Laryngeal and tracheal chondrosarcomas are malignant, slow growing, progressive, invasive tumors of the larynx or voice box and trachea, which is the windpipe. These tumors have no known cause and are extremely rare in small animal veterinary medicine.
Laryngeal and tracheal chondrosarcomas are seen in both dogs and cats, most commonly in middle aged and older animals. Males seem to be more commonly affected than females.
What to Watch For Change in voice
Loss of bark
Harsh or noisy breathing
Exercise intolerance (inability)
Respiratory distress (difficulty)
Cyanosis (blue color to the mucus membranes/gums)
Diagnosis Complete blood cell count (CBC)
Chest and neck X-rays
Endoscopy and biopsy
Surgical biopsy for a definitive diagnosis
Treatment Surgical removal may be performed for localized small tracheal tumors.
Laryngectomy, or removal of the larynx and associated tumor, is recommended in some cases of laryngeal tumors. These necessitate a permanent tracheostomy, which is a surgical creation of an opening into the trachea through the neck.
Radiation therapy may be of some benefit in certain cases.
Antibiotic therapy may be helpful in controlling secondary infection.
Home Care and Prevention
Administer any medication and follow-up as directed by your veterinarian. If your pet's condition is not improving or is getting worse, seek veterinary attention at once.
Overall, laryngeal and tracheal chondrosarcomas are very aggressive and carry a guarded prognosis.
There is no preventative care for chondrosarcoma.