Pomeranians, as any Pommy Mommy would know, can be divas. But they’re divas for a reason. These fragile toy dogs are susceptible to certain maladies and discomforts that larger, stronger dogs can more often avoid. Thus, Poms need special care and attention (and they like it, too). Doggies of all sizes can have a collapsed trachea, but this disease is much more common in toy breeds. If your Pommy gets this diagnosis, it may sound scary to you. But, while it can on rare occasion be life threatening, a collapsed trachea in Pomeranians is usually manageable and doesn’t have to shorten your precious Pom’s life span.
The trachea (also known as the windpipe) stretches from your Pommy’s neck to the chest, delivering air to the lungs. It is made up of cartilage rings which, overtime, can lose strength and cave in. Because of the degenerative nature of the cartilage, a collapsed trachea in Pomeranians is typically something that happens only in older doggies. When the windpipe is collapsed, your Pom will have trouble breathing. This might cause him or her to start coughing regularly, and especially when exercising or excited. The cough that come along with a collapsed trachea is usually described as being horn-like. If you notice your Pommy develops a cough like this, take him or her to the vet. Your vet will perform a physical and possibly an X-ray to determine if the trachea is collapsed. Your vet will then also be able to tell you the intensity of the disease.
What To Do
Once you’re aware of your Pom’s collapsed trachea, you should adhere to a handful of specific precautions. And, really, these precautions would best be applied to all toy breed across the board, as they can be preventative too! First, if your Pommy is overweight, then you need to help him or her get in shape. It’s better to have maintained your pup’s weight all along, as exercising with a collapsed trachea can be more difficult. However, an overweight pup has a harder time breathing in general, so it’s important to keep them healthy in that regard. You should walk your Pommy every day. But—and this is very important—be sure that you are using a harness leash rather than a collar. A harness will give your Pom the support he or she needs, whereas a collar will put more pressure on the trachea. That’s no good for fragile toy dogs! When you do exercise your Pom, pay attention to the temperature. If your pup overheats, that will make it harder to breathe, too.
In many cases, keep in mind these precautions and making sure the cough doesn’t worsen is enough to give your Pom a happy life, even with a collapsed windpipe. In rarer, more severe cases, a Pom may need cough suppressants or even surgery. But generally, a collapsed trachea in pomeranians doesn’t have to mean much change in lifestyle. As long as their owners are caring and attentive (which you no doubt are!), Poms with a collapsed trachea can live as long as one without.
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