affected by their disease and they shouldn’t be in pain. In fact, when it is being treated adequately, the medications given to counter the side effects should reduce most of the symptoms from sight until the condition worsens. [15]

If you believe your dog is in pain with their collapsed trachea, you should consult your vet and see what the next best option would be for your furry pal. Consulting with medical professionals can help set your mind at ease, as you can feel more comfortable making an informed decision.

When Should I Worry About Reverse Sneezing?

Reverse sneezing should be worried about if it has been persistent and gradually getting worse. While it may have started out as a snort or a slight cough, when it begins getting louder and episodes last longer, it is time to worry about your dog.

Most of the time, it could just be something allergy-related or a simple problem with the respiratory system. However, there is a chance that the coughing and hacking is the sign of a collapsed trachea. If you believe that is the case, be sure to plan for your dog’s care and consult your vet. [16]