When To Euthanize A Dog With Tracheal Collapse

When a dog is diagnosed with tracheal collapse, he will need to be on oxygen for the remainder of his life. It can become costly, and it’s hard to find an oxygen tank to accommodate a large dog. In some cases, the only humane option may be euthanasia.

In these circumstances, you have no choice but to have your beloved pet put down because no other options are available. In this situation, the best thing you can do is make sure your small animal companion has a loving home waiting for him when it’s time to go.

Sadly, many people don’t take the necessary steps, which leaves them feeling guilty about their decision later on in life.

Read More: How To Euthanize A Dog With Over The Counter Drugs

When a dog is diagnosed with tracheal collapse, it will need to be on oxygen for the remainder of its life. It can become costly, and it’s hard to find an oxygen tank to accommodate a large dog. In some cases, the only humane option may be euthanasia.

What Is Tracheal Collapse?

What Is Tracheal Collapse?

Tracheal collapse is the softening, atrophic, shortening, and deepening of the tracheal cartilages. It can lead to severe difficulty breathing or even suffocation if not treated. It is simply the wasting away of your back ribs (Secondary to lung disease)

It occurs when an adult’s respiratory infections cause scarring on their lungs, affecting their ability to breathe correctly. As adults age, they may develop bronchitis or a disease that scarred the inner fibers of their lungs; this will weaken their lungs over time and make it more difficult for them to expand and contract normally. It is more common in cases where a person has had a history of smoking cigarettes, most often linked with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

For example, Winston Churchill, who died at 90 of a stroke, was believed to have had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which scarred his lungs. Another example is singer Tom Petty, who died at 66 of an accidental drug overdose, is believed to have had a history of smoking and was diagnosed with emphysema.

How To Diagnose Tracheal Collapse In Dogs?

How To Diagnose Tracheal Collapse In Dogs?

There are a few methods for diagnosing tracheal collapse in dogs. One is a physical examination, during which the veterinarian will feel for a decrease in the diameter of the dog’s trachea. They may also listen to the dog’s chest with a stethoscope to see if they can hear any abnormal sounds. If these tests suggest tracheal collapse, your veterinarian may order an x-ray or CT scan to get a better look at the trachea.

The veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination and order some tests, such as a chest x-ray, to determine whether or not your dog has tracheal collapse. There is no definitive test to diagnose this condition, so the veterinarian will likely use a combination of tests to make a diagnosis.

Other methods for diagnosing tracheal deviation involve a direct view of the trachea. It can be done through a laryngoscope, bronchoscope, or stethoscope.

Are There Treatment Options For Tracheal Collapse?

Yes, there are a few treatment options for tracheal collapse. Some of these treatments include using a humidifier, avoiding smoke and other air pollutants, taking medications to help open the airway and surgery.

  • Surgical correction of the trachea

One of the treatments for tracheal collapse is the surgical correction of the trachea. This surgery is designed to help improve airway function and correct any deformities. A few different types of surgery can be performed, depending on the severity of the collapse and the symptoms that are present.

  • Nissen fundoplication

Another treatment for tracheal collapse is Nissen fundoplication. This surgery involves placing a portion of the stomach to the chest to stiffen and strengthen the trachea. This procedure is often done with other surgical procedures because it helps fix acid reflux and tracheal collapse.

  • Tracheotomy

Treatment for tracheal collapse can also include a tracheotomy. In this surgery, a tube is placed in the trachea through a small incision to help breathe and swallow. A tracheotomy is often used when the trachea has become significantly affected by tracheal collapse or scarring.

  • Speech therapy

Speech therapy is also a standard treatment option for tracheal collapse. This therapy involves working with a speech therapist to practice breathing and swallowing to help improve the function of the trachea.

How To Manage Tracheal Collapse At Home?

Fortunately, there are some treatments you can do to manage your tracheal collapse and prevent it from getting worse.

  • Medication

If your dog is suffering from tracheal collapse, it can help treat him for weeks with Antibiotics to prevent infections.

Another way of preventing infections is to use a Collar. If your dog doesn’t have any neck problems, it’s safe to put the collar around the neck to avoid infections in the trachea.

  • Lose weight

If your dog is overweight, it can help lose some pounds to have less pressure on the trachea.

  • Don’t over-exercise your dog.

If your dog is coughing after or before exercising, it’s better to stop until the coughing has stopped.

Groom your dog regularly to prevent matting; this can also help to prevent infections.

  • Physical Therapy

If your dog is suffering from Tracheal Collapse, it can help to give him physical therapy. If the trachea is in a collapsed position, it can help to stretch it in a comfortable position.

This physical therapy should be done by a professional, and it has to be monitored by your Vet.

  • Surgery

If medication and physical therapy doesn’t help your dog, you can think about surgery. It should be done by a professional, and you have to make sure your dog is healthy enough for surgery.

Surgery is needed if physical therapy is not helping or is not possible anymore.

Therefore, if your dog is coughing or has trouble breathing, you should go to the Vet immediately!

Write How And Why Do Dogs Develop Tracheal Collapse?

How And Why Do Dogs Develop Tracheal Collapse?

Dogs develop tracheal collapse because the rings of cartilage that make up the trachea can weaken and buckle. It occurs most commonly in small or toy breeds, but any dog breed can be affected. The condition is more common in older dogs but can occur at any age. Dogs with tracheal collapse often have a cough, which may be mild or severe, and they may gag or choke on food or water. In some cases, the dog may struggle to breathe and may need to be hospitalized.

What causes tracheal collapse?

The tracheal collapse is caused by the weakening and collapsing of the rings of cartilage that make up the trachea. This cartilage is very similar to what you would find in your ears or larynx. These rings typically hold the trachea open, but in some cases, the tissue lining the rings weakens and allows them to buckle. With age, these rings become less pliable, making them more susceptible to collapse. This condition is also common in dogs with repeated episodes of inflammation (referred to as recurrent airway obstruction, or RAO).

Signs and Symptoms of a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs

Signs and Symptoms of a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs

Signs and symptoms of a collapsed trachea in dogs include difficulty breathing, coughing, open-mouth breathing, and gagging.

  • Trouble breathing

The most obvious sign of a collapsed trachea is trouble breathing. In cases of a collapsed trachea, breathing is difficult and shallow. Dogs may have to pull their legs forward when they live to expand their chest cavity. Additionally, your dog’s rib cage may become more visible as he breathes.

  • Coughing

The second sign of a collapsed trachea is coughing. A dog with a collapsed trachea often coughs up phlegm and may gag as well. In some cases, the coughing may be so severe that your dog vomits.

  • Open-mouth breathing

If your dog has a collapsed trachea, he may also have to open his mouth wide to breathe. This is most often seen in dogs who are panting heavily.

  • Gagging

Gagging is another common sign of a collapsed trachea. Dogs who gag tend to do so repeatedly and often produce phlegm.

How long can a dog live with a collapsing trachea?

Dogs can live with a collapsing trachea for a while, but it will eventually become fatal.

Collapsing trachea is a medical condition in which the tracheal cartilage weakens and causes the windpipe to narrow and collapse. This can be fatal to dogs, but many can live for a while with the condition if it is adequately managed.

The typical life expectancy for a dog with collapsing trachea is anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. This condition will eventually become too severe to manage, but dogs can live for a while with little to no symptoms. The life expectancy depends on the severity of the case and how well it worked.

Are dogs with collapsed trachea suffering?

Dogs with collapsed trachea are not suffering. It sounds a lot worse than it is! In this condition, the dog’s windpipe collapses due to an abnormally narrow area of cartilage between the two parts of its vocal cords, or it can be from severe inflammation around one or both vocal cords. The condition does not typically cause pain and has no powerful effect on a dog’s daily function as long as they can orally breathe (thanks to bones that allow for protraction) or inhale during exercise from some other form of ventilation, such as by holding their breath or panting.

When can I put my dog to sleep with a collapsed trachea?

To put a dog to sleep with a collapsed trachea, the veterinarian needs to have some success inserting an endotracheal tube. Without being able to intubate, likely, there may not be sufficient air and oxygenation of the blood, which will cause the animal to go into respiratory arrest.

It sounds like your Vet said your dog couldn’t breathe anymore. If this is true, you will need an emergency veterinarian with equipment on hand like rigid plastic tubes or endotracheal tubes. Alternatively, if “heating” isn’t possible (because of too much fat), they might try using medications such as ataxia followed by ketamine anesthesia.

How do you comfort a dog with a collapsed trachea?

The best way to comfort a dog with a collapsed trachea is to get them into a warm environment and wrapped in blankets or towels. You can also provide heat through an electric blanket, heating pad, lightbulb tube heater, or hot water bottle to keep your dog’s temperature up. A feverish dog will usually be more comfortable than a cold and limp one.


In conclusion, there is no set answer to the question “When To Euthanize A Dog With Tracheal Collapse?” The decision you make will ultimately depend on your dog’s age and health. If your pet has a high quality of life despite their condition, it may be best to wait until they show signs of suffering before making this difficult decision. That being said, if an animal can’t breathe or eat without assistance, then euthanasia should be considered as soon as possible because these animals live in constant pain with little hope for recovery. If you feel like time is running out and your pup doesn’t have much left in them, we recommend contacting us so our team of experts can help give you advice about what next steps to take.