Tracheitis in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Tracheitis is an inflammatory process localized in the trachea of an animal. It rarely appears in its “pure” form, most often combined with a runny nose or bronchitis. This disease can pose a serious threat to the health of the animal, so it requires quick access to veterinary care.

Causes of the disease

There may be many reasons why a dog may develop tracheitis. All of them can be divided into the following groups:

  1. Colds caused by hypothermia of the animal, getting into the rain, sleeping in drafts, wet bedding or cold floor. Dogs of “naked” breeds often get sick, staying too long outside in wet, cool weather or at home under air conditioners and fans.
  2. Infectious. Such forms of tracheitis are common, they can be caused by bacterial, viral or fungal microflora, as well as protozoa — chlamydia, Mycoplasma or Bordetella. The most difficult cases may be those with fungal lesions, as they are difficult to diagnose and no less difficult and long-term treatment.
  3. Caused by the influence of the external environment. This group includes tracheitis caused by allergens, dust, pollen, irritating chemicals that are present in the air as a suspension or aerosol. A common cause of tracheal disease is the high temperature of the air in the room and its excessive dryness, as well as dust. Sometimes animals get sick during repairs due to the ingress of dispersed dust from construction work, paint and varnish particles, and other irritating and aggressive substances into the respiratory system.

Tracheitis is hard to tolerate by dogs, so it should be treated at the earliest stages, at the first manifestations of the problem. The disease can give serious complications, one of which is the most dangerous — pneumonia, or pneumonia.

Which breeds are more susceptible

An animal of any breed can get sick, but small smooth-haired or “naked” animals catch cold more easily and more often than others. Also susceptible to the disease are dogs that live in an aviary all year round without sufficient insulation.

The main symptoms

The first and most noticeable symptom of tracheitis is a cough. It is usually strong, dry and tearing, very weakening the dog. The sick animal becomes sluggish, sleepy and sedentary. His body temperature rises, there are wheezing and hissing when breathing, shortness of breath, and appetite disappears.

The dog mostly lies down without reacting to people, but sometimes it can show signs of irritation and even aggression if it gets bored.

Diagnostics in a veterinary clinic

Usually, the signs of the disease are rapidly increasing, so you need to take the animal to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Trying to treat a dog at home without an accurate diagnosis is pointless and dangerous. If tracheitis is caused by fungi, treatment with antibiotics will lead to an even greater increase in infection, and this type of drug simply does not work on viruses. Therefore, first of all, the veterinarian will identify the causative agent of the disease. To do this, take a scrape from the throat.

A blood test and x-ray, ultrasound are also performed to identify the extent of the process and exclude the involvement of the lungs in it. If you need to get additional data, the doctor can add other tests and samples.

Treatment method and prognosis

Treatment is always associated with the underlying cause of the disease. For bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed, for fungi — antifungal therapy, and when a virus is detected — antiviral. In case of combined infection (fungi + bacteria or viruses + bacteria), antibiotics are added to the list of medications.

It is very important to quickly remove the symptoms of intoxication, which increase very quickly with tracheitis. To do this, the dog can be left in the clinic for a few days for a course of droppers. Also, the animal is prescribed medications to support the activity of the lungs and heart, means to reduce the risk of pulmonary edema, antitussive, General tonic drugs and vitamins.

With an early visit to the clinic, it is possible to quickly eliminate the signs of infection, and the dog recovers. If tracheitis has complications, treatment can be long and difficult.

Tracheitis caused by the herpes virus never goes away without a trace, since this virus cannot be destroyed or eliminated from the body. Under suitable conditions, relapses are possible.

What to do at home

When a dog is discharged home, it is important to provide it with peace, a warm and quiet place, protected from drafts. The dog needs a plentiful warm drink, high-calorie, but light and easily digested food, and as much love as possible from its owners.

Possible complications

Tracheitis is an insidious disease that can easily be complicated by lesions of neighboring organs. Especially risky is lung damage — the dog quickly weakens and may die.

Prevention measures (diet)

The most effective remedy for infectious tracheitis is timely vaccination. This simple method will not allow the animal to get infected, and if this happens, the disease will occur in the mildest form, yielding to the effects of medications.

To avoid infection, do not allow your pet to communicate with stray dogs, cats, or wild animals. They are the main sources of infection.

It is very important to thoroughly wash the dog’s paws after returning from the street — the ground contains a lot of pathogens that can cause the disease.

In extreme weather conditions, it is better not to walk with your pet, but in cold and wet weather, put on a special warm and waterproof blanket. This will protect the dog from many problems.

If the owner sees that the dog is cold and shivering from the cold, he should immediately return home, warm and dry the dog, put it in a warm and dry place. Simple preventive measures can protect the dog from many troubles.