Objective—To investigate the role of bacteria in bronchoscopically
diagnosed tracheal collapse in dogs by
evaluating qualitative results of bacteriologic cultures.
Animals—37 dogs with tracheal collapse.
Procedure—Clinical records for dogs with tracheal
collapse confirmed with bronchoscopy were
reviewed. A protected catheter brush was used to
obtain samples for bacteriologic culture from the
Results—Results of bacterial culture were negative
for 5 of 29 dogs. For 24 dogs, 1 (n = 10), 2 (6), or ≥ 3
(8) species of bacteria were isolated. Pseudomonas
spp were isolated most frequently (17/29), and a single
Pseudomona ssp grew in 7 samples. Other bacteria
included Enterobacter spp (4/29), Citrobacter spp
(3/29), and Moraxella spp, Klebsiella spp, Bordetella
spp, or Acinetobacter spp (2/29 dogs each). Anaerobic
and aerobic cultures yielded positive results in samples
from 2 dogs. Cytologic results were available for
13 dogs with positive results of bacteriologic culture;
epithelial cells were reported most commonly. Five
samples had a small number of neutrophils; bacteria
were identified cytologically in 2 of 5 samples that
contained neutrophils. Bacteria were also seen in 2
samples that lacked inflammatory cells.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacteria are
commonly isolated from samples obtained via airway
brushing in dogs with tracheal collapse; however, in
the absence of cytologic confirmation of inflammation
or infection, an association between bacteria and clinical
signs of tracheal collapse cannot be established.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1247–1250)