Ever since Wynston was about 6 months old, he’s had an issue with coughing. At first, the vet thought perhaps it was just due to getting acclimated to the air outside of the puppy mill. As time went on, the vet thought maybe he had a collapsed trachea, as it’s common in small breed dogs.
Well, Wynston’s coughing got progressively worse as time passed. The episodes of honking and coughing went from once a week, to multiple times a day over three years. Thankfully I’ve come up with a home remedy to treat tracheal collapse in dogs, and now his episodes are rare.
Wynston’s coughing episodes sound like a loud goose honk. This can happen after he eats, drinks, plays, exercises…and even when he’s standing there doing nothing. There isn’t anything that triggers his episodes. It used to be eating and drinking. Then his episodes started to occur no matter what he was doing.
Much to my amazement, the veterinarian was able to literally FEEL his tracheal collapse when I took him in for a check up in July 2014. He felt it going all the way down near his thorax. The vet was able to trigger an episode by pushing on his trachea a certain way (panicked mom moment). Turns out, Wynston has intrathoracic tracheal collapse. It’s not an ordinary case of tracheal collapse – Wynston’s effects the inside AND outside of his trachea.
What is tracheal collapse?
Tracheal collapse (better known as canine airway disease) is a degenerative disease of the cartilage rings in the trachea. Currently there is no cure for it. Due to lack of oxygen to the lungs and heart at times, tracheal collapse can lead to heart disease and other more severe health problems. Although tracheal collapse cannot be cured, it can be controlled.
So what are the options in terms of controlling tracheal collapse? Surgery is extremely invasive and aggressive – not an option for me. Steroids, inhalants – no way. I will do everything I can to avoid inhaler contraptions and steroids that can come with horrendous long term side effects. No thanks.
I offered the idea of a holistic treatment or remedies to my vet, but he was not versed in the field of natural medicine. Time to take matters into my own hands. I don’t want to torture Wynston with western medicinal treatments, so I opted for a more natural approach.
Now, our daily routine has changed. Since Wynston will live with this condition forever, I might as well make it the most enjoyable I can.
My Holistic Treatment for Tracheal Collapse
*Affiliate links are present in this post.*
Daily warm vaporizer steam (this has made the biggest difference!):
When Wynston is sleeping in his room, I turn on his warm steam vaporizer and put 5-10 drops of eucalyptus oildirectly into the water (I use a Vicks 1 Gallon Vaporizer). Even in a large area the eucalyptus scent fills up the room, which ultimately helps Wynston’s breathing.
Eucalyptus is a natural healing agent for stuffy nose, cough and even sinus infections. It’s great for humans too! Be sure to consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns.
For an immediate effect, I put 5 drops of eucalyptus oil (I use Aura Cacia brand) in a running hot shower (directly into the streaming water) so the bathroom steams up with the essential oil. The oil will attach itself to the bottom of your shower, even with the drain open.
Sit in the bathroom with your dog for about a minute and it should work wonders, as it has for us. I’ve taken Wynston into the steaming bathroom with eucalyptus oil at times where I thought I’d have to take him to the ER. Within a minute of sitting in the bathroom with him, he stops coughing.
Consult your veterinarian for any specific questions or concerns.
These next few items are completely optional:
– HempMy Pet Hemp Oil To help with joint pain, anxiety and muscle ailments.
– Pet Naturals of Vermont – Hip + Joint Chews: To strengthen muscles and tissue
– Humidifiers throughout the house for better breathing.
– Weekly dusting of the entire house to eliminate dander and dust that may be floating around.
I also suggest putting your dog on a high quality diet, like the fresh food from NomNom!
Where to Buy Products for this Holistic Tracheal Collapse Treatment
– You can buy the eucalyptus oil on Amazon, and it’s much cheaper than in stores. Here is the link to what I use: Aura Cacia 100% Pure Essential Oils – Eucalyptus – 0.5 oz
– You can purchase any type of vitamin and mineral supplement on Amazon or at your local pet store. I know big box stores like PetSmart and Petco carry them, but for a more natural brand, your best bet is online or at a natural pet store.
– Humidifiers, vaporizers and purifiers can be bought almost anywhere! Amazon, Walmart, Target…they all have great inexpensive options. This is the Vick’s vaporizer that I use: Vicks 1 Gallon Vaporizer
Going forward, I’m still going to exercise Wyn the same I do now, and allow him to play a lot. He’s super active, and I don’t intend on changing that. But what I can change is how I go about helping him cope with his intrathoracic tracheal collapse. As a mom, it is my duty to make Wynston’s life easier and less painful.
This home treatment works!
Several years later, I can say that my holistic treatment WORKS! Within a month of using the supplements and vaporizer, Wynston was barely having any episodes at all. Now I can tell you that it is extremely rare that Wynston has a coughing episode and I thank the holistic remedies I chose to use.
The vaporizer has made the biggest different in controlling the intrathoracic tracheal collapse. Sometimes natural is the best way to go! Be sure to consult your veterinarian in the case of any emergencies. Your veterinarian can potentially help you with a specific treatment plan for your dog.
Affiliate links are present in this post but Amanda only shares products that she uses and believes in.
*Remember to consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns you have regarding your pet’s health. This tracheal collapse treatment has worked for my dog but it may not work for all dogs. I am simply sharing my experiences.*