What to Do About a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs

When a dog has weak cartilage in her windpipe, it can collapse. Here's what you need to know about a collapsed trachea in dogs.

collapsed trachea in dogs
Small dogs in a field. Photography by Ezzolo / Shutterstock.

Recently my inbox has been inundated with questions from dog owners from around the world. That, in and of itself, is not unusual. However, lately I have noticed a marked uptick in questions about what to do about a collapsed trachea in dogs.

First, what is a trachea?

collapsed trachea in dogs
Small dogs like Chihuahuas are prone to collapsed tracheas. Photography by Netnapha Buaban/ Shutterstock.

Before we discuss a collapsed trachea in dogs, let’s first define what a trachea is. In medicine, every structure and condition has a fancy name. Freckles are called lentigo simplex. A mole is a nevus. A wart is a papilloma. Eyes with more than one color are said to exhibit heterochromia iridis. The word trachea refers to the windpipe.

The windpipe, as you no doubt know, transmits air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. It sounds like a simple structure, but of course like everything in the body, it is more complex than it sounds.

The windpipe is a tube made out of tissue membranes. Those of you who have studied physics know that when air moves, its pressure goes down. This reduction in pressure, called Bernoulli’s principle, can generate strong forces. It is what allows jumbo jets weighing over a million pounds to climb into the sky. When a dog breathes, air moves rapidly through the trachea, causing the pressure inside of it to go down. This creates a tendency for a collapsed trachea in dogs.

Evolution solved this problem by adding firm structures, made of cartilage, to the trachea. A series of cartilaginous rings holds the trachea open when dogs breathe.

So, what is a collapsed trachea in dogs and why do dogs’ tracheas collapse?

Unfortunately for some dogs, humans have meddled with their evolution. The natural size for a dog is 40 to 50 pounds. When we created smaller breeds of dogs through inbreeding, we inadvertently created a tendency for them to have weak cartilage in their windpipe.

A collapsed trachea in dogs, therefore, occurs almost exclusively in small dogs. Chihuahuas, Miniature and Teacup Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers are especially predisposed to the condition.

Most small dogs are born with cartilage that is sufficiently strong to hold the trachea open. However, age takes its toll on cartilage, as it does on so many things. As cartilage ages, it becomes weaker. Symptoms of a collapsed trachea in dogs thus occur most commonly in older dogs.

What are the symptoms of a collapsed trachea in dogs?

The first symptom of a collapsed trachea in dogs is usually coughing. As the windpipe narrows during breathing, dogs appear to feel a tickle in their throat. The symptoms of a collapsed trachea in dogs tend to be most prominent when air is moving faster and the forces leading to collapse of the structure are stronger. Therefore, the symptoms of a collapsed trachea in dogs are more likely to occur when dogs breathe harder. They often cough when they are excited or when they engage in strenuous exercise.

The coughing caused by a collapsed trachea in dogs generally is dry and often sounds like a goose honking. The coughs may come in clusters, or they may be solitary. They may be triggered by pressure on the windpipe such as occurs when a dog who is leashed to a collar pulls hard. Vets sometimes can trigger coughing in dogs with the syndrome by gently stimulating the windpipe.

The symptoms of a collapsed trachea in dogs can be identical to those of canine infectious respiratory disease, also known as CIRD, and known colloquially as kennel cough. In its early stages, the condition is sometimes mistaken for kennel cough (and the two conditions are not mutually exclusive). However, kennel cough is self limiting. Its symptoms generally resolve within a week. A collapsed trachea in dogs is a lifelong, progressive syndrome.

How is a collapsed trachea in dogs diagnosed?

A collapsed trachea in dogs can be diagnosed in two ways. Radiographs (X-rays) are the most common method. The trachea is visible on chest radiographs. The diagnosis is made if it is seen to narrow on the images. However, a collapsed trachea in dogs is a dynamic phenomenon. The windpipe narrows when the dog inhales, and then snaps back to its normal shape. If the image is acquired when air is not moving, the trachea will appear normal.

A collapsed trachea in dogs can also be diagnosed with endoscopy. An endoscope is a medical instrument with a camera on its end. It can be inserted into the trachea, and the windpipe can be observed visually for evidence of collapse.

What is the prognosis for a collapsed trachea in dogs?

I am sorry to say that severe cases of a collapsed trachea in dogs can have fatal consequences. The narrowing of a collapsed trachea in dogs can become so severe that sufficient air cannot make it into the lungs, and affected dogs may die of respiratory distress.

The news, however, is not all bad. Life-threatening cases of a collapsed trachea in dogs are rare in my experience. Most dogs with the condition experience coughing but do not progress to respiratory distress.

How do you treat a collapsed trachea in dogs?

Treatment for a collapsed trachea in dogs starts with basic lifestyle changes. Leashes should be attached to harnesses rather than collars in order to avoid pressure on the windpipe. (In fact, I recommend harnesses for all dogs, not just small ones.) Obesity exacerbates the syndrome, so special attention should be paid to the weight of dogs with collapsing trachea. Dogs need to move more air through the trachea when they pant on hot days and when they exercise. Therefore, a collapsed trachea in dogs means that dogs should avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day.

Cough suppressants sometimes are prescribed to treat collapsed trachea in dogs. As the syndrome progresses, some dogs benefit from treatment with so-called bronchodilating medications, which open airways and facilitate breathing.

Dogs with crises of respiratory distress due to collapsing trachea may be treated with sedation, supplemental oxygen, and steroids to reduce inflammation and swelling of the trachea. In severe cases, dogs may be anesthetized so that a breathing tube can be placed in order to provide ventilation.

Is there a cure for a collapsed trachea in dogs? What can you do about it?

There is no cure for a collapsed trachea in dogs, but dogs who suffer from advanced forms of the condition sometimes benefit from a procedure called tracheal stenting. Tracheal stenting involves permanent placement of a rigid structure inside (or in some cases, outside) of the windpipe to hold it open.

I recommend that owners of small dogs who frequently cough discuss collapsing trachea with their veterinarians. A good vet should be able to help come up with a comprehensive treatment plan to keep dogs breathing well.

This piece was originally published in 2016.

Thumbnail: Photography by Ezzolo / Shutterstock.

About the author

Dr. Eric Barchas is a professional traveler who spends his spare time working as a full-time veterinarian; contributing to Dogster and Catster; walking, cooking, camping, and exploring the outdoors; skiing (when conditions permit); and reading Booker-shortlisted novels. In between trips Dr. Barchas lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Denise, and his canine pal, Buster. His main veterinary interests are emergency and critical care, wellness, pain management and promotion of the human-animal bond. Dr. Barchas has contributed to Dogster and Catster since May 2005.

Read more about dog health and care on Dogster.com:

154 thoughts on “What to Do About a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs”

  1. Thank you for such an informative article. We helped our dog a lot with this condition using ultra-flex collagen and fish oil.
    It took some time but it really helped.

    1. Informative article. My dog Emmett was diagnosed with this in Feb. and died yesterday of respiratory distress. He was 13, large terrier mix, and had other health conditions as well (chronic arthritis, heart murmur, liver disease). I am reading trying to make sense of it all. He collapsed in the yard and died fast.

  2. Thk you for your tips
    I also have a 13 yr poodle. I tried vets meds made her worse.
    She hated them. She now basa companion much younger after they e ercise she is much better. I also keep her bites of food small and soft. Thks sgain

  3. Transforming Tracheal Collapse in Chihuahuas – Chops’s success story!

    Five months ago, we had never heard the term tracheal collapse. Since that time, our six pound Chihuahua, Chops, experienced a 98% improvement from this disease.

    Chops was coughing and wheezing … his overall health was deteriorating. He had lots of energy and his life-force was high, but he was struggling. Initially, years ago, his veterinarian at the time diagnosed his problem as allergies. Later, another veterinarian said he had a symptom called reverse sneezing. A year later, another veterinarian thought Chop’s problem stemmed from his vaccination history, and started him on a detox program. Finally, after his condition worsened, the last diagnosis to Chop’s dilemma indicated he was suffering from tracheal collapse.

    According to the American College of Veterinarian Surgeons, tracheal collapse is a chronic, progressive, irreversible disease of the trachea, or windpipe, and lower airways (main stem bronchi collapse). The trachea is a flexible tube and, similar to a vacuum cleaner hose. It has small rings of cartilage that help keep the airway open when the dog is breathing, moving or coughing. The rings of cartilage are C-shaped, with the open part of the C facing upward. In some dogs, the C-shaped cartilage becomes weak and begins to flatten out. As the roof of the trachea stretches, the cartilage rings get flatter and flatter until the trachea collapses. The collapse can extend all the way into the bronchi (the tubes that feed air into the lungs), resulting in severe airway compromise in your pet. If you look in the blog section, attached is a full description of tracheal collapse by the American College of Veterinarian Surgeons.

    By the time Chops was evaluated, approximately 40% of his trachea had collapsed. I attached a video taken during the worst stretch of this problem. You can hear him struggling for air as he went on one of his daily walks. (I then attached a follow-up video a couple of months later, after I had confirmation from his veterinarian of his progress.)

    About three months prior to the video where Chops began walking again without wheezing, Alan and his wife Joy began giving him Life-force blessings. Alan and Joy had been studying this procedure since 2010, and realized that this was the time to begin to treat Chops. At the same time, his veterinarian prescribed a cartilage boosting supplement in hopes of thickening and strengthening his trachea, along with some dietary changes to Chop’s eating habits.

    Chops had his first follow-up evaluation one month later and his veterinarian said it appeared that the degeneration had stopped and his overall cartilage condition was indicating approximately a 10% improvement. According to her diagnosis, this was significant and not very typical after such a short time span.

    Alan and Joy continued the Life-force blessings and reached out to other colleagues who were also studying on this same program. He found nine additional practitioners willing to work with Chops and administer Life-force blessings on a remote basis from all around the United States.

    In total, Chops now had ten individuals administering these blessings to him on a daily basis.

    His second follow-up was exactly one month following his first evaluation. This time, his veterinarian estimated his overall improvement to be 60%. She also tested the percentage of his trachea that was collapsed and found that to only be 30% collapsed, which was down from her original finding of 40% one month earlier.

    The only way to express the significance of this evaluation is to go back to the American College of Veterinarian Surgeons definition to understand that trachea collapse is considered by the veterinarian profession to be an irreversible disease with no known cure.

    Chops had his third follow-up with his veterinarian, one month after his last evaluation. The latest estimated overall level improvement in his cartilage consistency was 90%. The percentage of his trachea that was collapsed as of April 16, 2018 was slightly less than 20%.

    Success continued with the fourth follow-up visit too. Again, after another month, on May 16, 2018, the overall cartilage consistency improved to 98% and the percentage of his trachea that was collapsed was approximately 9%, down from slightly less than 20% one month earlier.

    1. Hi Alan,

      Please can you tell me what Life-force blessings is and which dietary changes were made?

      Thank you

  4. My 13 year old Pomeranian went to a new groomer who bruised her trachea. She developed a cough that lasted about 10 days. A few months later she feel off the sofa and hit a table. She must have bruised her trachea herself. This time the cough was much worse. Fortunately this also only lasted a few days. I watch her very closely now & check her breathing often.

  5. My poor pup had problems with a collapsed trachea last year.
    Out vets help was very limited, but then I cam across this page which helped tremendously-


    A slight diet change, and using Ultra-Flex Collagen & Power Probiotics fixed everything.

    Hope this info can help others too!

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  9. My pugs both died from collapsed tracheas. One was 14 and the other 16. I tried homeopathic remedies which worked for awhile and one had surgery when he was seven which helped for about six years. My new pug only uses a harness. I cannot take him to the doggie day care because they require a collar. I took him the last time and he came back coughing for a day. I think the employee grabbed him by the collar. Be aware of this problem with at least some day care facilities. I am trying to be very vigilant to avoid this problem in the future. Any other hints would be helpful. However currently I do not have a problem. The vet did open up his nostrils surgically to help avoid future issues.

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  13. My Tony puts him self into a trans I talk real slow
    I do not touch him .there’s times I have to kinda yell breath tony ma mas here I love u Tony.
    I’m trying to record it an post it

  14. We had a yorkie poodle mix he had it quite some time. Every time he would get excited. But it would go away. He was almost 10 years old. It was xmas eve night. Our 2 boys went to town to visit friends. He heard something outside. Jumped down off the couch barking. It hit him. It never went away! He died by the back door laying on a rug. There’s nothing we could do to help him! I wish now I’d taken him outside. Maybe the cool air would have helped open it. Or maybe it was his time to go. It was horrible to loose him that way!!

    1. Where did you find this Chineese syrup & pill ? Exactly what are they?
      I am looking for natural cures to use for my 11 year old cross Shih Tzu??

      1. Amberly Nelson

        I am not sure if you ever received an answer to your question but I have purchased a honey syrup and some tracheal powder from Pawhealer.com.
        I have used the syrup consistently but my yorkie will not take the powder. I have tried mixing it in food and chicken broth and anything you can think of with no luck.

        1. Karen Grierson

          Where do you get this CBD Chinese herbal syrup with THE least THC in it? I have a 7 1/2 pound poodle.
          Thank you

  15. My maltese poodle has it, steriods helped tremendously! Vet told me, it cause infection and imflamation and she will probably need antibiotics on and off for the rest of her life, thankfully it comes n spurts n only lasts a few days n disappears again for a while, my girl is 13!

  16. My dog is a 16 years old, terrier mix. She was diagnosed 2 years ago with a collapsed trachea. We give her childrens benelyn usually once a day. 3 mils. We give her soft food usually mixed with warm water. She uses a harness rather than a collar and we try to keep her weight down. I sometimes give her throatgold drops or a little honey which she licks from my finger. She sleeps in a cool room with an air purifier. Hope this is helpful. We love our Nibbles.

    1. What type of Harness did you buy her? My pom doesn’t do well with the harness I bought her a Gooby and the other day she had a coughing fit with it on and need to get one that does not put any pressure near his throat or chest.

  17. My 1yr old Pomeranian has a hacking cough and has trouble breathing. I am not sure if he has a CT or if it can be allergies. This has been going on for about two months. This is my first dog and not sure what to do.

  18. I’m curious as to how cough medicines, honey, etc., would help a collapsed treacea. Those types of treatment goes down the esophagus, (foodpipe), not the trachea (windpipe).

    1. The cough drops just help with the cough when it gets to the point it causes problems with breathing, my vet didnt give me anything but steriods and antibiotics and it helped but he said if the cough gets to bad he can prescribe her something for it

  19. I have a overweight 12 yr old Chihuahua with collaps trachea. All of a sudden she was coughing a lot. I ordered from Pet Wellbeing its called Throat gold. She has responded nicely with this. Also worth a mention is Trachea soother syrup from Hound Healer. All stuff I was able to buy right from comp. Hope maybe this helps someone.

    1. Gregg Sheridan

      I bought these from amazon today and im hoping it helps . I will post in a week or two to let you know how they worked .

  20. I rescued a Jack Russel and after 9 months she started coughing and gagging during the day when she’s active.
    At night she seems fine. I addressed my vet about this and he said it could be post nasal drip. I don’t think so

    1. Daniera Efferson

      My 11 year Pomerania does the same thing and I was told she has CT from my vet she was first put on antibiotics and got better but it came back and is now on cough meds and steroids I only give them to her when needed because I don’t like steroids I monitor her closely and try to keep her calm and cool I love her soooo much and don’t know what I’m going to do without her when it gets bad but what I do know is I want let her sufferwhen it gets real bad I pray for all you people who have dogs with C hang in there they need us

    2. Hi there,
      We suggest continuing to seek vet attention. Perhaps try a different vet if you’re not satisfied. These articles might provide insight, too. We hope your dog feels better!

    3. I don’t think so either. MY JRT has collapsed treachea and she is 9. She has good weeks and bad weeks. Cold air is bad and so is excitement. My dog is on Lasix 12.5 mg. twice daily and I give her 1/2 tsp. Apple cider vinegar mixed with about 1/2 tsp. Water. This helps cut the phlegm for a little while. There is also Tussigon it is a narcotic cough suppressant. All these things help her breathe better. We just work with it. Hope this helps you.

  21. HI l have an 8 yr old Chinese crested powder puff, she always gags after her honking, if she stretches her neck to look at me she coughs .I was only told about the repiar no meds?

    1. Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for reaching out! We suggest reaching out to a vet if you know / suspect your dog has this condition. Hope your dog feels better!

  22. My 11yo Lilybet was diagnosed with CT this past year. At first she was prescribed a cough medicine that really didn’t help much, and she gave me so much trouble with taking it, even if I put it in food. Recently I happened upon THROAT GOLD, for throat and upper respiratory tract. They are drops and the amount to give is determined by the dog’s weight. I administered one dose. I have not heard her honking since then, however her breathing has changed to a short shallow breathing through her nose. It is not panting and not quite as fast a panting. I called a specialty vet in our area, and of course they tell me to bring her in. I am leary about giving her another dose that might make her breathing worse, but on the other hand I know that a veterinarian may not support the use of the product that I found. What’s mother to do?

    1. Hi Linda,
      We suggest discussing with your vet first! Maybe give them a call if you have an immediate question before the appointment.

  23. Brenda Behler Tracy

    My yorkie is 11 and started with a CT few months ago, he is on Tussigon for the cough. He is needing to gain a little weight and not sure what to give him. I just started him on Royal Canin small bites for adults, i read it’s a good food and my vet agrees. Any suggestions on what to do next for him?

    1. Hi there Brenda,

      Thanks for reaching out! We encourage you to keep working with your vet who has helped you on what to do next.

  24. My two year old Cavapoo has early signs of collapsed trachea. It’s aweful and I feel helpless when she is coughing so terribly. My vet said we could do medications and have her lose a little bit of weight. I also researched holistic approach and those indicated collagen supplements, calming solutions, something to help open bronchial airways. So I’m curious if anyone has used the steroids approach or other treatments successfully.

    1. I’d also be interested if anyone comes back with experience of natural treatments. Vets are so expensive and the drug full of chemicals which threaten the immune system in one which is already weakened. U have a shih tzu she’s 13 and was in the vet 2 week ago with what the vet said was kennel cough however I think what they vet gave has just suppressed her condition and must diagnosed, she is not short of breath and hacking phlegm all around the house so back to the vet tomorrow but I’d like to see of anyone has found something holistic?

    2. I have a 6 pd pomeranian. My poor baby coughed non-stop and I felt helpless too so I took him to the vet. He was on steroids for two wks and antibiotics for 3 to 4 wks and was fine afterwards. The vet says he is starting to have the tracheal collapse problems many small dogs have. She recommended 1/2 benadryl or 1/2 tablet of zyrtec when needed. He has also developed skin allergies and is taking Apoquel 3.6 mg, 1/2 daily. I hope your baby feels better. I am looking for a natural cough suppressant to have on hand for when/if he starts coughing again..

    3. I was giving my dog prednisone for a month and then she had terrible diarrhea so we stopped for a while…now I just give it (prednisone) to her occasionally.

  25. My 15 y/o miniature poodle has been living quite well with trachea collapse syndrome since first diagnosed at 8 y/o. She has had no medical tx. other than reducing her activity to sedentary . While her condition has gotten worse over the last year, she has outlived every one of our previous dogs by more than 6 yrs. While this is supposed to be a rare occurrence, our last min. poodle also succumbed to this hereditary
    condition at 9 y/o. ANY future poodle puppy acquisition will be contingent on the completion of imaging studies .

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  27. Concerning collapsed trachea , it’s very rare and you cannot give drugs or steroids to dogs . Nor can you give sedation medicine or cough suppressions . All you people want to do is get people’s money 1 Tim 6 : 10 . The conventional veterinarian protocol drugs surgery is a disgrace . You Vets ruin people’s dogs . They are worse after they see you than before .

      1. My dog has a ‘cough’ more like a sore throat when cold wind hits her or she gets excited..reluctant to use drugs may get better in time..am giving an occasional 1/2 spoon of pure honey which seems to help.
        Vet says wait and see….she hasnt “coughed” every day…

          1. My vet gave cough medicine she said the liquid is better but he won’t eat or drink anything liquid isn’t he smells it no matter how I try to hide it I give him the pill
            One crushed in his food but it doesn’t work
            That well ?

        1. We have learned over time to put water in our Goldendoodle’s food. We give him cooked white meat chicken and white rice. We warm it in the microwave before each feeding, making sure the chicken is shredded into small pieces and is soft. We add a bit of water on the dish. This has prevented the coughing and choking he experienced when he drank water from his water bowl.
          We have also elevated his food so he does not have to bend his neck down to eat. We also still give him canned dog food but serve it to him in soft pieces.

          We also give him a CBD cookie from Suzie’s CBD Treats which are made in Colorado. We soak the cookie in water to soften it so Rudy does not choke on the hard cookie. We give him one cookie per day. Rudy weighs approximately 58 lbs.

          These changes have made such a difference for our dog. He is going to be 13 years old in June. I have to say our vets have not been able to offer any help. I hope what we have learned will help other dogs with this condition.

          1. I’m going to try this method with my llapso apso. He’s 9 & the coughing is getting worse.

          2. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the steps you have taken to help your furry friend. It’s all encouraging to me. I tried to get my vet to refill the Temeril Thatcher prescribed to Bailey but now since he hasn’t seen hervin over a year he won’t give her more. I am going to try these things you have done yo see of it helps Bailey. Thank you again!!

          3. My Maltese is 6 pounds and has this problem. She seems to get this after she eats, which tells me that she is eating too much food and has to digest too much at one time. She pants and coughs. So tomorrow, I am going to try giving her small amounts, 2-3 times per day. I must keep her on the lean side to control the cough. I, too, give her a little honey and it helps. One can give their dog pills. I give her pills crushed with peanut butter. Most dogs love peanut butter and so does she. I love this dog with all my heart and I am trying to keep her with me for a long time. Hope this helps some doggies.

          4. Thank you for the advise..I have a small poodle. I will try all these you have recommended and pray it help, as Sunshine is my best friend…..
            Also, we are using bronchodilating medication 2/day to help open her airways. It does seem to help. We have also used a honey based one that she is not crazy about, and it seemed to help also…

          5. Thk you for your tips
            I also have a 13 yr poodle. I tried vets meds made her worse.
            She hated them. She now basa companion much younger after they e ercise she is much better. I also keep her bites of food small and soft. Thks sgain

        2. My fourteen year old Chihuahua has most of the symptoms of a collapsed trachea. However, she is energetic and walks faster than I do. I’ve tried Benadryl, honey, antihistamines, steroid shots, etc. All her vaccines are up to date. I will non consent to surgery because of her age. Is your dog coughing, sneezing, and spitting white foam? If so, I recommend an appointment with your veterinarian..

          1. I have same situation 14 yo chi started coughing a year ago
            another post suggest knox gelatin
            gelatin is good for cartilage
            said it helped (small dose)

        3. My dog’s collapsed trachea seems to be worsening. He is a toy poodle with a heart condition. I rescued him. I have also been giving him honey, which seems to soothe him. But I think it will be soon that I will have to make a sad decision.

          1. I am having to make the same tough decisions about my 15 yr old mixed breed. She was a rescue and definitely has JRT and Chihuahua in heat. I’m hoping to find information on when to make that decision.

        4. I don’t know what to do it seems he sufer so badly with that treacha collapse. He ia 8 years old and his name is Kalie. Please help me!

        1. How can you be so unkind to anyone who loves their dog and in whatever way is here trying to get advice and help. There is no need to demean someone

    1. My 12-pound dog does that “goose-honk” cough on occasion…not too often, but I’d say maybe 3 times in the last year. Which is what brought me to research hence I found this article. I am curious as to why you say you cannot “give drugs” to dogs or sedation meds or cough suppressants. Do you mean just for a collapsed trachea? Do you have any suggestions on what I should do, if anything at all. My dog means the world to me.

      1. Hi there Barbara,

        Thanks for reaching out! We suggest contacting your vet with these questions. We hope your dog feels better!

        1. My dog, a 10lb terroir mix, has his problem. I am aware of it because we had a Maltese who had the same thing. I believe that there is an uptick of collapsed trachea. Maybe it’s all the chemicals in our water, maybenot. Anyway, to get to the point, it hit me one night that th trachea is cartlidge .. and what is good for cartlidge?? Knox Gelatin!! So I tried a 1/4 tsp in one of his meals every day and it made a considerable difference!! He still coughs, but only a few times s day instead of all day! I was so happy! I thought I was a genius .. Lol 🙂

          1. Going to give it a try. Our maltese coughs
            most of the day….hoping this helps.
            Thank you.

          2. Thank you for your input regarding the coughing/honking (collapsed trachea)
            problem and administering Knox gelatin to you pet… I’m going to try it. Thank you again❣

          3. Suzanne Wiggs, I’ve read several times here about giving Knox gelatin to help the collapsing trachea. But you’re the only one who said how much. You ARE a genius! ; ) Thanks! I’m so worried about my Chi’s cough. The cough syrup’ help doesn’t last. These poor, furry Babies of ours!!!

          4. I’m also going to try the gelatin…my Yorkie has had this for yrs. It first started when he got excited or when we played..sadly it is now all the time, poor guy it even happens just walking around and we definately can no longer play, even tho he still tries. So I sure hope this helps him,, even a little improvement would be a relief.. I want him as happy and comfortable for what time he has left with me.

          5. Thank you I am going to try that on my little 10 lb Pom Westie /Yorkie mix.. poor boy coughs too much to suit me .. it’s gotten better since I put him on natural stuff for it from a site I found called “Ask Arial”.. I also use Throat Gold from amazon and Hound honey by Paw Healer.. he use to cough thru nite and that has lessened considerably.. I love him so much and want to do whatever I can to help him .. a vet had him on a couple meds and I thought he might die the way he reacted so I stopped and went the other routes..

      2. MY dog has collapsed trachea abd has since she was around 4 years old. She’s now almost 13. It started off like your dog. Now today I brought her to the vet and her trachea is almost fully collapsed. She’s been on cough suppressants for id day a year. They work wonders. Between the meds and calm environment a dog can be fine until the end. Which is what I’m facing now with my baby. She had to stay in an Oxygen incubator all day today at the vet. She’s home now with her new cough suppressant. We will see and decide what to do Monday. Good luck with your dog. Like I said mine has had this since she was atleast 4 years old. No problem no treatment required until this past year.

        1. What kind of cough suppressant does your vet give your dog? Mine is on steroids and she gaining too much weight for a Chi now. She also has congestive heart failure and takes Lasix which makes her pee a lot..too much. Idk what to do and the stints are very expensive. If I could afford that surgery there still the heart problem. I don’t think she’ll be around much longer and I’m so sad. She 13 years old now. Thank you..miss Ronnie Pattwrson

          1. Ask your vet about Temulin-P! And look into the “Ask Ariel” website on the internet! They offer Amazing Holistic Products That WORK! Prayers for your furbaby!

          2. We have seen tremendous improvement with the Ask Ariel supplements as well. Ultra Flex Collagen and Lypozyme. They are all natural. We are trying to treat the underlying causes of the cough instead of just suppressing it.

          3. Hi, I can certainly relate, having a Biewer Terrier of 3 lbs. with a slightly collapsed trachea. She’s had this for awhile now, & upon going to a new groomer, she over-heated, & got stressed out. I never leave my dogs with anyone, so I was there to see her tongue hanging out & curled:( Over night her breathing was more labored, & since this little girl is 10 yrs. old we rushed her to a 24 hr. emergency clinic. Oxygen, steroids, feeding tubes….the works! The Vet said she’s “in bad shape” & I should consider stenting surgery. I have spoken in detail to other Vet’s who said that stenting surgery is not a guarantee she will survive. Costly, invasive, & might shift & cause respiratory failure, not to mention they don’t have stents for her size, and would have to customize one….oy! The other alternative, was to euthanize her. Surgery would probably kill her, and so we took her home, and now we her other furry friends home with her, we’re hoping that she’ll find a way to compensate, along with all the med’s she’s been sent home from the hospital with…hard to make life ending decisions. We’re in a “wait & see” pattern now. She was up all night coughing loudly, and it pains me to hear/see her suffer. She has moments of silence, whereby she’s sleeping,& I come running to make sure she’s alive!! I’ll try all of your suggestions, it helps that you’ve all given me HOPE..

        2. My dog is coughing all day an night I can’t stand it makes me feel so helpless he’s takeing two different meds but not working anymore.never have tried a cough med thou have u seen a improvement in sap scared we are going to have to put him down I feel like he’s suffering to breath

          1. Thank you. I have a 10 lb mix Pom Westie Yorkie and I’m trying everything to help my baby’s cough so next will be Knox .. I have him on collagen for pets called Ultra flex by Ask Ariel and he has actually lessened his coughing.. sometimes I give him a little honey or coconut oil or olive oil and they all seem to help

        3. What kind of cough suppressant? My vet prescribed steroids for my 3lb chihuahua and shes gaining weight and im concerned.

      3. Whoever said that you cannot give steroids, sedating medicine, or drugs to a dog REALLY Needs to HAVE THEIR HEAD EXAMINED! That IS the only way they will survive! Especially, with Collapsed Trachea!

        1. I agree If Dtugs work DO IT!!!
          Cause our dogs and pets are our life I’ll keep trying any medications they prescribed until I find the perfect one

          1. We are having same problem with out toy poodle, she was diagnosed with collapsing trachea. Plus she has enlarged heart, and a tumor on on of her tits.
            She is 11 this week. We live on a budget which is paycheck to paycheck and when the first diagnosis of her trachea was confirmed and she coughs soooo much and that goose honking is part of it. We gave her some meds the vet prescribed but nothing and now they want her on lasix and some heart medication and see her back , well we cant do that and with the coughing I just want to make.her comfortable as possible. I know we will have to put her down, I just want to keep her as long as I can , but when nothing is working g that we can do and afford , and I know she is miserable I will put her down. I dont want her to suffer and you’ll have said some good things to try , thank you! This has been the only place I have found and actually have some things to try. The CBS cookie is oone. Cough suppressant doesnt work anymore, of course I have tried many things and nothing.
            Thank you, we love our dog like out kids
            We had her mother first since she was a puppy and then she had jitterbug for us and now we will eventually lose her. It hurts terribly to lose them, but for all the love and memories we have with them ,it is soooo worth having them in your life.
            I love her sooo much!!! It hurts to see her cough all the time!

      4. I’m not sure about the previous comments but my toy poodle has this. The vet gave him a cough suppressant and I have been giving that to him. No it’s does not cure it but it does help him. He has spells when the cough is worse. This weekend has been the worse so far and I have given him the cough meds a lil more (I never gave the full amount prescribed to being with) the cough meds have been the only relief. I would just talk to your vet. This is only opinions. Good luck. My baby is my world too. If I find anything else out I’ll be sure to post.

        1. Your vet prescribed a certain amount for a reason, by not giving the prescribed amount you are not being fair to your dog.
          “Near enough” is NOT good enough.

        2. Try Ask Ariel Ultra flex.. it’s been helping my 10 lb mix tremendously and he’s only been on it for 4 weeks .. today I just got the Lypozyme and power probiotic they recommend to take with it. He is 9 yrs old in sept and weighs 10 lb.. praying this works a miracle.. he finally sleeps all night with a cough waking him up!

        3. Thank you for the post. My 7 ur old chi “Rocky” was diagnosed today with a enlarged heart and collapsing trachea. He was coughing once in a while when he was excited and I thought it was so cute. I thought he was happy and just wanted attention. Then about 10 days ago he started coughing nonstop. I ami am beyond sadness hearing him cough despite giving him robitussin DM w/o alcohol. Which does help! The vet recommended cough syrup with codine, heart meds and celexia(?). We’ll see if it works. I’m going to try the gelatin for sure. Thanks everyone for the posts and suggestions. Nice to know I’m not alone. I searched all day for information on this issue. Thanks again

    2. I beg to differ with you. My Yorkie coughs like a coon hound from a collapsed trachea and our Vet has done wonders with him using a combination of steroids and other meds to keep the wind pipe open

      1. Thanks, that’s incorrigible!
        My little girl is a 1 yr old mini Yorkshire terrier.
        She started having this coon cough also, and it seems to get worse when we come home and she’s very excited.
        I guess we’ll take her to the vets and see what they say.
        At least I have something to go on.
        Thanks again Peter in NH

        1. My 1 year old Pomeranian started this at about 8 moths old. Almost every time I come home she does this. I try to rub her throat gentle and it seems to help her stop. We have a vet appointment soon and I will be bringing this up to them.

      2. What did he use?
        My dog has cushings and a collapsed Treache
        now and blind
        She clears her throat a lot
        When she breathes you can really see her stomach go in and out
        I don’t know what to do
        She’s 12.5. I love her

        1. Please go AND speak with your vet! Dog’s can die from Collapsed Trachea! – If not properly diagnosed and treated! If you love your dog, do her this one favor & take her to your vet!

        2. When ur dog is Coughing all of the time he is suffering. He can’t breath if he is doing this. My ten year old pug had a collapsed trachea and the meds weren’t working so we had make the decision to let him go. He was finally at peace

      3. We also have a Yorkie with the same thing. Coughs all the time,mainly in the morning and night. Have taken her to animal hospital in Stillwater,ok. She is on cough medicine and steroids, but not getting better. Would like to know what your dog is taking. Thanks.

    3. You are speaking generally because my dog was treatedwith steroids and antibiotics and has done very well, in fact the coughing has quit unless she gets excited and then she may cough once or twice but other than that the meds have been very sucessful.

    4. This is not true in all cases. My dog did benefit from certain meds. It also depends on the stage they are in. Each dog is unique to their symptom and case. Don’t steer others away from getting care with negative comments. A good vet that knows your dog will not make you continuously come in for the same issue. The ones who truly care will treat via phone after initial visit if its a chronic situation….

    5. Bill, you must have had an issue with a vet in the past. I’m sorry about that. I have had three dogs with collapsed trachea – a minpin and two Pomeranians. The minpin and my first Pom are deceased – they did not die of collapsed trachea and had very minor cases. My current Pom is almost seven years old and was diagnosed about a year ago. He is going through a very bad spell right now. Certainly you can give both drugs and steroids to dogs. Teddy is on steroids right now, but they have not helped. I am using a homeopathic cough suppresant for dogs right now that helps for a little while. The vet noticed he has a lot of nasal discharge and eye watering, most likely from allergies, that are making his cough worse. I am hopeful that this will improve as the mountain cedar pollens ease up over the next few weeks. We all want the best for our dogs, and this is a troubling condition. I do not believe we will try surgery on Teddy; if there is a weak trachea, it will likely collapse elsewhere at a later time.

      1. Hi Debbie,

        I have a 6 pd pomeranian with the exact problem. He was on steroids for two wks and antibiotics for 3 to 4 wks and was fine afterwards. The vet says he is starting to have the tracheal collapse problems many small dogs have. She recommended 1/2 benadryl or 1/2 tablet of zyrtec when needed. He has also developed skin allergies and is taking Apoquel 3.6 mg, 1/2 daily. I hope your baby feels better. I am looking for a natural cough suppressant to have on hand for when/if he starts coughing again..

          1. Try Ask Ariel Ultra flex.. it’s been helping my 10 lb mix tremendously and he’s only been on it for 4 weeks .. today I just got the Lypozyme and power probiotic they recommend to take with it. He is 9 yrs old in sept and weighs 10 lb.. praying this works a miracle.. he finally sleeps all night with a cough waking him up!

      2. Hi there. My furry friend also has tracheal collapse.i have lost one dog to this horrible end out of interest a lab/collie x my currant pal has had it for some years and one thing u can give to allergy prone dogs is piriton.it really helps.

    6. I have to agree with you Bill. Sadly, it is like human conventional medicine. All about the money with little to no regard for human or innocent animal life. I’ve been treating my Pomeranian’s heart murmur, enlarged heart successfully with raw diet, supplements and herbs when the conventional vets wanted prescribed Vetmedin and Lasix which would have killed him in 6 months to year. Like everything else, we as the customer, consumer, patient must do our homework and protect our health and that of our loved ones. Conventional medicine should only be used in dire circumstances.

      1. My 8 year old cross cavalier and malteese took Sick six weeks ago. When excited cough,sneeze then sink to floor. But not unconscious. Vet suspected heart murmur but had to wait till today for appt with machinery. She was given Vetmedin meantime but made no difference still taking up to 3 attacks a day. Ultra sound and X-ray today found leaky heart valve- mild congenital heart failure. Been advised to continue with vetmedin, with a diarhetic, and ace inhibitor. Been advised she may have only 6 to 9 months left to live.. her thickened heart is affecting her trachea

      2. My 14 yr. old yorkie is on lasix and vetmedin. I would prefer another method, but what? Can you share your raw diet and other supplements you give yours?
        Thank you.T

        1. I agree I have a pug and I’ve had this problem for a long time. It has only gotten worse. she is 13 I ordered some stuff of Amazon should have Monday. The vet could give a hoot. He said all he can do is give her prednisone and that makes her hungry, hot and excited. I don’t know how that can help . he thinks it does and it doesn’t I’m just beside myself because it is getting worse every day. I’m 7o Yr old and the
          thought of losing my baby is just killing me.

    7. Our 13 year old pug deloped an intense caugh that made it practically impossible for him to sleep through the night. We took him to our vet and they told us he had a thinng trachea and instantly prescribed steroids and this other drug because they said it would help.. these were intense drugs with the scariest side effects were. I chose to not go down that path.. they also wanted to give him a heavy sedation drug to help with the lack of sleep, that I also chose not to do.
      I’ve always been a bit more tame the natural/ healthier route and with him being so old already I didn’t want to put him through more issues that would come up, if he took those drugs. What we found works prefectly was we started giving him CBD oil (with the least amount of THC in it) and this Chinese herbal syrup and pill that are meant for thinning tracheas and it has 100% absolutely helped! He is pretty much back to normal with the odd little cough that only last for a second or two, instead of the previous 5-10min coughing attacks he had before. I really hope people do a bit more research before giving their little pugs (or other lil pups with these issues) those crazy dugs that vets seem to be a little to easy for them to prescribe.
      What really bugged me is that they even wanted us to consider putting him down and I pretty much wanted to storm out of there because he was clearly no way near that point, at all…. I hope this helps for other people out there

      1. Where did you find this Chineese syrup & pill ? Exactly what are they?
        I am looking for natural cures to use for my 11 year old cross Shih Tzu??

        1. Also, would like to know what and where I can
          purchase this Chinese syrup and pill..
          Looking for help for my 10 year old maltese.

          1. Chinese cough medicine liquid & pill form is called, Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. Any Vet practicing Chinese herbal medicines & Accupuncture can prescribe it.

      2. Great idea about the CBD oil. My schnoolde started having issues about 3 months ago. Definetly going to research the Chinese herbal syrup and get some CBD oil for my dog.
        I have been using a good quality CBD oil myself for over the last 2 months and the benefits of this have been remarkable. The steriod medicine she has been on works, but would like try a more holisitic way to help her breathing. Luckily my vet is not money hungry, he just cares and will work with you for whats best for your pet.

      3. this is kinda what I am going through. My 15-year-old Yorkie has a heart murmur and now for the past year or so has been dealing with a collapsed trachea. My Vet wanted to charge me over a thousand dollars just to run tests – but it’s obvious it’s collapsed trachea issues. They tried some prednisone for a while and some other meds that I can’t even remember but they did not work – that’s why I can’t remember them. What I have found to help is the CBD Vet Oil and Raw Honey. I used to only give him the CBD oil once a day, but things are progressing and I’m having to give him the oil a few times a day now. A little honey a couple of times a day as well. But I did just order PawHealer Trachea Support Dog Cough Remedy powder on Amazon and I am hoping this may help as well, the reviews and comments look promising. I also may try a bit of the Knox Gelatin in his food. Good luck with all your fur family members.

      4. Karen Grierson

        Where do you get this CBD Chinese herbal syrup with THE least THC in it? I have a 7 1/2 pound poodle.
        Thank you

    8. Not all vets are as you say, 1 Timothy 6 v10 is not the character of our vet. We are Christian people who try to live by the Word of The Living God, (we are not yet perfected) Our vet has always given our 2 dogs the very best of care and always considered our finances and the cost of treatment. Our young Jack Russell terrier has a cough and we were prescribed honey, not an expensive drug. Our older small dog had acute pancreatitis, he was in need of treatment that involved a stay at the vets and yes on this occasion he needed a drug. Our vet saved his life and the cost was fair. You could say, “a fair days wage for a fair days work” . I’m sorry you’ve had a bad experience, perhaps you should look at finding a different vet clinic.

      1. Pancreatitis can be helped with Homeopathic medicines… CEONANTHUS and NUX VOMICA ( taken a few mins apart) these have helped 2 dogs I know of who had it. Liquid, 6c strength, 5 drops on tongue several times a day until better then only used if the dog has another attack . The dogs I refere to have never had another attack as long as the diet is kept fairly fat free….

      2. Hi Elizabeth, I am in Sacramento, CA – can I ask where you are? I’d love to take my dog to your vet. Thank you.

    9. A vet saved my dog’s life.

      Sorry you have an intense distrust of them, Bill. Some may be like that, but most definitely are not.

    10. So what do pet owners do? I’m desperately needing to do something . If not frugs or surgery, then what?

    11. Bridgett gartman

      My vet gave us coupe suppressants and a antibiotic but it hasn’t helped. He’s 12 so not going to do surgery. Any suggestions? I hate to have to put him down but he coughs quite often.

    12. Gregg Sheridan

      I think you are right , i’ve taken my small dog to two different vets for what i thought was collapsed trachea . The first vet took xrays , gave a steroid shot which completely fixed the cough for exactly 12 hours and gave about $100 worth of rx’s which did absolutely nothing after spending $383. I took my dog to another vet that ive used before and they are good but very busy and i have to wait about 4 hours so i went there as my last resort . The first visit i took the xrays from the first vet and they showed no tracheal collapse but then i find out that unless they take the xrays when it is collapsing xrays are a waste of money . The first visit they said no collapse and gave some medicine which did nothing . I took him back after taking a video of my dog and how he was coughing and they said ya that looks like the tracheal collapse so gave me some medicine for the collapse and some congestive heart failure meds . None of them did anything but the heart meds almost killed my dog . He looked like he was having a seizure , staring off into space , yipping like he was in pain and staring at the ceiling . I gave him the tracheal medicine for 1 week and they said if not helping to start the heart meds and on hour after giving him those he started this reaction . Hes too old for surgery and i wouldnt do that for a 10 year old dog anyway . Ive been online for a long time and decided to buy some honey cough stuff and some drops to help suppress the cough and soothe the trachea and its all organic so im hoping this helps some or im going to let fate take over .

      1. Lori we were giving Benadryl. It helped for a few days. Then, didn’t help at all. We couldn’t increase the dose as we were already at the max for a 9 lb dog.

    13. Collapsed trachea isn’t rare among smaller, excitable dogs. There is a lot of available information from a variety of sources about this.

    14. We just lost our 10 year old Pug to that. Is is so heartbreaking that we couldn’t do nothing. The Vet gave us medicne for it but one day he harked all day and we found him on top.of the pillow where he loved to sleep. I miss my little Clyde babe, so lonesome without him.

    15. I feel so cheated by the vet 640.00 later I was told by the get he was fine an enlarged heart nothing to worry about I mentioned he had all the signs and symptoms of a collapsed trechea she said everything looked great but they would send these x-rays to radiology to make sure they sent me home with a medication for tumors I had ordered online honey with some chinese herbs and another trecha phlegm heat he was progress into worse 5 days later the vet called said he had collapsed trechea I am getting ready to call the vet to see if they can euthanize him he is 13 years he isworse than ever now

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