Lucky dog: Yorkshire Terrier suffers severe breathing problems just yards from vet station

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A dog had a lucky escape after suffering a near-fatal windpipe collapse during the summer heatwave – right outside a vet station.

Sue Richardson, 49, had just booked her two Yorkshire Terriers Mitsy and Molly in for a check-up at a mobile PDSA PetCheck station in Barnes Park, Sunderland, when disaster struck.

Mitsy, nine, was struck with breathing problems while Sue waited for their appointment. The panicked pet owner ran straight back to the PDSA station, where pet nurse Tina Scrafton then sprang into action.

Tina said: “It was immediately clear how serious Mitsy’s situation was – she couldn’t breathe and her tongue was turning blue.”

As there are no treatment facilities on the PetCheck vehicle, Sue and her dogs were taken straight to Kings Road vet practice.

“I was terrified for Mitsy, she was gasping for breath and it sounded like something was blocking her throat,” said Sue. “The vet said it was a tracheal collapse, when the airway closes in on itself, and it was 50/50 if she would survive.”

Thankfully, after a few hours of treatment Mitsy was well enough to go home with her grateful owner.

Tina said tracheal collapse was relatively rare, but was more common in small breeds of dog, particularly as they get older.

“Hot weather can exacerbate the condition,” she added. “It’s important to be aware of the signs of tracheal collapse, which include a severe ‘honking’ cough and difficulty exercising.”

Tina said it was important to keep pets safe in hot weather, including by avoiding taking dogs out during the middle of the day and providing constant access to shade and fresh water.