Cbd Oil For Dogs With Tracheal Collapse
Tracheal collapse is a progressive and irreversible airway obstruction in dogs that occurs when the trachea becomes weak and begins to flatten. A trachea is composed of 35 to 45 C-shaped rings bound together by muscles and ligaments to create a tube-like structure and carries air from the nose and mouth to the lungs.
A tracheal collapse is considered a hereditary structural defect that usually affects small breed dogs such as chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers and poodles.
This is most often seen in middle-aged dogs (6 or 7 years old) or older, and some in young dogs as well. Some factors could increase the risk of developing this condition, such as:
- Being overweight
- Exposure to smoke or dust
- Heart and lung diseases
- Cushing’s disease
- Allergic bronchitis
Symptoms of tracheal collapse in dogs and cats
When a tracheal collapse progresses, a common symptom is a honking, dry cough that sounds like a goose honk. Dogs with this condition tend to cough more in situations that require rapid breathing such as walking, playing with other animals, exercise or when they’re agitated such as car rides. They may also suffer from fits.
Furthermore, constant coughing from tracheal collapse can cause inflammation on the trachea and leads to more coughs. Lastly, coughs are commonly dry and labored.
Besides coughing, other symptoms are fatigue, troubled breathing, gagging and wheezing. For some, breathing becomes so difficult that it could result to severe distress and fainting.
This could get worse should it be left untreated. Additional symptoms are labored breathing, bluish tinge of gums and difficult in exercise.
To conclude tracheal collapse, additional tests are required such as fluoroscopy (a moving x-ray), endoscopy (viewing of the inside of the trachea through a fiber optic camera) and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart). These are essential since a regular x-ray may not immediately detect the tracheal collapse.
Unfortunately, there is no definite sure for tracheal collapse and the only way to treat this condition is by easing the discomfort and provide care. To tackle difficulty in breathing and reduce inflammation of the trachea, the most common solutions are medication, supplements and surgery.
For medications, these are commonly in the form of cough suppressants, antibiotic corticosteroids, anabolic steroids and many more. Although steroids are an acceptable form of treatment, they are not advisable in the long-term.
Supplements can help slow the progression of the condition through joint supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine.
When lifestyle changes and medications are no longer useful, the last resort is surgery. This is known as the tracheal surgery and involves inserting a tube through the respiratory tract to improve airflow of lungs. Although this is not a definite cure, this considerably helps ease the condition.
Currently in the medical field, there is a growing interest in the potential medical benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD). It is one of the 400 active components in cannabis and primarily made up of two components: endocannabinoids (Anandamide and 2-AG) and their receptors (CB1 and CB2).
Unlike its cousin, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a “high” associated with marijuana nor does it have a strong effect on cognitive brain activity, since it is non-psychoactive.
The CBD relates to endocannabinoid system. It is present in all mammals, including dogs, cats and humans. This system is a modulatory system in the brain, endocrine and immune tissues that keep the body functioning properly. These processes include memory, sleep, mood, appetite, pain and many more.
This system is composed of the following main components:
- These are chemical messengers that trigger a wide variety of responses to the body. They work like neurotransmitters and affect how neurons and other cells send signals to each other.
- Endocannabinoid Receptors
- Receptor cells that receive the endocannabinoids.
- Help synthetize and degrade cannabinoids.
CBD stimulates endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis in the body by reducing pain, inflammation and anxiety. Researchers suggest that an imbalanced endocannabinoid system is the root cause of all diseases.
As for its effect on animals, a 2018 study suggested that CBD can boost comfort and osteoarthritis and in another published study, can help reduce the number of seizures of epileptic dogs.
CBD pet products come in many forms such as edibles (capsules and chewable treats), oils or balms. When choosing a CBD oil, a pet’s age, breed and weight are considered.
Moreover, since the CBD market is not regulated, here are other things to consider:
- Only use products that includes certificate of analysis (COA). A COA is issued when lab tests conducted on the product confirm the ingredients used and its potency.
- CBD products is not supposed to have more than 0.3% THC. The pet owner should always be on the lookout for cases of vomiting, diarrhea, trouble standing and restlessness even for those that contain 0.0% THC.
It should be noted that there is no conclusive research that asserts the effectivity of CBD on dogs and cats; but many veterinarians have appraised this type of method as sage, non-toxic and non-psychoactive treatment.
Hence, a vet’s assessment should be gained prior to undergoing CBD treatment for tracheal collapse. Overall, a pet owner should use CBD products with caution until more information is made available.
How to prevent tracheal collapse in dogs and cats
Since small dogs are susceptible to a collapsed trachea, a good way to avoid this is to change to a canned food diet or raw food diet to avoid excess weight and maintaining lean muscle.
Moreover, a dog with tracheal or coughing problems should never wear a regular dog collar, chain or anything that constricts the trachea. Instead, the pet owner should opt for a harness or standard collar.
Natural home remedies for dogs and cats with tracheal collapse
There are other counter and natural products that reduce infection and soothe the trachea. They are the following:
- Aromatherapy products that reduce stress and anxiety
- Soothing additives to humidifiers such as mint and eucalyptus that naturally soothes the trachea
- Natural anti-inflammatories and cough suppressants, available in pet stores.
Despite not having any definite cure, the above remedies can help the dog/cat live a long and happy life, despite their condition. All we can do is to alleviate their pain and discomfort and provide them a relaxed and happy environment.
Tracheal Collapse in Dogs, accessed September 29, 2019,
Tracheal Collapse, accessed September 29, 2019,
Only Natural Pet Team, accessed September 29, 2019,
Kosecki, Danielle, Is CBD safe for pets?, cnet, accessed September 29, 2019,