A webinar to take your breath away!

temporary tracheostomy
Date added: 2nd April 2015

The next webinar for Emergency and Critical Care Club is ‘Upper Airway Obstruction and Emergency Tracheostomy’ with RCVS and European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, Daniela Murgia.

Upper airway obstruction is a common cause of morbidity in veterinary emergency and critical care medicine. There are numerous causes of upper respiratory airway disease, and the clinical signs are variable depending on the species, underlying etiology, chronicity, and severity of the airway obstruction.

Animals can exhibit variable degrees of dyspnoea and respiratory distress including change in voice, gagging or retching, stertor, stridor and cyanosis in case of severe respiratory distress. Hyperthermia is also a common clinical sign in dogs with upper airway disease. Although treatment varies depending on the disease process, the emergency approach is similar in all patients with upper respiratory obstruction.

These animals can decompensate quickly, any additional stress could therefore be life threatening and lead to an increase in respiratory rate and oxygen requirements. Early stabilisation relies on oxygen supplementation (patients should be placed in an oxygen-rich environment) and administration of sedatives. To optimise oxygen delivery to tissues, anemia should be corrected, cardiac output optimised, and alterations in acid-base balance, electrolytes, and body temperature normalised. In hyperthermic patients, external cooling methods should be instituted. In some cases short-acting glucocorticoids may be beneficial to reduce laryngeal edema and swelling.

If sedation and oxygen therapy, with or without steroid therapy, fails to stabilise the patient, intubation is indicated. In the rare case in which intubation is not possible, an emergency tracheostomy should be performed to achieve patent airways.

Get plenty of top tips on how to manage patients with upper airway obstruction in this webinar, focusing on the upper airway diseases of brachycephalic syndrome and laryngeal paralysis.

Join Emergency and Critical Care Club or Small Animal Practice VIP Club to watch this webinar.




  • Tuesday, 7th April
  • 12.30pm BST