Bronchiectasis in dogs is a condition that occurs when the bronchi, or major air passageways of the lungs, become permanently dilated.
Trachea or windpipe is a bony tube, located in the front of neck, that connects the nose to the mouth and then to the lungs. It is an airway through which respiratory air transport takes place in organisms. The trachea divides into two main bronchi which in turn, further divide into several smaller bronchioles, forming the bronchial tree that feeds air into the lungs.
In bronchiectasis, Inflammation due to infection or other causes destroys the smooth muscles that allow the bronchial tubes to be elastic and prevents secretions that are normally made by lung tissue to be cleared. Typically, inflammation within the airways results in excessive secretions that plug the airways. The end result is an impaired ability to bring oxygen into the alveoli for delivery to the rest of the body.
Dilatation and accumulation of secretions perpetuates lung damage, invite infections to settle, and compromise the lung functions in patient.
This condition can occur at any age but is mostly seen in middle age dogs. Some breeds are predisposed to this condition including American cocker spaniels, West Highland white terriers, miniature poodles, Siberian huskies, and English springer spaniels.
Common symptoms associated with this condition include
Chronic cough (moist and productive)
Hemoptysis (coughing up blood) in some dogs
Exercise or work intolerance
Difficulty in breathing normally, especially after exercise
Chronic nasal discharge