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 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.
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.
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.
reference: tracheal collapse in dogs vetinfo4dogs.com/dtrachea.html
photo references: egyvetonline.com/animaldisplay.aspx?c=2&info=16