Air normally should pass freely through the trachea on its way to the lungs…

“It’s like a person going in to the hospital,” Cassel. “To know that they can give this kind of care to an animal and be just as successful as on a human being, I think that’s amazing.”

Cassel, who works in billing for a medical practice, said she had no idea that veterinarians have such a wide range of expertise. “Veterinarians have specialties too. Did I know that? No I didn’t.”

Maddie’s collapsed trachea was a congenital defect, and it explained why she was in such severe respiratory distress. “This pneumonia sent her into a crisis, and it probably wouldn’t have without this congenital defect,” Romine said.

After Romine placed the stents, Maddie was still recovering from the pneumonia, but her loud, honking cough had gone away. Even under light anesthesia, Maddie had been coughing in the fluoroscopy procedure, but as soon as the stents were placed she began breathing deeply and quietly.

“She was immediately doing better and we were able to discharge her the next day,’ Romine said. At her first recheck a week later, Maddie’s pneumonia had almost completely resolved. Because she is a young dog, she will need to be monitored over time to ensure the stent remains in the right location, but with medical management the BluePearl doctors have high expectations for Maddie long-term.

In fact, Cassel says the family had gotten so used to Maddie’s loud breathing, that it took a while to get used to her not doing it. Sometimes she still thinks where’s Maddie? And  Maddie is right next to her.

Dr. Romine placed stents which keep Maddie’s trachea open and have dramatically improved her breathing.

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