Australian Silky Terriers are better known as Silky Terriers and are considered a healthy breed of dog. Despite being a healthy breed, a Silky Terrier is also known to be subject to certain types of genetic disorders such as tracheal collapse. Most commonly, toy breeds are the ones most likely to develop a tracheal collapse, although this occasionally occurs in larger breeds. A tracheal collapse can be serious and requires veterinary care. In some cases, lifestyle changes and medication may be enough to alleviate or even correct the condition, while in other severe cases, the dog may require surgical intervention due to the condition.
Known by the medical term “trachea,” the windpipe is a muscular organ in the throat that carries ambient air to and from the lungs. The trachea must be open at all times because air that cannot be removed from the lungs can cause asphyxiation and death. Air moves through the windpipe by the hard, C-shaped cartilage, and in several toy dog breeds, the cartilage weakens and prevents the windpipe from staying open effectively. The cause of a breakdown is idiopathic and is thought to be a combination of many factors. One theory is that the chemical composition of the cartilage is abnormal and cannot support an open trachea. When the cartilage becomes weak, the windpipe collapses and air cannot move freely in and out of the dog’s body.
A tracheal collapse causes the dog to experience coughing fits and airway obstruction. Signs of a breakdown are most common when a dog is 6 years old or older. Dogs that develop a collapsed trachea often have a dry, persistent cough that can sound like a goose “honk” or a seal “bark,” they may also show signs of difficulty breathing and choking, and the gums may be cyanotic (blue ) be. . The dog may not be able to exercise or be active for long periods of time. physical exertion causes fatigue and sluggishness. When a tracheal collapse occurs, mucus and trapped secretions are released, and sometimes the secretions can also lead to further airway obstruction.
To treat a collapse, a vet will typically first use steroids, bronchodilators, and cough suppressants in conjunction with antibiotics. Canine obesity can also aggravate a collapsed trachea, and often simply putting the dog on a diet helps to relieve the condition. If none of the traditional treatments for a collapse work, a veterinarian may consider tracheal reconstruction surgery; The outcome of the surgery depends on the dog’s age and overall health. Aside from obesity, there are other conditions that can lead to a collapsed trachea, such as chronic bronchitis, congestive heart failure, a long palate, pneumonia, allergies, and repeated exposure to airborne irritants such as dust, pollen, and smoke. Often, treating the environment or underlying health conditions will help improve symptoms of a collapsed trachea in dogs. Although there is no long-term cure for the condition, with proper veterinary care and intervention, the dog can still have a good quality of life.
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