Soldier is a 5year old male Pomeranian, who was referred to AURA Veterinary from another referral centre to discuss management of his tracheal collapse.
Soldiers family had tried various medications that had not resulted in any consistent improvement in his coughing. Following recent episodes of dyspnoea and cyanosis (shortness of breath and his tongue turning blue) his family needed to look for another solution.
Soldier was put under the care of Dr Gerard McLauchlan (RCVS and European Specialist in Internal Medicine specialist). It was decided that he should undergo a CT scan followed by an airway examination. Given Soliders respiratory problems the CT scan was initially performed conscious to limit his risks from anaesthesia recovery.
Following the CT scan Soldier underwent an airway scope that confirmed a grade 3 out of 4 tracheal collapse (meaning over 75% of the lumen was collapsed). We also identified a congenital malformation of the trachea that would make placement of a tracheal stent more complicated. Following discussion with Soldiers family regarding the complex nature of his condition it was decided to place rings around the outside of his trachea rather than a stent within his trachea. Soldier was discharged that day and the surgery scheduled for the following week.
Unfortunately, once home Soldier had another episode of respiratory distress and had to be rushed to an emergency service for oxygen therapy. The following day he returned to AURA for further stabilization and then underwent the planned surgery with Gerard and Jonathan.
In surgery a careful dissection to the trachea was made (particular care is taken to avoid the nerves running in this region). Five rings were then placed around the trachea and sutured in position. Surgery went very well and Solider was discharged a few days later with no concerns (some mild, intermittent coughing was heard for a few days at home).
A few weeks later Soldier returned to AURA for a recheck with Gerard and the team. His wound had healed beautifully and his family reported him to be not coughing at all!
Gerard and his family are thrilled with Soldier’s recovery and it is hoped he will continue to enjoy an excellent quality of life for many, many years.