Brachycephaly (also: brachycephaly, from Greek βραχύς brachýs 'short' and κεφαλή kephalḗ 'head') means short or round head. It is a congenital and hereditary deformity of the cranium that causes various health problems. Among domestic animals, dogs are particularly affected, and cats in some cases.
Tracheal collapse is a disease in which the trachea partially closes due to a collapse of the trachea or softening of the supporting cartilage.
This clinical sign is usually caused by a weakness of the tracheal cartilage or the so-called tracheal membrane.
The softening of the cartilage is caused by changes in the basic substance of the cartilage, especially a reduction in the content of glycosaminoglycans (especially chondroitin sulphate) and glycoproteins, which reduces the water-binding capacity of the cartilage and thus its elasticity.
What chondroitin and glucosamine do:
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) known as cartilage protectors (chondroprotectors) are indispensable components of articular cartilage. They are very large sugar compounds that are stored together with proteins in the cartilage to form even larger scaffolding structures (proteoglycans). These scaffolding structures surrounding the cartilage cells provide the cartilage with the necessary strength and elasticity, as they can hold large amounts of water like a sponge.
The most commonly used glycosaminoglycans in veterinary medicine are
- Glucosamine (also known as glucosamine or glycosamine)
- Chondroitin (mainly as chondroitin sulphate)
In the treatment of joint diseases, glucosamine and chondroitin serve as building blocks in the regeneration of cartilage tissue and (especially when both are administered in combination) inhibit the inflammatory response. Thus, they slow down the destruction of cartilage.
But it is not only applied in cases of osteoarthritis but also supports the regeneration of cartilage tissue in the trachea. If it is applied to puppies from the beginning, it is possible that the respiratory problems typical of these breeds do not occur at all. In older dogs and cats, the administration of chondroitin and glucosamine produces significant relief of existing tracheal problems.
However, it should be noted that improvement usually occurs only after 2 to 3 months.