Tracheal collapse and bronchomalacia in dogs: 58 cases (7/2001-1/2008)

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69 Scopus citations


Background: Tracheobronchomalacia is diagnosed in people by documentation of a reduction in airway diameter during bronchoscopy. While tracheal collapse in the dog has been well described in the literature, little information is available on bronchomalacia in the dog. Hypotheses: Bronchomalacia is common in dogs with tracheal collapse, is associated with inflammatory airway disease, and is poorly documented radiographically. Animals: One hundred and fifteen dogs admitted for evaluation for respiratory disease and examined by bronchoscopy. Methods: Case-controlled, observational study. Dogs examined and having a bronchoscopic procedure performed by a single operator were separated into groups with and without visually identified airway collapse. Clinical parameters and bronchoalveolar lavage findings were compared between groups. Radiographs were reviewed in masked fashion to assess the sensitivity and specificity for detection of bronchomalacia. Results: Tracheobronchomalacia was documented in 50% of dogs examined, with tracheal collapse in 21% and bronchomalacia in 47%. In dogs with bronchomalacia, collapse of the right middle (59%) and left cranial (52%) lung lobes was identified most commonly. Dogs with bronchomalacia were significantly more likely to display normal airway cytology and to have mitral regurgitation and cardiomegaly than dogs without airway collapse (P <.05). Radiographs were insensitive for detection of airway collapse. Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Bronchomalacia was identified more commonly than tracheal collapse in this population of dogs, and documentation required bronchoscopy. This study could not confirm a role for airway inflammation in bronchomalacia, and further studies are required to determine the role of cardiomegaly in the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Bronchi
  • Canine
  • Respiratory tract endoscopy
  • Thoracic radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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