Surgical correction of severe dorsal tracheal membrane redundancy in a Belgian shepherd dog

18 Jul 2018

Focsaneanu, V., Nelissen, P., Tappin, S.

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A two-year-old working Belgian shepherd dog was referred for diagnosis and management of a chronic cough, exercise intolerance and inspiratory stridor. A diagnosis of severe dorsal tracheal membrane redundancy was made based on radiography and tracheoscopy. Vomiting, weight loss and lethargy were also reported at initial presentation presumed secondary to dietary indiscretion, which was supported by the identification of undigested bones in the stomach on radiographs and ultrasound; these signs resolved with symptomatic treatment. The patient had previously been diagnosed with primary immune-mediated polyarthritis and had responded well to immunomodulatory medication. To correct the narrowing of the tracheal lumen, the dorsal tracheal membrane was plicated surgically, improving the tracheal diameter postoperatively. Twelve weeks later the dog had returned to full exercise, and the handler reported excellent exercise tolerance and no cough. Plication of excessive dorsal tracheal membrane is one possible treatment option for dogs with severe dorsal tracheal membrane redundancy.