Is Your Yorkshire Terrier Coughing— Is It Collapsing Trachea?

Have you noticed your dog coughing ?  

Many dog breeds can develope Collapsing Trachea.

Yorkie Terriers seem to have a problem with this condition, as sometimes it is genetic.

You can read my personal experience with my first Yorkie and his ordeal with Collapsing Trachea, if you continue reading on this page.

I have made suggestions for soft harnesses to help ease this problem in your dog. I hope that you will give these your consideration as it might save your dog a terrible ordeal and save you alot of heartache.

Please read on.


Coughing Dog?

There are many things in the atmosphere that can cause our dogs to have throat irritants.

Little dogs are so low to the floor that they can be irritated by dust, household spray cleaning products and even hair spray. We never think about that.

If you hear your dog sneezing or wheezing, you might take notice of what might be causing that reaction.


Safest Harnesses for Your Dog

Do you walk your dog using a collar and a leash?

If you are using a collar and your dog pulls ahead like many do, you may hear him/her coughing and choking. This can be very dangerous for your dog, as the constant pulling and choking can cause collapsing trachea.

To protect your dog from collapsing trachea, use a harness that does not affect the throat.

There are alot of soft harnesses available, these are nice and come in alot of colors. They are not to expensive, so your dog could have a wardrobe of colorful harnesses!




This is a nice soft harness made from hemp. Love the apple green color.

This is nicely adjustable and machine washable.




This is a great little harness for small dogs. Sometimes it’s very hard to find harnesses for little dogs.

My first Yorkie was so small when I got him, he only weighed 2 pounds and I never could find a harness small enough for him.

That was a number of years ago, but now there seems to be harnesses and sweaters for tiny dogs.

You are sure to find a style that suits both your taste and best fits your dog and your wallet online.

Some of these have FREE SHIPPING!! That’s always a plus!!


Kennel Cough

When I got my first Yorkie, after we had had him for about a week, he developed a night time cough and the vet said it was kennel cough. He had probably gotten it from other dogs that he was around before we got him. He was a puppy.

The vet said it was like a virus and of course, he only coughed at night when we were trying to sleep.

It ran it’s course after a few weeks. According to the vet that I had at the time, there really is nothing you can do about kennel cough. Time heals. If you kennel your dog when you go on vacation, he/she could come home with kennel cough.

You can search on the internet for kennel cough for more detailed information.


Is It Collapsing Trachea?

Dogs don’t cough the way people do, so when you hear your dog making a coughing sound, that needs to alert you that there might be a problem on the horizon.
If it’s a hacking sound, maybe there’s something stuck in your dog’s throat.
If it’s a non-productive, honking type of cough and your dog is a Yorkshire Terrier, then it could be the early beginnings of collapsing trachea.

Collapsing trachea can effect other breeds also, but it seems to be a health issue for Yorkies.
Sometimes it is genetic and breeders should try very hard to breed this out of Yorkies.
It can be caused by wearing collars or leads that are tight and then when the dog pulls on his leash, he chokes.
The constant pulling and choking will eventually damage the windpipe. This applies to all breeds, also.


My Personal Collapsing Trachea Story

My Yorkie began a slight cough during the summer of 2007.
At the time, we were having renovations done on our home and I thought his throat was dry from the plaster dust and sawdust in the air. The coughing didn’t occur daily so I didn’t worry about progression. I made every effort to keep the dust down by vacuuming and dusting daily.

In the Fall, he had a vet check and I mentioned the cough.

Our vet said it was probably collapsing trachea.

She said that she thought his condition was genetic.

She prescribed Torbutrol as a cough suppressant and after his first dose he was so drugged that he couldn’t stand, eat or get to his water bowl. She had said that he’d probably have to be on this the rest of his life, taking 2 pills a day.
After this reaction, I called the vet and it was decided that he couldn’t tolerate this drug. He only weighed 4 pounds 6 ounces.

After that I tried herbal cough medicines. I also gave him vitamin E and vitamin C.

During the Winter of 2008, he had several vet visits and it was always the same–his heart checked out good and his lungs were good. His appetite was good, there didn’t seem to be anything to be concerned over.
At no time was I ever told of warning signs of collapsing trachea that might take his life. Nothing was ever mentioned to me about the progression of the problem.

His coughing went from that dry, hacking sound to a sound much like a person makes when trying to clear one’s throat.

Many days he wouldn’t cough at all, but many nights he would start to cough and couldn’t seem to stop. I tried giving him honey to coat his throat, because I’m sure his throat must have been very raw from all that coughing.
There are herbal cough medicines on the market that contain honey. Sometimes they helped, but not always. Some days he would pace around all over the house, coughing–trying to breathe.
As the trachea narrows it becomes like trying to breathe through a straw.

I searched the Internet for answers, looking for natural cures for him, but really there is not much that can be done. Sometimes surgery is suggested, but it is not always successful and can be very expensive. Not to mention the discomfort that your dog will go through.

Collapsing trachea claimed another victim, as my Yorkie passed away from suffocation, in his sleep on October 1, 2008.

So, if your dog is making sounds like coughing, please discuss this with your vet so you will know what to expect. Gather as much information as you can and do everything possible to make your dog as comfortable as you can.

You might try using a cool mist humidifier at night in the area where your dog sleeps. Keep his weight down, also. But, most of all, love him and pay as much attention to him as you can. I was very fortunate to have had my Yorkie for 14 years. We were together constantly and he is terribly missed.

I sincerely hope that if you are dealing with this health problem with your Yorkie or any other breed that you will find something that will help him.

If buying a soft harness will make your dog more comfortable, then please do it.

It’s a small price to pay for your dog’s comfort and perhaps it will save you some heartache.

Now, please, go hug your dog!