CBD Oil For Dogs With Collapsed Trachea


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On this episode of Your Natural Dog with Angela Ardolino, Dr. Judy Morgan discusses collapsed trachea in dogs and how to naturally help your dog. Explore CBD oil for dogs with a collapsed trachea that can help relieve stress, nausea, and pain. Discover all the benefits today! Collapsed trachea is the enemy of many miniature dogs and is an irreversible condition. Here are ways to prevent and natural ways to manage.

Natural Remedies for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs with Dr. Judy Morgan on Your Natural Dog Podcast

Collapsed trachea is an extremely common condition for certain dog breeds, but many dog parents don’t understand what it is or how to treat it. In this episode, Dr. Judy Morgan explains the causes and symptoms behind collapsed trachea and collapsed bronchus in dogs. She also shares some valuable tips for reducing your dog’s symptoms with environmental changes, diet, and other holistic methods. Dr. Morgan is an integrative veterinarian with over 37 years of experience, so she has so much great insight to share on this topic.

Episode Recap:

  • What causes collapsed trachea in dogs? (1:31)
  • Pollen and other allergies can make this issue worse (3:50)
  • Collapsed trachea will continue to get worse over time if untreated (5:22)
  • Certain breeds like Yorkies and Maltese are especially prone to collapsed trachea (8:04)
  • Do collars make collapsed trachea worse? (8:48)
  • What are the symptoms of collapsed trachea, and how is it diagnosed? (9:23)
  • How conventional vets treat collapsed trachea (14:00)
  • How to treat collapsed trachea holistically (17:20)
  • Electro acupuncture can help stimulate the collapsing muscles (20:39)
  • Great air quality is especially important for dogs with collapsed trachea (22:28)
  • How to connect with Dr. Morgan (26:47)

What is a Collapsed Trachea?

Collapsed Trachea is a degenerative respiratory condition in dogs that is characterized by a goose-like honking cough. Small breed dogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Mini-Schnauzers, and small terrier breeds are the most commonly affected, although it can afflict dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Tracheal Collapse refers to the gradual collapse of the trachea, which connects the nasal passages to the lungs. The trachea, sometimes known as the “windpipe,” is a tube that links the throat and lungs. It is supported by cartilage rings that help hold it open to enable air to flow freely from the mouth to the lungs and back again.

The structural rings of the trachea are closer to a C-shape, rather than perfect circles. A tracheal collapse occurs when these rings become increasingly weak and can no longer fully support the airway. The soft tissue starts to collapse, eventually blocking the trachea and, with it, the passage of air.

So it narrows the airway, and when they cough, they’re forcibly trying to open that up, to get the air back out. So it is a noisy event. And it definitely has triggers, stress, irritants to the airway, excitement. So these dogs have to live a modified lifestyle, and we have to be really careful what we do with their environment so that we don’t set things off. ” – Dr. Judy Morgan

Symptoms of a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs

Symptoms of a Collapsed Trachea in dogs include a honking, goose-like cough, labored or rapid breathing, blue or purple gums from lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, and fainting. These symptoms can be worsened by stress, excitement, exercise, allergies, obesity, heat, smoke, eating or drinking, or any external pressure on the throat.

Additionally, when a dog experiences an episode and is struggling for breath, this can cause them a lot of stress and anxiety. This extra stress in turn worsens the symptoms of collapsed trachea, leading to further progression of this degenerative condition. Therefore managing and alleviating a dog’s anxiety and stress is vital.

One of the big things is controlling that anxiety. ..They go into panic mode, and then that panic mode makes it even worse. So it’s really important that we don’t allow these animals to get into that cascade of anxiety .” – Dr. Judy Morgan

Conventional Treatments for Collapsed Trachea

Conventional treatments for dogs with a collapsed trachea include several pharmaceuticals, to manage all the symptoms of a tracheal collapse. This includes cough suppressants, bronchodilators, sedatives, opioids, antibiotics, and anabolic steroids. Unfortunately, along with the possible side effects of each of these medications, these drugs also have the potential to interact with each other, as well as any other medications your pet may be on.

Unfortunately, all of the traditional medications that we would use would have some side effects that we would then have to balance out. And so you can end up in that cascade of ‘I’m giving this drug to solve this problem. But now I need this drug to solve the side effects of that. And now I need this drug because..’–it’s just a cascade . ” – Dr. Judy Morgan

Natural Remedies for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs

While collapsed trachea currently has no cure, we can try to slow the progression of the condition, and keep our dogs comfortable. This includes avoiding and alleviating unnecessary stress and anxiety, not exposing them to a lot of pollen during allergy season, not over exercising, avoiding outdoors when it’s too hot and humid, and getting your dog to a healthy weight. Obesity can make it more difficult for your dog to breathe, so a change in diet may be necessary if your dog is overweight.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, we want to feed foods that are going to help with the energy, the Qi, the ability of that muscle to actually work and do what it’s supposed to do. And we also want to support the lungs and we want to decrease any phlegm production. So for phlegm, just easy treats–pears, apples, you can add a little bit of ground peppermint to their diet. Ginger works really well. Clams are amazing for draining phlegm. – Dr. Judy Morgan

More tips from Dr. Morgan includes bone broth to strengthen the cartilage of the trachea, and natural sources of glucosamine, chondroitin , and hyaluronic acid, such as deer antler velvet and green lipped mussels . Honey is also a great option for a natural cough suppressant, and locally sourced honey can also help with your dog’s allergies.

I remember when Odie would have fits that I couldn’t get him to stop, it would be honey, and then the CBD Dog Health’s EASE, to reduce inflammation and calm him down. ” – Angela Ardolino

CBD for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs

A CBD-rich Full Spectrum Hemp Extract has been shown to manage each of the previously mentioned symptoms that are associated with collapsed trachea in dogs, without the risk of adverse side effects and dangerous interactions that pharmaceuticals can bring.

CBD can help relieve irritation and pressure in the pulmonary system, as well as prevent further degeneration of the trachea and supporting cartilage, by combatting chronic inflammation . CBD has also been shown to help manage stress and anxiety, a great option for alleviating the stress that comes with episodes of tracheal collapse. Another study stated that CBD had shown “ bronchodilator effects by acting on the airway smooth muscle, and may be beneficial in airway hyperreactivity.

Final Thoughts

Collapsing trachea is one of the most prevalent canine respiratory problems. While there is no cure for a collapsed trachea in dogs, you can help manage your pet’s symptoms with some lifestyle changes, and natural supplements to reduce anxiety and relieve inflammation.

If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, make sure to discuss with your holistic veterinarian. Final diagnosis may require tests such as radiograph, echocardiogram, or fluoroscopy.

Listen to the whole episode above for all of Dr. Judy Morgan’s holistic recommendations for dogs with collapsed trachea.

Episode Resources:

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About Angela Ardolino

Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years. She operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. In addition, she owns Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. Moreover, Angela got her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. Next, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets.

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Accordingly, she uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day since 2016. Angela has five dogs. Odie a 15-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina a 9-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 9-year-old mutt, Maza a 9-year-old mutt, and Rhemi a 9-year-old poodle. In addition, she has 4-10 more any time she is fostering or boarding. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Veterinary Cannabis Association. In fact, Angela has educated hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians on the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals.

About Dr. Judy Morgan

Dr. Judy has over 37 years experience as an integrative veterinarian, acupuncturist, chiropractor, food therapist, author, and speaker. Her goal is to change the lives of pets by educating and empowering pet parents worldwide in the use of natural healing therapies, and minimizing the use of chemicals, vaccinations, and poor quality processed food.

She has also won many awards such as: 2018 Woman of the Year in the Pet Industry, 2019 Pet Age Woman of Influence, 2019 IAOTP Veterinarian of the Year, 2019 Veterinarian Hero Award Nominee and 2021 IAOTP Empowered Woman of the Year.

Best CBD Oil For Dogs With Collapsed Trachea

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CBD Oil For Dogs With Collapsed Trachea

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CBD Oil For Dogs With Collapsed Trachea

Does CBD oil help dogs with collapsed trachea?

If your dog suffers from collapsed trachea you may worry when you witness some of the more painful looking symptoms that your dog suffers. Symptoms like the loud cough, rapid breathing, wheezing, retching, difficult breathing, and even fainting. As a dog owner, it has to be heart wrenching to see your furry friend suffer like that. Additionally at times, symptoms can worsen or look even more painful when your dog gets excited, is overheated, or even when they simply drink water.

There are many conventional drugs that veterinarians may subscribe to help alleviate the symptoms of the condition. Prescription drugs like anti-inflammatories, sedatives. antispasmodics. bronchodilators, and analgesics, have all been prescribed in the past for dogs with collapsed trachea. As those prescription drugs may have their benefits, CBD oil can also be used to help dogs who suffer from a collapsed trachea.

Here are a few things you should know about how CBD oil can help dogs will collapsed trachea:

CBD oil is a natural inflammatory that can work to reduce the amount of inflammation in your dog’s body. Inflammation can cause scarring and narrowing of the trachea as well as cause even more pain and discomfort for your pet. CBD oil interacts directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to help the body’s inflammatory response as well as boost the immune system.

Another benefit of CBD is that it is a natural bronchodilator. When CBD interacts with the CB1 receptor it can activate the CB1 receptors on the bronchial nerve endings causing the airways to expand and let in more air.

Last, anyone, human or canine, is going to have some anxiety issues when their breathing is restricted in any way. CBD oil can help alleviate anxiety and stress, and when used generally, it may prevent general anxiety and stress that could trigger episodes that could exacerbate symptoms.

Simply put, there is no cure for collapsed trachea, however, the symptoms are unpleasant and can be scary for both the dog and its owner. CBD oil can be helpful for dogs with collapsed trachea because it can work to help alleviate many of the symptoms.

How can I help my dog with a collapsed trachea?

There are many different ways to help a dog with a collapsed trachea. You can treat the condition with medication, change behavior and diet, or even pursue surgery. Some common medications that veterinarians prescribe to treat a collapsed trachea include antibiotics, cough suppressants, steroids, bronchodilators, and sedatives. A natural alternative to all of those medications is CBD oil.

CBD oil has shown some promise in helping dogs who suffer from a collapsed trachea. If your dog is overweight, you may want to consider a change in diet to encourage weight loss. Mild exercise should be considered as well, but do not overstrain your pet. Strenuous exercise could trigger episodes.

Last, there is a specific surgery often used for some dogs with collapsed trachea. The surgery consists of intraluminal stents implanted around the dog’s trachea to support it from collapsing.

Can CBD oil help coughing in dogs?

Yes, CBD oil can help with coughing in dogs. CBD oil helps in different ways including acting as an inflammatory to reduce inflammation in the trachea and bronchial airways. Additionally, CBD oil can help relieve pain in the chest and throat that may come from irritation due to coughing.

Does honey help dogs with collapsed trachea?

Yes, honey can be a great way to soothe your dog’s throat and ease its cough. Simply add about a teaspoon of honey to a small amount of warm water in a bowl. With regular table honey, you can do this as many times as you see fit to help ease your dog’s cough and soothe its throat. With Manuka honey, which contains methylglyoxal, dihydroxyacetone, and leptosperin, you should do this no more than three times per day.

Do dogs with collapsed trachea suffer?

It is hard to say whether or not a dog is suffering when they have a collapsed trachea. It depends on the severity of the condition, how often they experience fits, and how severe those fits are. Some dogs can live a long life with no serious suffering if the condition is properly cared for. Other dogs may suffer endlessly each day.

Many times dogs will not suffer any symptoms unless they are triggered by something like a loud noise or another dog.

Consult your veteran if you are concerned that your dog is suffering from a collapsed trachea. The veterinarian may investigate if the condition is causing severe damage to the dog’s heart and lungs, if they are having frequent respiratory distress situations that require emergency medical care, or if they are no longer able to manage any of the symptoms with medication. If any of those are the case, it may be determined that your pet is suffering from having a collapsed trachea.

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Can CBD help dogs with breathing problems?

Yes, CBD can help dogs with breathing problems. Since CBD can act as a bronchodilator, the CBD oil can interact with the CB1 receptor to activate the CB1 CB1 receptors on the bronchial nerve endings causing the airways to expand and let in more air. Additionally, the anxiety and panic that can induce breathing fits can be subdued through regular CBD use due to the compound’s calming effects.

What causes a dog’s trachea to collapse?

Typically, dogs with trachea collapse are born with the condition, however, all dogs are susceptible to it. The condition affects certain breeds more than others. Breeds like Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Shih Tzu’s, Lhasa Apsos, Toy Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers are often more disproportionately affected than other breeds. When the rings of cartilage around the dog’s trachea lose strength, the trachea rings will flatten when the dog inhales.

Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?

No, hemp oil and CBD oil are not the same things. Hemp oil is made strictly from hemp seeds. When hemp seeds are taken and cold-pressed, you have an oil that has 0% CBD content. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp or marijuana plant. Although the hemp plant and the marijuana plant are both considered cannabis plants, a hemp plant is grown specifically to contain now more than 0.3% THC. Marijuana plants are grown to contain more than 0.3% THC.

Another main difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is their uses. Hemp oil is often used in the culinary world or the healthy lifestyle world due to the fact hemp oil is extremely concentrated with all the Omega fatty acids with none of the trans and saturated fats as other sources of Omega fatty acids. CBD oil is used more in a medical context to treat conditions like anxiety, chronic pain, arthritis, and various other ailments.


How To Manage Collapsed Trachea In Dogs

A collapsed trachea is the enemy of many miniature dogs. Several small breeds are prone to this condition. If you have a small breed, here’s what you should know.

What Is Collapsed Trachea?

The trachea is your dog’s windpipe that carries air from your dog’s nose and mouth to his lungs. It’s made of cartilage that forms a tube. When those rings of cartilage get weak, heavy panting or breathing causes them to fold together (collapse). And that blocks the air from getting in. It can collapse at either end but it’s usually where the trachea enters the chest.

A bout of coughing can last several minutes until your dog calms and breathing returns to normal.

What Causes Collapsed Trachea?

This is usually a congenital condition. That means most dogs with weak cartilage in the trachea are born this way. But there are other risk factors that can lead to a collapse trachea:

  • Obesity
  • Cigarette smoke exposure
  • Respiratory disease that becomes chronic
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Heart disease

Sadly, many dogs with tracheal collapse also suffer from other disorders … obesity, heart disease, liver enlargement, dental problems, an elongated soft palate, and conditions affecting the larynx. Some are from a lifetime of poor health and that makes this affliction even worse.

Which Dogs are Prone To Collapsed Trachea?

It usually affects small, toy and miniature dog breeds. They include:

  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Pomeranians
  • Toy Poodles
  • Chihuahuas
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzus
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Maltese

The condition usually appears at 6 to 8 years of age. The situation doesn’t improve, and symptoms grow worse over time.

Signs Of Collapsed Trachea In Dogs

The first sign that your dog has a collapsed trachea is a cough. Your dog will have bouts of coughing that get worse with exercise, excitement, eating or drinking. Dusty areas, fragrances, smoking around your dog, humid and hot weather can also lead to a coughing attack.

Here are other signs:

  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Difficulty breathing or catching breath
  • Gagging or retching
  • Honking cough
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Low energy
  • Bluish tinge to the gums from lack of oxygen
  • Possible fainting from lack of oxygen
  • Coughing when you pick up your dog

Is Collapsed Trachea Serious?

A collapsed trachea is an irreversible condition. With severe tracheal collapse, the condition can become a serious, life-threatening problem. Ongoing bouts of severe coughing, respiratory distress and panic can cause further damage. There isn’t a cure but you can manage it and maintain your dog’s quality of life.

If you have a small breed dog, you can start making improvements to his health and lifestyle right now..

8 Ways to Prevent Collapsed Trachea In Dogs

If you have a small breed prone to developing collapsed trachea, there are things you can do throughout his life to keep him strong and healthy. When you address these areas right from puppyhood, you’ll be setting up your dog for a lifetime of vitality.

1. Maintain Healthy Weight

Manage your dog’s weight. You want to avoid an overweight dog as this puts stress on his respiratory system. And added weight adds stress to his heart and lungs. Start by feeding your dog a whole food, raw meat diet that avoids carbs and starches. These foods can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.

In cases of collapsed trachea, oxygen deprivation can lead to liver damage. Be proactive with a whole food diet that’ll support his liver health. This is the best way to maintain your dog’s weight and manage his long-term health.

2. Keep The Air Clean

Clear your home of artificial scents, fragrances, candles and air fresheners. These things can lead to bouts of coughing and choking. Use air filters and purifiers and change filters often.

3. Don’t Smoke Around Your Dog

Don’t smoke around your dog … or even better, quit smoking (for your dog’s health and your own). It’ll reduce the stress on your dog’s respiratory system … and his trachea.

4. Detox Your Dog

Every day your dog faces toxins — in the air, on the ground, in his water and in his food. Even in his home. It’s impossible to live in a sterile environment. But what you can do is an annual or semi-annual detox of your dog and his diet. This makes it easier for his organs to function. The organs and systems that get stressed the most from toxins and poor diet are the liver, kidney, skin and gastrointestinal tract. A detox gives these systems a chance to rest and replenish for daily life and any health situation that arises … like tracheal collapse.

5. Use Safe Cleaning Products

Use environmentally friendly, non-toxic and unscented cleaning products.

6. Stick To Pesticide-Free Outdoor Areas

It’s best to keep your dog away from public areas where pesticides or herbicides are used. And avoid using them on your own yard. As well as being toxic to your dog, he’ll breathe them in and could have a coughing fit. And you want to minimize any stress to your dog’s throat throughout his life.

7. Avoid Neck Strain

You can easily damage the trachea in a small breed so learn to pick up your dog without straining his neck. Instead of a collar, use a harness to avoid pressure on your dog’s neck and windpipe. Also, avoid bandanas that can get caught and strain your dog’s throat.

8. Add Glucosamine-Rich Foods

Chondroitin and glucosamine supplements are great additives to your dog’s diet to support his cartilage. Or, even better, feed beef trachea to support your dog’s own trachea. The cartilage in beef trachea is loaded with chondroitin and glucosamine. Dogs need about 500 mg of glucosamine per day per 25 lbs of body weight. Beef trachea is mostly cartilage, and it’s about 5% glucosamine. A 1 oz piece of trachea gives your dog over 1400 mg of glucosamine. Chicken, duck or turkey feet are other great options. One chicken foot contains about 400 mg of glucosamine.

If your dog already has collapsed trachea, here are things you can do.

Ways To Manage Collapsed Trachea In Your Dog

If your dog has a diagnosis of collapsed trachea, here are some natural approaches. These solutions won’t stress your dog’s health, and may even improve it.

Holistic Therapies For Tracheal Collapse

TCVM (acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Tui Na, food therapy) and homeopathy are the most promising therapies to correct an anatomical problem like tracheal collapse. Western herbs, Reiki, flower essences, aromatherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy and herbal supplements are all useful to manage this condition. You can use them to resolve or decrease cough frequency, provide calming solutions and build health over time.

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Homeopathy can be especially helpful. Many small dogs with mild collapsing trachea have become asymptomatic with homeopathic treatments along with general health and diet improvements. Some homeopathic remedies used successfully include Aconite, Belladonna, Stramonium, Calcarea fluorica and Drosera. You’ll need to ask a professional homeopath to analyze your dog’s symptom picture and choose the best remedy for your dog.

Monitor Your Dog’s Liver

Research shows a high percentage of dogs with tracheal collapse develop liver problems. Ask your vet to monitor your dog’s liver function with regular blood work.

Manage Inflammation

When you add natural sources to your dog’s diet, it’s the safest and best way to reduce inflammation from a collapsed trachea. Here are some foods to include:

Antioxidants slow your dog’s aging process, boost his immune system and fight free radical damage … as well as inflammation. Add these antioxidants to your dog’s diet: blueberries, leafy greens, astaxanthin, colostrum, green-lipped mussels and green tea.

Omega Fats
Balanced omega fatty acids are an important part of your dog’s cell membranes and are vital in managing his immune, hormonal and inflammatory responses.

Boswellia, licorice, devil’s claw, ginger, alfalfa and turmeric are among many herbs that can address inflammation. It’s a good idea to work with a canine herbalist to create a combination that works for your dog.

Support your dog’s gut health with probiotics. Probiotics maintain a constant supply of beneficial bacteria to balance the bad bacteria in your dog’s gut that lead to inflammation.

Minimize Coughing

Give your dog these natural remedies to soothe coughing and minimize irritation.

Plantain eases coughing and throat inflammation. Put some leaves through the blender with some bone broth. The mucilage it creates coats his throat and respiratory tract to relieve discomfort and irritation. Collect leaves during the spring, summer and fall and freeze them for the colder months.

Manuka Honey
Manuka honey contains methylglyoxal (MGO), dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and leptosperin so it’s antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral. In addition, manuka honey soothes your dog’s throat and eases coughs. In one study, researchers compared honey to common cough suppressing drugs, including dextromethorphan. Honey was more effective than these drugs.

You can give your dog Manuka honey mixed with a little warm water in a bowl. Give this up to three times a day depending on how often your dog is coughing. Honey, or honey with lemon juice or MCT oil can be soothing as needed. Give 1 tsp per 20 pounds.

In mild cases of tracheal collapse, CBD can help to soothe your dog’s cough and keep him from getting too excited.

Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root loosens mucus, inhibits bacteria and eases dry coughs. It also creates its own mucilage to coat irritated throats. You can dissolve 1 tsp in 8 ounces of warm bone broth and allow your dog to lap it up.

Fight Infection

Your dog might be prone to respiratory infections. Rather than using system suppressing antibiotics, try natural alternatives that are even more effective and easy on your dog.

  • Oil of oregano
  • Manuka honey
  • Garlic
  • Plantain
  • Goldenseal
  • Calendula
  • Turmeric

You’ll notice many natural solutions have multiple benefits. You might use Manuka honey or plantain as cough suppressants but your dog will get their antimicrobial benefits too.

Conventional Treatments To Avoid

Worry or panic is common among dog owners when they see their dog coughing and gagging of with collapsed trachea. This often leads to a trip to the vet. She’ll confirm the diagnosis through a physical exam or x-rays. And she’ll want to prescribe medications … and you’ll want to give your dog relief. But here’s what you need to know about the conventional approach.

Vets will create a treatment protocol of prescription food, cough suppressants, bronchodilators, antispasmodics, corticosteroid, sedatives and antibiotics. Let’s look at why you should avoid these conventional approaches.

Prescription Diets For Weight Reduction

Overweight dogs with a collapsed trachea may also be put on a prescription diet but this isn’t any better than a typical commercial diet. These foods contain starches, legumes, grains and synthetic vitamins and minerals. A whole food, raw meat diet is better for reducing weight and maintaining long-term health and digestion.


With a collapsed trachea, when your dog is excited or agitated it leads to a coughing episode. Your vet may prescribe a sedative like acepromazine. This is a common tranquilizer that decreases anxiety, causes central nervous system depression, and a drop in blood pressure and heart rate. But … it can trigger seizures and can heighten the sensitivities you want to calm. It can also cause deep sedation in a tiny breed when such a low dose is required. Sedatives can also lead to low blood pressure, and in severe cases, can cause heart failure.

Cough Suppressants

The best way to manage a collapsed trachea is to minimize coughing and inflammation. But unfortunately, a cough suppressant with hydrocodone, butorphanol or other harmful medications may be prescribed. Hydrocodone is an opiate used as a painkiller but it’s not approved by the FDA for use in animals. It will stop the cough temporarily. But side effects include lethargy, constipation, vomiting and digestive issues.


Veterinarians will often prescribe a course of antibiotics when an infection is diagnosed or even just suspected. A case of a collapsed trachea is no exception. So even if there is no apparent infection, your dog could be getting antibiotics which will also deplete beneficial bacteria in his gut that balances out bad bacteria that causes infections. Other side effects of antibiotics include vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to coughing from straining.

Steroids And NSAIDs

Prednisone, a steroid, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) like Rimadyl (carprofen), Metacam, Deramaxx, and Previcox get prescribed to reduce swelling and inflammation of the throat. Side effects include vomiting, loss of appetite and lethargy. That means there could be further irritation and coughing from acids vomited through an already weakened trachea … leading to more coughing and inflammation …

And dogs at an advanced age, such as those suffering a collapsed trachea, are prone to kidney and liver damage. NSAIDS can worsen these conditions.

Several studies show that NSAIDs actually damage the joints. They do the very thing you most want to avoid in a dog with chronic joint issues or issues of degenerating cartilage. So it doesn’t seem logical that a dog with a long term condition of weakened cartilage should be given NSAIDs that … weaken cartilage.

Sometimes a condition is so dire that your vet might recommend surgery.

Is There Surgery For Collapsed Trachea?

Tracheal reconstruction is available for dogs who have suffered tracheal collapse. But the dog’s condition must be very severe to warrant surgery. So that, in itself, limits its success.

With surgery, the vet inserts rings or a stent or a mesh sleeve to expand the trachea to improve breathing. But this is a risky surgery: Dr Dale Bjorling said in a 2011 WSAVA talk: “Both procedures have a relatively high rate of complications, and the owner should be made aware of these prior to performing either procedure.” One study of dogs getting these surgeries found that 47% suffered major complications.

Recovery is usually 4-8 weeks, while avoiding excitement, exercise and extreme changes in temperature. There’s also the possibility of further tracheal collapse around the surgical areas. Instead, less invasive, non-toxic methods, as already described, can bring comfort to your dog.

Living with a dog who suffers with or has the potential for a serious health problem is never easy. When you can prepare in advance with a regimen of health and natural solutions, it makes the battle a little easier to fight.

Carter DA, Blair SE, Cokcetin NN, Bouzo D, Brooks P, Schothauer R, Harry EJ. Therapeutic manuka honey: No longer so alternative. Frontiers Microbiology. 2016 Apr 20;7:569.

Bauer NB, Schneider MA, Neiger R, Moritz A. Liver disease in dogs with tracheal collapse. J Vet Intern Med. 2006 Jul-Aug;20(4):845-9.

Dale E. Bjorling, DVM, MS, DACVS. Update on Laryngeal Paralysis and Collapsing Trachea, World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2011

Della Maggiore A. An Update on Tracheal and Airway Collapse in Dogs. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2020 Mar;50(2):419-430.

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