Choke chain injuries, tight slip collars, or any rope around the neck can fracture the hyoid bone and/or cause compression damage to the nerves of the pharynx and larynx (throat).
Dogs with laryngeal injuries often breathe normally at rest but show respiratory distress during exertion.
Other causes of trauma to the larynx include bite wounds and sharp foreign objects such as bones and pins that penetrate the larynx.
Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.
Treatment of laryngeal trauma involves confining and resting the dog and administering anti-inflammatory medications. If the larynx is severely traumatized, a tracheostomy (an operation in which an opening is made through the skin into the trachea to establish a new airway) may be required. Choke chain injuries can be prevented by using a buckle collar, head halter, or chest harness.
Avoid the use of neck effective collars on small breed dogs. On medium to large breed dogs, consider switching your heavy puller to a head halter style lead and train them to stop pulling.
Please contact your veterinarian if you have questions regarding this condition.
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