tracheal collapse in chihuahuas: a serious chihuahua respiratory health problem

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua facts, chihuahua health concerns 131 Comments

chihuahua trachea collapse

many chihuahua owners email us with concerns related to their chihuahua puppies or chihuahua dogs experiencing breathing problems, more specifically frequent gagging, coughing and chihuahua wheezing and seizures that result in gasping for air. this information may be helpful to you if your chihuahua has been affected by obstructed breathing or symptoms thereof.

chihuahuas are known to suffer from problems related to their soft palate or a collapsed trachea. it is a health concern that is characteristic of the chihuahua breed and is also commonly referred to as “reverse sneezing”.

tracheal collapse is a condition in which the trachea partially collapses or flattens out as your chihuahua is trying to breath. this leads irritation and results in the gagging, coughing and wheezing symptoms we mentioned above.

the trachea airway in your chihuahua is a very sensitive area

the trachea airway in your chihuahua is a very sensitive area

the trachea is the airway from the larnyx to the main bronchi in the lungs. it looks somewhat similar to that of a vacuum hose and has many stiff rings with flexible tissue connecting them. sometimes these rings are not stiff enough and are unable to hold the trachea open against the air pressure that’s created during respiration. the portion of the trachea that is not stiff is then sucked into the airway causing partial obstruction making it difficult for your chihuahua to breath.

normal trachea vs. a collapsed trachea

the difference in a normal trachea vs. a collapsed trachea

factors that can lead to tracheal collapse in your chihuahua are obesity, irritants, allergies, repeated heart conditions, bacterial infections, viruses and second-hand cigarette smoke.

tracheal collapse can also be brought on by damage done from leash pulling, especially if you use a collar to walk your chihuahua. it is recommended that you switch to a harness to prevent any pushing or pulling against the trachea.

wear a dog harness to avoid tracheal collapse

teaka the famous chihuahua wears a dog harness during walks to avoid tracheal collapse.

if any of these symptoms develop, take your chihuahua to the vet right away. this is an important chihuahua health concern. if they are not treated, damage can occur in the lungs, larynx, nasal passages and soft palate regions. your veterinarian will provide you with the right medications and you will be able to further prevent symptoms.

a happy and healthy chihuahua is the goal, and a sick chihuahua must be properly cared for.  famous chihuahua welcomes your comments and shared experiences.

related: health issues and problems in the chihuahua breed

chihuahua breed facts:  what every chihuahua owner should know!

reference: tracheal collapse in dogs
photo references:

Comments 131

  1. Veronica Sforza

    My sweet Serina is a Chihuaua rescue. I’ve had her for about 5 years. She’s like 13. She was diagnosed with a collapsed trachea shortly after I adopted her. She’s been on medication for years and it just keeps getting worse. As a matter fact she’s on medication and cough medicine now. Poor baby, she is laying with me now wheezing and coughing. It is difficult for her to breathe or to sleep. My doctor Has been trying to help her. He says, as I have found while doing research, surgery has mabye a 50% chance of woking. Is it worth it to try to do the surgery? I don’t know what to do… I feel so bad for my sweet 4.5 pound Serina. Oh she lost about 5 oz in the past year… Any advise?

  2. S Turner

    My chihuahua has recently been diagnosed with this condition, it’s heart breaking to watch him gasp for breath, he’s much worse in the evenings or in warmer weather, I’ve recently brought an air purifier which has also helped to make breathing alittle easier for him, if anyone has any advice it would be great fully appreciated. He’s also gone very lethargic and doesn’t want to do any exercise, I would love for him to enjoy his walks again like he used to,

  3. Helen Daff

    My dog has symptoms like ‘reverse sneezing’ when she drinks water too fast.
    She’ll then make that ‘chocking noise’ that lasts a few seconds then sorts itself out. Never had it any other time. She wears a harness and not neck collar and is not overweight. I will mention it to the vet next time I go.

  4. Karen

    If I pick my little girl and hold her upright, head on top, and sqeeze a little pressure around her heart area, she quits coughing. I also give her a bronchial dilator that I got from my vet, in tablet form.

  5. Rodney

    Another way to assist in stopping the episode of coughing or choking is rubbing or petting her/ him were they absolutely love it. Were it makes them melt with pleasure. This works and has worked for me every time. My coco loves her back/ spine rubbed. She usually snaps right out of it.

  6. Shirlee

    I have a 4 year old female chihuahua, she was purchased from harrods in London when they had their pet kingdom,she has done that noise since we got her, sounds a bit like a duck sound and at times it gets loud and makes her reach to be sick then it stops but I have found if I say in a stern voice ” princess stop that” then she does. So yes maybe distraction is a good idea like someone else mentioned

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