Collapsing Trachea Update

26 May 2009

(The Nitinol stent is also known as the Infinity Stent)


Drs. Durant and Sura at University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine reviewed records from 18 dogs that underwent Nitinol stent placement ("Vet Stent - Trachea").  This is a newer type of stent that we hope will be more durable and appropriately sized for dogs compared with the human stents. Yorkies were the most common breed affected (61%) and most were middle age at the time of onset, although some had signs as young as 3 years of age or as old as 13 years. Outcomes were excellent in 13% (no clinical signs at all), good in 27% (infrequent coughing), and fair in 47% (frequent clinical signs and need for regular medications and treatments).  Complications included stent breakage (11%) and pneumonia (14%). Mortality rate was 13%; two dogs died 1-2 months after stent placement because of acute respiratory distress. Follow-up was available for 13 of the surviving dogs; all were alive 6  months to 2 years after stent placement.  The nitinol stent helps relieve clinical signs in dogs with tracheal collapse and is unlikely to break.  Because stents only work in the trachea, owners should expect that dogs with bronchial collapse will continue to have coughing and other signs of respiratory problems and may require steroids and cough suppressants for life.


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