Tracheitis in dogs – Symptoms, duration and treatment

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Tracheitis is the inflammation of the trachea that our dogs can suffer due to different causes. This pathology produces a series of symptoms that should be learned to identify in order to go to the vet as soon as possible.

Early diagnosis will allow us to stop this pathology in time and thus we will avoid complications that aggravate the condition and make recovery difficult. Then we will also discover which is the most recommended treatment.

Index of contents

  • 1 What causes tracheitis in dogs?
  • 2 What are the symptoms of canine tracheitis?
  • 3 How is tracheitis in a dog treated?
  • 4 Home treatment
  • 5 What does tracheitis have to do with the heart?

What causes tracheitis in dogs?

Tracheitis involves inflammation of the trachea, which is the tube that reaches the lungs after the pharynx and larynx. This inflammation can be due to both infectious and non-infectious causes. Among the first we can find viruses like herpes or bacteria like the Bordetella.

The non-infectious causes are very varied and range from irritations to allergies, including coughs, intake of a bone or any object with edges, cooling, etc. If our dog has just undergone surgery and has been tubed for anesthesia, he may suffer tracheitis due to the effect of the tube in the throat.

The trachea is a very sensitive area of ​​the dog. We can check it by running our hand through it. The dog, annoyed, will swallow. So rubbing the windpipe helps when giving a pill. So, if he jerks when we walk him with a necklace and strap or when he barks a lot, the trachea will be affected. Jerking and excessive barking are other causes of tracheitis.

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What are the symptoms of canine tracheitis?

The characteristic sign of tracheitis is undoubtedly cough. Also, the typical cough of tracheitis is dry. In some cases, the production mechanism of this cough can cause nausea and even vomiting. This fact could confuse us and make us think that the dog you are suffering from a disorder in the digestive system.

In some dogs with tracheitis we may notice that they are more tired but, at the same time, they seem restless, as well as annoying. In those who suffer complications we can see other symptoms, since there may be lung involvement.

How is tracheitis in a dog treated?

If the tracheitis is due to some non-infectious cause, it may resolve on its own as soon as the dog stops having contact with the trigger, which must still be identified. Instead, an infectious cause will require veterinary treatment because it could get complicated to produce pneumonia.

Treatment, if applicable, focuses on avoiding a cough. Tracheitis causes cough due to inflammation of the trachea, and at the same time, the cough further irritates the trachea itself. Therefore, stopping this circle will be essential for healing. For this, the veterinaryn will prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or antitussives, as appropriate.


Home treatment

In addition to the drugs that the vet has prescribed, it is possible to implement measures to complement the treatment. All of them can be followed at home to promote recovery and improve the condition of the dog. We highlight the following:

  • Having discomfort in the trachea and a frequent cough, it is possible that the dog has problems when it comes to eating, even if it is hungry and approaches the feeder normally. We will help you if we offer you wet or soft food. We can buy or make it ourselves at home.
  • It is better that we use a harness instead of a collar during walks to avoid rubbing the inflamed area, at least while maintaining the cough.
  • Offering bones or hard foods for the duration of the recovery process is not recommended. They could damage an already weakened windpipe.
  • We must avoid all kinds of cooling as much as possible, since the cold dries the mucosa and this is a trigger for more coughing.
  • If we live in a dry environment, it would be recommended that we use humidifiers of the environment precisely to prevent it from drying out, which is why we already mentioned in the previous point.
  • Also be careful with potential irritants of the windpipe such as smoke, dust or perfumes. We must prevent the dog from coming into contact with any of them.
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What does tracheitis have to do with the heart?

Dogs can be afflicted with heart disease that includes coughing as its symptoms. This usually occurs because failures in the functioning of this organ affect the blood circulation and end up promoting the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. This causes the dog to cough.

As these diseases affect older dogs more, if it is the case of ours and we hear him cough, the recommendation is to go to the vet as soon as possible. If we pass a cough thinking that it is a slight tracheitis, we may be leaving a heart condition untreated.

With just an auscultation the vet will be able to assess the state of the heart although, in case of doubt, it will be necessary to take X-rays or ultrasounds. These tests will allow us to find out where the cough comes from and, thus, adapt the treatment.