Tracheal Perforation Average Cost

From 5 quotes ranging from $1,500 - 8,000

Average Cost


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What is Tracheal Perforation?

A tear or hole in the trachea is known more commonly as tracheal perforation or tracheal tear. This condition, at its worst, allows for air to get trapped in pockets under the skin, in the chest cavity and abdominal cavity, between the lungs, and in the sac around the heart. In those instances, surgery is more likely to occur. In more benign cases, small punctures and tears require very little attention from your dog’s medical staff, though it’s always a good idea to have your animal companion checked by a medical profession.

A hole in the trachea in dogs is a condition caused by trauma or injury. It is, in some cases, self-healing. More serious cases may require surgical intervention.

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Symptoms of Tracheal Perforation in Dogs

Since tracheal perforation is caused by injury, any of the following symptoms may become apparent immediately following trauma and up to 14 days later:

  • Pockets of palpable air under the skin
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Signs of external trauma or holes in the neck region
  • Malaise
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia (lack of appetite)
  • Gagging
  • Unusual salivation
  • Coughing
  • Shock
  • Penetration or puncture wound
  • Perforation

Causes of Tracheal Perforation in Dogs

There are a number of things that can cause a hole in the trachea in dogs, including:

  • Punctures from bite wounds, hunting accidents, sticks, etc. These type of punctures will appear as small or medium-sized holes in the neck of the dog.
  • Accidental perforation can occur during medical procedures. The most common causes include perforation during intubation, transtracheal saline washes, during the administration of anesthesia, and during dental procedures. In these cases, you will not notice any physical signs of damage to your dog’s neck, though you may see small pockets of air forming in your dogs skin.
  • Blunt trauma, such as being struck by a car or object., falling down the stairs or from a point of high elevation. There are obvious signs of injury and distress here, and this is considered a medical emergency.

Diagnosis of Tracheal Perforation in Dogs

The path to diagnosis begins with a physical examination during which your veterinarian will look for tenderness in the neck region of your dog and any visible wounds. Your doctor will also listen to your dog’s lungs and heart, and check for air pockets under your dog’s coat if a hole in the trachea is suspected.

A variety of medical tests are used to confirm diagnosis, such as:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) to rule out inflammation and infection
  • Biochemistry profile to check kidney, liver and pancreas function
  • Urinalysis to gauge kidney function and look for signs of dehydration
  • Arterial blood gas analysis to measure blood oxygenation
  • Pulse oximetry to check for low oxygen saturation
  • X-rays of neck and chest to confirm air pockets under the skin, free air in the chest cavity and/or air in the area around the heart
  • Abdominal X-rays may be used to see air that has been trapped in the abdominal cavity
  • Tracheoscopy, a procedure that allows doctors to view the inside of the trachea and lower airways, may be performed to confirm tracheal tears, rips or holes.

A positive diagnosis is generally confirmed with a combination of X-rays and, if needed, tracheoscopy, though the latter is less common as it can cause further injury and inflammation to the trachea.

Treatment of Tracheal Perforation in Dogs

Treatment varies widely, of course, depending on the extent of the injury and general health of the dog. Possible treatments include:

  • Tracheal perforation with signs of oxygen deficiency generally requires hospitalization, during which your dog may receive oxygen therapy and rest.
  • Small tears and perforations caused by medical procedures usually heal on their own and rarely require hospitalization or treatment, with the exception of mild painkillers.
  • Blunt force trauma injuries will need to be evaluated extensively. Dogs that are physically unstable, have difficulty breathing, or are leaking large amounts of air under their skin rapidly will require immediate surgery to close deep wounds, repair tracheal damage, and remove air pockets.

Most dogs will be given a prescription strength pain medication and, if an infection is present, a course of antibiotics. Most trapped air under the skin will be reabsorbed without intervention though large pockets of air or those that do not heal on their own may require a tubal drain system to be implanted under the skin.

Recovery of Tracheal Perforation in Dogs

Follow-up appointments are a requirement for this type of injury if your dog has had a surgical procedure performed. Your doctor will want to see your dog several times post-surgery to watch for signs of infection and monitor healing.

Dogs with minor injuries that heal on their own may require one follow-up visit though your veterinarian will decide that your dog’s course of treatment.

Dogs should be prohibited from exercising for at least 7 to 10 days following treatment.

Cost of Tracheal Perforation in Dogs

Since the severity of this condition varies widely and, in many cases, spontaneously heals on its own, the costs associated with treatment vary widely. Average costs run from $78 to $3,880, including office visits, medications, and surgery.

Tracheal Perforation Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Daizee Mae
Retriever mix
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Cough, slightly bloody mucus

Hello. My baby girl was attacked 2 days ago by another dog. Thankfully she escaped his grip on her throat with no open wounds to her skin. However, since then she has a cough, as well as some mucus tinged with blood. After the initial shock, she has now mostly returned to normal behavior and will eat the soft foods I've been offering her as well as drinking water. If I touch her throat, she coughs and pulls away. Her throat does feel swollen to me and her neck skin there seems a bit droopy, but that is my take on it.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
Daizee Mae may have had some injury to her trachea, and she should be seen by a veterinarian to have the area assessed. There may be medications that can help her heal more quickly and comfortably. I hope that she is okay.

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Pit bull
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

pale gums,

My female pit bull has not been eating and barely drinking water and I wonder if she has trcheal damage. there is a ring shape bone/s if you will sticking out the front of her neck that I never noticed about the area where a humans "adams apple" would be. He gums are very pale.
I stuck my fingers down her throat thinking something is caught and I feel something but I don;t know if that is normal. Something is up her throat, thats all i know right now. Please reply soon

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Without examining Shelby, it is difficult for me to know what you are feeling; the Adam’s apple is normal and is an anatomical structure, just human men have larger ones attributable to the shape of the larynx which gives the deep voice. You should visit your Veterinarian or an Emergency Veterinarian if you feel or suspect that there is a foreign object in the throat. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Australian Shepherd
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

My dog, 3 yr old Aussie, was pulling on his leash (attached to his collar) during a walk, and his breathing became very noisy with his snout pointed up. I noticed that the tendons along side of his throat were very tense feeling. I very gently massaged his throat, and after about a minute, he was ok. It happened again the other day when he was just running and playing with another dog. I did the same maneuver, and he quickly recovered. Just curious, did he get some sort of injury to his neck on the walk?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. It is possible that Cyrus did damage his trachea, or he may be having a condition called a 'reverse sneeze'. Since treatment for those two things can be quite different, it would be a good idea to have your veterinarian look at him, and just make sure that everything is okay. If you are able to video the episodes, it will be very helpful to your veterinarian in determining if there is a problem. I hope that all goes well for him.

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Border collie mix
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

deep cough and gagging

My dog suddenly started chasing something and came to an abrupt stop at the end of his lead, now he has a deep cough on occasion. What can I do to soothe it? I am worried

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. WIthout examining Roger, I can't diagnose anything, but if he suffered trauma to his throat, he may need anti-inflammatory therapy. Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe any medication that he might need so that he can heal. I hope that he is okay!

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No name yet
Chiuahua terrier mix
Three Week
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

There is a small hole and she wont eat and im worr

Medication Used

No medications were prescribed

My momma dog bit one of her puppies and now the puppy has a hole in her trachea. What do I do

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations

Tracheal perforation can be a life threatening problem, especially if breathing is affected. Small injuries may resolve themselves, it is always best for your Veterinarian to check the wound and severity to make sure that there aren’t any other problems. If you notice that the puppy has blue mucous membranes, breathing difficulties or any other symptoms it should be treated as an immediate emergency. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My dog got bit also. I didn't realize he had a punchure. He had about 6-8 wounds that looked like scratches. So I put pressure on all his wounds to stop the bleeding. I didn't realize he was having problems breathing, he was panting quite a bit and I just thought it was from trauma. He died 2 hours later. That's when it went to the internet and found out about the Trachea.

My dog got bit and there's a hole in his trachea ,now he has breathing problems and he has to raise his neck so he can breathe ,and all I'm asking is ......will he survive tonight

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