Can a small, 13-year old poodle with collapsing trachea eat dry dog food?
My two senior rescues both suffered from CT and also periodontal disease and had few teeth. Both therefore ate homecooked "soft" foods like chicken, ground beef, veggie mash, etc., but I don't see why a poodle with CT can't eat a high quality dry kibble. What does your vet think about this?
Both of mine were on hydrocodone to treat the CT. :-(
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Poodle Type: Toy Parti, Standard Parti, Phantom, Apricot
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Either the article I read or my former vet said that small dogs could develop collapsing trachea with age. He also said that there were new medications to treat the condition. She no longer wears a collar and I remind the groomer about her neck. Also, she is not on medication.
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Tracheas collapse because the cartilage rings weaken. When the C loses its curvature, the tracheal membrane across the open end gets loose and floppy. Instead of being a tight muscle canopy, the now flimsy membrane moves as air passes through the trachea. When air rushes into the chest, the membrane of the intrathoracic trachea balloons outward, and when air rushes out the membrane of the intrathoracic trachea droops down into the C cartilage and causes an occlusion. The tickling sensation of the membrane touching the tracheal lining generates coughing, and if the obstruction interrupts breathing the patient may become distressed. If the collapse is in the extrathoracic (also called the cervical) trachea, the opposite occurs; the collapse occurs during inhalation and the ballooning during exhalation.
What Animals are Affected?
The victim is almost always a toy breed dog, with poodles, Yorkshire terriers, and Pomeranians most commonly affected. The disease usually becomes problematic in middle age but can occur at any age. The cartilage defect that leads to the flattened C rings seems to be hereditary.
My vet recommends harnesses for my MPOOs. After living with two senior rescue poodles with CT, I follow his advice. (It's horrible listening to them cough and wheeze.) Mine didn't have weight issues and I'm not a smoker so the vet attributed it to the collar or hereditary flattening of the C ring.