Sadie is a 9 year old, spayed Pomeranian. She presented to our emergency department on July 8th for coughing and increased respiratory rate and effort. Radiographs were taken and revealed a severe intrathoracic collapsing trachea. Medical therapy was instituted and she was maintained in an oxygen-rich environment overnight. She was transferred to our internal medicine department the next morning. Dr. Olsen continued medical therapy and discussed alternative interventions, such as surgery or tracheal stent placement, with the owner. The owner elected to continue the medications and monitor Sadie at home. Over the next couple of days Sadie was in and out of our emergency department for oxygen therapy. On July 12th the owners decided to pursue the tracheal stent placement. She was anesthetized and measured tor the stent. She was then hospitalized for observation until the stent arrived the next day. The stent was then placed without complication, and radiographs were taken to ensure correct placement. Sadie continued to have a small cough for a few days, but is now doing great! She even (against recommendations) ran across the yard to chase down a bird (which she had not done her entire life!).
Tracheal stent placement is usually only considered after medical therapy has failed. Before placement of the stent, the respiratory tract needs to be evaluated fully (which may include bronchoscopy). This is vital as evidence of bronchus or smaller airway collapse may result in perceived failure of stent therapy.
Published on October 4, 2016