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Airway and Lung Disease

Airway and lung disease can cause breathing difficulties, coughing, and fatigue for pets. If left untreated, it can also lead to more serious conditions such as pneumonia and respiratory failure. We offer safe, painless methods to treat your furry friend. Our goal is to ensure that pets receive the best possible care for their airway and lung health so that they can live happy and healthy lives.

Image by Wren Meinberg

How We Diagnose Airway and Lung Disease


We diagnose airway and lung disease using radiographs (x-rays), computerized tomography (CT scan), and bronchoscopy. These methods together give us clear visualization of what may be causing your pet's respiratory signs.

Radiographs (x-rays)

Radiographs of the chest are a good first-level imaging modality when your pet shows signs of respiratory disease. These films are usually taken by your regular veterinarian prior to seeing us for more advanced workups. 

Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)

Computerized Tomography (CT scan) gives us detailed, three-dimensional images of your pet's bones, organs, and tissues; better than a traditional X-ray. When diagnosing lung disease, we do a CT scan of your pet's chest to see visualize the lungs, blood vessels, heart, lymph nodes, and ribs. 


Bronchoscopy uses a small diameter flexible video endoscope called a bronchoscope, to visualize the trachea and bronchi within the lungs. Through the bronchoscope, we can remove foreign material and obtain samples of the lower airways for bacterial culture and cytologic evaluation (microscopic evaluation of the cells). 

How We Treat Airway and Lung Disease


We treat airway and lung conditions with bronchial foreign body removal, endoscopic ablation of laryngeal masses, tracheal stents, and internal radiation therapy called high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy. We focus our treatments on minimally invasive procedures to ensure the best recovery possible for your furry friend.

Bronchial Foreign Body Removal

If a foreign object is found within your pet's airways, we do a bronchoscopy and use specialized forceps to remove the object safely and harmlessly. Although this procedure does require general anesthesia, it does not require any surgical incisions, therefore resulting in a speedy recovery.

Endoscopic Ablation of Laryngeal Mass

Endoscopic ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to temporarily remove obstructive mass tissue that has formed within or around the larynx (voice box). Instruments are used that disintegrate and simultaneously cauterize the tumor tissue. After removal, additional therapy such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy can be given. 

Tracheal Stent

Tracheal collapse is a common hereditary condition of small-breed dogs. When the tracheal collapse becomes very severe, it can become life-threatening. We use a tracheal stent to hold the trachea open. 

Radiation Therapy

We use a type of radiation therapy called high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy to treat laryngeal masses. Multiple small-diameter catheters are placed through the tumor. The source of radiation is placed into catheters within the mass. Brachytherapy reduces the risk of harming healthy tissue around the affected area delivering a high dose of radiation to just the tumor. 

Your Pet is Our #1 Priority


We are committed to prioritizing the health, safety, and comfort of your pet when determining the right treatment option. We hope that our passion and expertise in what we do will bring you confidence in knowing that your pet has been placed in the very best hands possible. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's diagnosis or treatment.​

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Join over 5,000 pet parents who have chosen VetMed for specialized, minimally invasive treatments that prioritize your pet's health and well-being.

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