Does Your Poodle Honk?

By Susan Aiello • Published: December 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Ever drink from a straw that was crumpled in the middle? Suction collapses the dented plastic, which makes drinking your slushie a frustrating experience.

Many small dogs can suffer from a similar problem called collapsing trachea. Weakened rings of cartilage in the windpipe flatten during air intake, changing normal breath into a honking cough, especially during excitement or exercise.

The problem often starts in puppies and may worsen with time as the narrowing airway worsens and makes breathing ever more difficult. Mildly affected pups do well without treatment as long as they’re kept fit and trim, because chubbiness worsens the condition. More severe problems require specialized surgery to restrict the collapse and restore the more rigid, circular tracheal shape.

So if your poodle sounds more like a goose than a dog, see your vet. And limit those snacks.