Deciding when to euthanize a dog with tracheal collapse can be a tough decision, due to different factors that can affect the puppy. After diagnosis, some manage to have a proper and decent life, but others have a hard time and suffer every day.

What Is Tracheal Collapse?

Tracheal collapse is a fatal and irreversible condition of the windpipe and lower airways. The rings of the cartilage within the trachea lose their strength, causing it to begin falling inward when air is drawn.

While it can occur in any dog, some breeds are more prone to suffer it, like chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Yorkshire terriers. Some animals who also suffer from heart or respiration problems have a chance of suffering from this condition.

Signs Your Dog Is Suffering Tracheal Collapse

The first signs you may notice that your pet is suffering tracheal collapse involve respiratory problems:

  1. Cough is the first symptom. The trachea narrows down when a dog breathes, which irritates its throat; hence, the coughing. The harder the cough, the more developed the problem is.
  2. Difficulty in breathing. The cough worsens during sleep time or when your dog is playing. You may notice he will not want to (or won’t be able to) do physical activities. Forcing him will just worsen the situation.
  3. Fainting. Some dogs may experience a lack of air when doing exercise or physical activities. As a result, they pass out on the spot.

Treatment Options

While tracheal collapse is irreversible, there are some treatment options that can reduce the pain if diagnosed early. In fact, dogs can still live up to 4 or more years if the problem has been addressed early.

Some medications help control the cough, reducing throat inflammation and sedation. Body harnesses also help with reducing some symptoms and the dog’s stress.

You can also opt for some respiratory exercises and therapy that improve your pet’s condition. Additionally, there are supplements that lift their spirits and quality of life as well.

Surgical Interventions

When none of the above had an effect after two weeks, surgery is the next step. There are a few procedures to try helping your puppy, being very expensive ones. It’s also crucial to know that its success chance decreases the older the dog is.

Placing steel tracheal stents in the dog’s trachea will improve and support breathing, delaying its deterioration.

Another similar alternative is placing a tracheal stent around the windpipe to try to keep it open. Both choices are risky because they can lead to other complications while not being a permanent fix.

Things You Should Look Out For

While medical or surgical treatment is very important, there are more things you can do to improve your pet’s quality of life.

  1. Things to avoid: taking your mascot out during humid weather, forcing him to wear a tight leash, or smoking areas.
  2. Control their diet: it’s crucial for your animal to keep a balanced and healthy diet. Many doctors theorize that obesity has a huge impact on how respiratory issues progress.
  3. Adapt their routine: not only a healthy diet is needed, but also a change of life. Avoid your pet doing excessive exercise, jumping, or running like crazy. Limit your walks out to once or twice a day if possible.
  4. Comfort them: keep the house and the environment calm and quiet. Loud noises, crowded places, and screams can make a dog anxious. Make sure they also have their needed hours of rest and relaxation.

The Last Option: When to Euthanize a Dog With Tracheal Collapse

If you already have tried all the possible methods, when to euthanize a dog with tracheal collapse becomes clear: the moment has arrived.

No one likes watching their dog suffering or having a rough life. Sometimes it’s better to peacefully end their pain. Call your veterinarian and arrange when to inject your pet.

If the pet shows signs of not moving, staying calm all day doing nothing, along with breathing problems, euthanasia is the best remedy. Not only for the dog’s relief as it won’t suffer anymore, but for the owners too.

While it is not an easy decision and must be taken only after all the other options were not enough, it must be done. The animal will be finally allowed to rest, stopping his misery, before he dies slowly and painfully due to shortness of breath.