Treating tracheal collapse in dogs - Dr Chick Weisse

In my post on Repairing Tracheal Collapse, Caren asked a question in the comments about treatment for her Pom and I asked the leading expert on the condition, Dr. Chick Weisse out of the University of Pennsylvania's Veterinary Hospital, to respond (more on Chick here).

I thought it worth posting them as a separate entry to share the answer for everyone.


Checking on safety and surgerys if needed.

My 7 yr old pom was diagnosed with trachea collapse last week, they have her on 6 medications currently and want to see her in 2 weeks, she had xrays and ultra sound, they said its her lower trachea close to chest, and that she had an enlarged heart and enlarged liver - which they are not sure why, may be congenital they said, I just wanted some more info - has anyone had the stents or rings replaced, and if so-was it successful in helping?

I'm waiting, but she is not getting any better, my vet said she will probably be sent to a specialist, but in the lower trachea it was not very good and the surgery would be a lot harder? Any information would be greatly appreciated.


Chick's Answer:

Hi Caren,

We typically treat tracheal collapse with medication and conservative management options (weight loss, no neck leads, no second hand smoke, reduced allergens, treat other concurrent diseases, etc.) first as the rings and stents can be associated with serious complications.

Once these more conservative options have failed, we will consider rings or a stent. You need to see a specialist to find which is right for your dog. If the collapse is inside the chest (intra-thoracic) then it is unlikely rings will be an option. In that case you will need to consider a stent. If the collapse is in the neck, rings may be an option. Fluoroscopy is typically used to differentiate between the two.

I would recommend an appointment with a surgeon familiar with these techniques...

Hope this helps...


Have you had experience with these procedures you can share with others in the comments?

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