Benadryl for Tracheal Collapse

While Benadryl may help to reduce your dog’s cough in the short term, it is not a solution. Giving a dog Benadryl for an extended period is also not recommended. There are better canine cough medicines that would better manage a cough caused by a collapsing trachea.

What is Benadryl used for in dogs?

Benadryl is a common short-term medication for both dogs and cats. This medication is for human use, however, in small doses, it is safe for dogs. Benadryl is an antihistamine, meaning it targets inflammation caused by irritants or allergic reactions.

How do I know if my dog’s trachea is collapsing?

Tracheal collapse in dogs is not always noticeable immediately.

  • A dog with a collapsed trachea will have a honking cough that is very distinct from its normal cough. A honking cough is generally louder and more vocal than a normal cough.
  • Your dog may also be resistant to any type of exercise. The heavy movement will irritate the trachea and your dog will do all it can to try to remain inactive.
  • You may also notice a heavy amount of panting or labored breathing in your dog because they cannot get the full amount of air through their airway.
  • Another sure sign of tracheal collapse in dogs is a blue tint to their gums. This signifies that your dog is not getting the proper amount of oxygen necessary to oxygenate its bloodstream.

Tracheal collapse is most commonly genetic. It is highly present in toy breeds and dogs of smaller sizes. These dogs do not create a strong enough cartilage to support their airway.

Small dogs are often most affected by collars that cause damage to the neck. Dogs that are obese are also susceptible to tracheal collapse. This is because their tracheas are not strong enough to support a heavy amount of weight.

Does honey help dogs with collapsed trachea?

You can give your dog a tsp of honey per day (1tbsp for larger dogs). Licking straight off the spoon is fine or you can pour it over their normal food.

Honey has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for all kinds of illnesses. It has lots of beneficial properties such as antioxidants to boost the immune system. The thickness of the honey helps to coat the throat, forming a protective barrier and soothing the mucous membranes that have become irritated.

How can I calm my dog’s collapsed trachea?

Depending on the severity of the collapse, a tracheal collapse will most commonly be treated with a cough suppressant. Your dog will get a prescription for a corticosteroid or a bronchodilator that will help ease the pressure in your dog’s airway. These can help ease the irritation in your dog’s throat and will help prevent any future damage to your dog’s trachea.

If these treatments do not work or your dog’s tracheal collapse is more severe, your veterinarian may suggest surgery for your dog. This surgery places prosthetic rings around your dog’s trachea that are meant to help support the airway and keep it open for easy breathing.

The surgery has around a 75% success rate in previously healthy dogs. If your dog is over six years old, it may have a much lower success rate in surgery. This is a highly specialized surgery that will not be done everywhere and may be costly.

In most cases, tracheal collapse can not be prevented. The ailment is based on poor genetics that results in weak cartilage around the trachea. In these situations, the trachea will collapse on its own without much excessive external force.

You can lower the risk of tracheal collapse in your dog by using a body harness instead of a traditional collar. Collars can put excessive pressure on a dog’s neck that could result in damage to the trachea. If you frequently take your dog on walks, a harness will keep them secured to the leash and distribute the pressure through the dog’s abdomen rather than its neck.

If you have smaller dogs, it is also important to supervise them when around bigger dogs or children. The slightest force from a bigger animal can cause an already comprised trachea to collapse.

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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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