Objective - To determine the degree of fluctuation in tracheal dimensions between forced inspiration and passive expiration in healthy dogs of various sizes. Animals - 10 client-owned dogs with no evidence of respiratory disease or tracheal collapse. Procedures - Anesthetized dogs underwent a computed tomographic examination during forced inspiration and induced but passive expiration to assess tracheal dimensions. Tracheal height, width, and cross-sectional area were measured at inspiration and expiration, and percentage change in dimension was calculated for each variable. Results - Measurements were acquired in 10 dogs that ranged in body weight from 3.5 to 47.8 kg. Tracheal cross-sectional area at inspiration and expiration was associated with body weight at all 3 tracheal regions. The percentage change in tracheal height and cross-sectional area was associated with body weight in the cervical but not the thoracic-inlet or thoracic regions. The tracheal cross-sectional area changed by as much as 24.2% (mean, 5.5%), 20.0% (mean, 6.0%), and 18.6% (mean, 6.0%) in the cervical, thoracic-inlet, and thoracic regions, respectively. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - The change in tracheal cross-sectional area from inspiration to expiration was as great as 24% in healthy dogs, and the area was associated with body weight. Respiratory fluctuations appeared to result in changes in tracheal dimension during respiration similar to those reported for humans.
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