Veterinary Tracheal Wash
Tracheal wash is a procedure where a sterile tube is inserted through the mouth and into the upper airways. Then, a second longer tube is inserted through the first tube and into the smaller airways of the lungs. Fluid is injected through the smaller tube, causing the patient to cough. The majority of the material is collected via syringe through the smaller tube and samples are submitted for microscopic pathology review, and culture for bacteria, fungal elements, and mycoplasma. The procedure does require a brief period of anesthesia and can carry some risk in pets, especially those that already have respiratory compromise.