The Faces of Collapsing Trachea

If you would like to learn more about Collapsing Trachea, click here.

If you have a pet with CT, check out the YAPCT support group on Yahoo.




Shelby Hite

12 June 2001 - 10 April 2012

Shelby was born June 12, 2001 and came into my life in October 2001.  Shelby was a neutered male, about 8 lbs. And a great snuggler who loved to give me hugs around my neck and traveled everywhere with me.  Over the years he developed a "snort" with activity which became more pronounced when the weather was hot. Despite the snorting he loved to swim, fetch a ball for hours and go for long walks.  In May 2011 Shelby had difficulty breathing and our vet told us that we had to prepare for the end.  I could not bear the thought of losing my best friend and devoted companion so we went to the University of Tennessee for help.  Shelby underwent emergency stent placement on June 1, 2011 and the healing period was very difficult.  He coughed constantly despite around the clock medications.  We had some good months from August through December when he coughed less and could take walks and play. But the stent developed fractures which in January 2012 worsened.  We took one last trip to the beach in March and he did very well.  I do not regret implanting the stent - I only wish we could have had more time together - but we did get to have 10 months and 10 days together that we would not otherwise have had.  Shelby is sorely missed - my heart is broken.

Catherine Hite


Tyson Rutkowski


Tyson was diagnosed with Collapsing Trachea on July 17, 2007…after his first dental.  Intubation caused awful honking and CT was diagnosed. 

Tyson was med free for over a year and had a bad episode after his last grooming.  He was in oxygen tent with IV for a day.  Doing much better now (3 weeks later) is currently on Theophylline 100 mg, ½ tablet once a day.



Sophie Campo

9/24/2001 - 2/16/2010

Update:  Today Pete made a very hard decision regarding Sophie.  Life became too hard for her, and Pete did the most selfless thing a dog parent can do...he let Sophie go to the Rainbow Bridge.  Pete did not want Sophie to struggle anymore.  Sophie has her angel wings now, and she is in a place where  breathing is no longer a hardship.

DOB  9/24/2001

Diagnosed Collapsing Trachea 4/24/2006
At the time of diagnoses, X Rays indicated a category 3 collapse.  Her Vet said  she might live a year. She is still here almost 3 years later, Sophie is a survivor! She is hanging in there, with some days better than others. Summer heat and humidity exasperate her suffering.
She's been for consult in Gainesville, FL., at Veterinary College where the latest Infinity Stent is used in treatment. Soon, I suspect, she will need this aggressive approach.
What's in the heart of a Yorkie? Sophie is all about love. A 7 pound bundle of love! A natural for a national Pet Therapy program, she has brought joy to hundreds of people in need. Especially the children. Her gentle way with kids afflicted with  the most horrible conditions is a sight to behold. She makes me so proud! Though limited now, she still visits the hospital briefly once every week. She's quite the celebrity there.
The bond between us is hard to put into words. But then, you who are reading this know what I mean.  I cherish everyday she remains here on earth.
My heart goes out to all of you who are enduring the hardships brought on by this affliction. You are not alone.

Sophie had stent surgery 4/21. Recovery has been difficult but seeing some progress now after 2 1/2 weeks.





Mr. T Hicks

24th October 1995 - 27th October 2006

You can click on Mr. T Hicks to read his story.



Winston Baker

Feb 1st 2000 - June 19th, 2006

Winston died unexpectedly and his parents never got a clear diagnosis of Collapsing Trachea until it was too late.  He was 6 years and 4 months when he left to go to the Rainbow Bridge.



Bugsy Boy Gilligan

Bugsy succumbed to Collapsing Trachea and is at the Rainbow Bridge.



Jazzy-Belle St. Clair

Jazzy-Belle St. Clair is 9 years old.  She was diagnosed with collapsing trachea, by her local vet,  in February of 2007.   When evaluated by the wonderful staff at UT, she was graded a 3-4 collapse, in the upper trachea.  Currently, she is stable with medications and strict environmental controls.  We carefully monitor her weight, stress, humidity, and make sure that she always gets her meds.  At this point, her meds have been reduced to less than half of the dose she was initially prescribed. 
Jazzy totally runs our house.  We have created a little monster....however, we would not have it any other way.  We pray that through research, this nasty condition will someday be eradicated.  Until then, we are doing everything we can to manage her condition through non-invasive means.  Should her condition progress, we know that surgery will be our only hope of keeping her with us.



Maxx Tolley

Maxx was a teeny little yorkie at 1.8 pounds.  When he was one year old he went in to the vet
 To have his baby teeth removed.  During the procedure where they removed 19 retained teeth, They damaged his trachea with the intubation tube, in fact, they "poked a hole it in".  It took  a long time for Maxx to heal, but he did heal.  At about seven years old, Maxx started the tell-tale cough of Collapsing Trachea.  He went in to the vet and radiographs showed the trachea was collapsing at the site of his previous injury.  They attempted a scope and Maxx didn't take the sedation well and the scope had to be aborted.  The specialist said the scar tissue was causing his trachea to collapse. 
Maxx continued his life happily, but had one to three "flare-up's" of symptoms each year.  He was treated with torbutrol, sometimes prednisone,  hydromet syrup, and about four other medications in various combinations for each exacerbation.  The exacerbations lasted from one to three weeks each time.  

In his 12th year, Maxx had a particularly long exacerbation of his symptoms.  He would "turn blue" and occasionally faint.  At that time he was placed on three of his medications and also used Albuterol, a bronchial dilator.  He occasionally had to have oxygen therapy.  We always used a cool mist humidifier and a salt rock lamp. 

He got through this particularly rough time but was noticeably weakened. His heart was having to work too hard to get the oxygen to his body.  When he was 13 and a 1/2, almost a year later, he started again with the coughing.  We got him through the exacerbation, but within weeks he was having difficulty again.  After three serious flare ups followed each time by a few weeks of good health, one morning he woke me having difficulty breathing. It had only been a week of good health this time.   I rushed him to the vet.  The vet attempted giving him a shot of sedative, but it didn't help and depressed his breathing.  He tried a shot of steroids, it didn't help.  Maxx was too fragile and had too many adverse reactions to anesthetic to be considered for stint surgery, and at this point he would have never survived the trip to Tennessee.  I chose to assist Maxx over Rainbow Bridge on that day. 

This sounds like a sad story, and although I miss him terribly. It isn't a sad story at all.  Maxx lived a great life and a huge part of his time here on earth was symptom free and happy.  Maxx lived 13 and 1/2 years which is a long life for such a teeny little man.  He was my heart, that little guy.  He was such a big part of our lives here on earth.  He grew up with my grandchildren, and He sat on and protected my husband as my husband's life slipped away.  He was with me on every road trip back and forth from Arizona to Michigan after my husband died.  He was at the hospital to visit at every heart procedure I had including open heart surgery in 2006.  He slept with me every single night of his life.  He was my seizure alert yorkie for many years.  Oh my how I miss him.



Tara Swanson

On July 26th 2007 our beloved Yorkie lost her battle with Collapsing Trachea.  Tara was our first Yorkie and a rescue from Arkansas. Tara was born October 31, 1996 and diagnosed in 2005 with a Collapsing Trachea but she began the coughing,honking sounds right after her 5th birthday in 2001. We had her in emergency hospitals under oxygen so many times but no one told us she had a collapsed trachea or anything about medical management or possible surgery. They only prescribed antibiotics that did not help her. In 2005 I found out that what she had was CT and we took her to The University of Tennessee where she underwent a surgery placing rings around the upper trachea to hold it open. This process gave us back the free breathing happy baby we knew for the first 5 years of her beautiful life until July 26th 2007 when her hard fought battle was lost, the lower trachea had collapsed at 100% and we lost our treasured little girl who is as much missed today as on that fateful day in 2007.



Baby Girl Papa

DOB 10/25/98. Baby Girl came to SouthEast Pug Rescue & Adoption on March 15, 2008.  We knew from her history that she had an undiagnosed cough for a couple of years.   As soon as Baby Girl came into rescue she was diagnosed with a Collapsed Trachea with radiographs. We had her on just about every medication for a couple of months with no relief from the cough. We went to The University of Tennessee Small Animal Clinic on May 8th for a consultation and received the traumatic news that she had a Grade IV collapse in the upper and lower trachea. Baby Girl received an Infiniti Titanium Stent on May 12th, 2008. She had a tough time for about 4 weeks after the stent was placed, but she is now free of all medications. She occasionally has a cough, but not the “goose honk” that is associated with CT patients; it is more that she is clearing her throat. Baby Girl’s personality has blossomed since she received the stent. She is bossy and demanding of attention and we comply! We are her hospice family and she will remain with us for the rest of her life.




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