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Tracheal Collapse

Albuquerque kennel cough

Albuquerque kennel coughSometimes a cough is a sign of something bigger, like tracheal collapse. This is when your dog’s windpipe collapses and squeezes air as it is passing through. This causes a honking, gagging cough that often sounds like they are trying to cough up a hairball.

There are no known causes of tracheal collapse, and it often a birth defect. Toy breeds are more prone to this condition and tends to become symptomatic around 6 or 7 years.

Signs of Tracheal Collapse

  • Honking, gagging cough
  • Labored breathing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Bluish tint to the gums
  • Cough can be provoked by excitement, eating, drinking, smoke, dust, obesity. exercise, and hot/humid weather.

If your dog has a honking or gagging cough you should get them evaluated by your Albuquerque veterinarian. They may need to perform some tests to test for tracheal collapse.

If your dog does have tracheal collapse they will likely be treated with cough suppressants, bronchiodilators, corticosteroids and possibly antibiotic. Weight loss in obese dogs has shown to help reduce pressure on the windpipe and can facilitate breathing. There is no cure but long term treatments are very viable.

Make sure to see our post about holistically treating chronic coughs.




How to Sooth Your Dog’s Cough

Vet-Co Veterinarian services for dogs

Vet-Co Veterinarian services for dogsCoughing is caused by an irritation in the airway, like inflammation, fluid or infection. Your dog could have a cough for a variety of reasons, from Kennel Cough to heart disease.

Kennel Cough often sounds like a goose and is very honking. It usually comes on suddenly and is very loud. It also tends to go on all day.

Heart Disease coughing usually starts at night when your dog is laying down. It also may be wet and have fluid that accompanies the cough.

Tracheal collapse will sound like a gagging like they are trying to cough up a hairball.

Remedies to ease coughing. 

Turn on a humidifier or put them in a shower, the humidity in the air will help them breathe, open up the airway and soothe the coughing.

Take off the collar, less pressure, use a harness. With a chronic cough, less pressure on their airway is better.

In the case of Kennel Cough, Echinacea and Goldenseal tincture are good for the immune system and can speed recovery. Use 1 drop per pound of body weight twice daily.

Licorice root tincture is a good cough suppressant. Do not use this for more than 5 days.  Do not use if there is liver, kidney or heart disease. 1 drop per pound of body weight, 2 times daily.

Dandelion is the safest diuretic and good for helping remove excess fluid. Use 2 drops per pound of body weight twice daily.

Natural Cough Syrup: 1 tbs honey, 1/2 tsp lemon juice concentrate, some warm water per 20-30lb of dog.  Use a syringe to give the syrup to the dog directly in their mouth. Make sure to give it in small amounts so they can swallow it and not choke on it.


Before doing any herbal treatment, make sure to consult your veterinarian.


With any serious cough you need to visit your Albuquerque veterinarian to get it evaluated

Ear Mites: Critters that go itch in the ear!

Ear mites spread rapidly and can be a big problem for your cat! They are most common in outdoor cats, but that does ear mitesnot mean other animals and even humans cant get them!  More often than not, your pet will catch ear mites from another infected animal. If you have multiple dogs, and one of them has ear mites, make sure to treat them all.

There are several different types of ear mites but they all itch and can do serious damage to the ear if left untreated. Some of the worst damage is caused when blood vessels in the ear rupture due to heavy scratching… but don’t panic! It is pretty simple to treat ear mites.


A few ways to tell if your dog or cat has them besides scratching their ears:

  • Head shaking
  • Extremely dark colored ear wax
  • Cats and some dogs with erect ears may hold their ear pinnas (or visible part of the ear) at an odd angle
  • Scabbed skin at the back or base of the ear
  • Coffee ground like bumps in the ear canal
  • Inflammation
  • Strong smell
dog ear mites

Ear mites can look like scabs or coffee grounds in the ear


If you suspect mites, make sure you bring your pet to the vet right away. Mites can be pretty uncomfortable for your pet and they will appreciate being treated.

Your vet will examine your pets ears to check for the presence of mites. There are some types of bacterial infections that mimic the symptoms of ear mites, so he needs to rule these out before prescribing treatment.

If your pet has ear mites, your vet will give you medication that can be applied directly in the ear or on the skin.

Mites do not necessarily go away after a single treatment. The treatment should be repeated after one month, to catch the next generation of mites. The treatment will provide almost immediate relief to your pet. You should notice the cat or dog no longer scratching at his or her ears within a few hours. However the symptoms can last for weeks since mite irritation is partly allergic, and if there are any infected external wounds caused by scratching the cat or dog may need antibiotics to clear them up completely.

Also if you have any other pets treat them as well to keep them safe from infection.


Unfortunately Frontline does not work to prevent ear mites. The only true way to prevent an infestation is early detection.  Routine cleaning of your cats or dogs ears will let you know of any problems early on and possibly avoid the sores they can get from scratching.

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.