What it is
Tracheal collapse is a narrowing of the inner diameter of the trachea which fluctuates with the stage of the respiratory cycle. The rings of the trachea lose their ability to maintain their shape and collapse when the Yorkie breathes, causing a harsh cough. Most often this disorder is seen in middle-aged toy and miniature breeds. Chronic respiratory infection, obesity, and heart disease can all contribute to the development of the condition, but it appears that there is also a congenital defect in the make-up of the trachea itself.
For treatment, your veterinarian will discuss with you ways to manage this condition. Most cases can be treated successfully medically, with the use of bronchodilators, nebulizers or vaporizers, and occasional use of corticosteroids or sedatives as necessary to treat inflammation of the trachea. Also dogs so afflicted should be walked on a halter, rather than a collar.