Tracheal collapse is characterized as dorsoventral flattening of tracheal rings, resulting from progressive cartilage degeneration, which can affect the cervical and intrathoracic trachea, being more common in middle-aged and small breeds. The aim of the present study was to review the pathophysiological, clinical aspects, and diagnostic methods of tracheal collapse in dogs. Tracheal collapse occurs due to the progressive degeneration of the cartilage of the trachea, the extraluminal pressure exceeds the capacity of sustaining the rings, leading to collapse and narrowing of the lumen, hindering the passage of air. Cough is the main clinical sign seen in animals with tracheal collapse. The correct evaluation and grading of the tracheal collapse will determine the best type of treatment. Most dogs respond well to clinical treatment. However, those who have unresponsive respiratory impairment can benefit from surgical intervention. Bronchoscopy is the best technique to assess the degree of involvement of the trachea, however, the animal needs to be sedated with general anesthesia. The tangential radiographic projection can be used for complementary assessment of the trachea, however, it must be performed with caution, since it can accentuate the clinical signs. The prognosis is directly related to the degree of involvement of the trachea and the presence or not of secondary pathologies.
Cite this paper
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