Last Wednesday we took our Pomeranian to the vets to get her teeth cleaned. She needed one tooth pulled from her upper jaw, and another one came out on it’s own as well. However, when she woke up from anesthesia she was having a hard time breathing. Over the past few years her breathing has gotten worse and worse. Collapsing trachea is a problem that plagues a lot of small breed dogs, and it essentially occurs when the rings in the trachea get too weak to keep it open. When she gets excited she has a hard time breathing, and starts making a goose-honk noise. After the dental visit we talked with Dr. Cox a bit about the xrays and then one of the veterinary assistants woke her up and brought her out to the lobby. She was shaking violently, trying to breath and honking non-stop. Normally her honking fits last about 10 seconds tops, and this was sustained for over a minute. Dr. Cox gave her a cortezone shot to help with the inflammation and sent us home with the instructions that if it got worse, or we saw her gum tissue get blue to take her to the Tualatic Emergency Clinic. Essentially her throat was inflammed from having the tiny air tube they thread down it when they anesthetize the dog to do dental work.
He also gave us the X-rays that they took, and the phone number of a doctor in Beaverton who performs tracheal surgery. From what Dr. Cox said, it would be around $3,000 for the surgery, but we haven’t called the specialist yet.
Crystal put the x-rays on her lightboard last night and took pictures. Here is a supine view of our dog. If you look at the bright white spot at the base of the neck, that is the microchip. If you look straight down from that, past the spine and ribcage you can see a black lump. That’s the trachea at the thickness it should normally be. If you follow it all the way up to the left to the throat, you can get a pretty good idea of how collapsed her trachea is.
There’s a few other tracheal collapse x-rays from other dogs. I’d say this fits in the ‘severe’ tracheal collapse category.