1) The anatomy of a Pomeranian’s neck makes him vulnerable to injury. It is important to understand the anatomy of the neck area. Because, after all, that is where a collar sits.
A dog’s trachea (also known as windpipe) is the tube through which air passes in and out, and this is surrounded by rings of cartilage.
Surrounding that are muscles. Small toy breeds like the Pomeranian do not have a lot of muscle built up around the neck and shoulders.
In addition, the Pomeranian breed is prone to degenerative weakness of the tracheal rings.
These factors can result in a particular neck injury known as collapsed trachea.
Collapsed trachea is a condition in which the tracheal rings collapsed inward.
2) A collar increases the risk of injury. While collapsed trachea is mainly considered to be a genetic issue, and can happen regardless of whether you use a collar or harness, the use of a collar can increase the risk of this.
This is because it may be triggered by an event such as a jerk to the neck area, or long-term pressure can cause a wearing down.
Whether or not there is a genetic weakness, the rings surrounding the windpipe are prone to injury.
3) This injury can be devastating. When one or more of the rings breaks inward, this obstructs breathing and can cause a dog to endure dog quite a bit of pain. It can cause massive coughing fits that trigger additional damage to the area. There is often a characteristic honking cough, and internal swelling.
Typically heavy doses of a variety of medications including anti-histamines, anti-inflammatory meds, and antibiotics are given to help control this. Part of the treatment is to immediately stop wearing a collar, and to switch to a harness. For severe cases, surgery will be needed to stabilize the windpipe.
4) Even ‘innocent’ walking on leash and collar can cause issues. You may assume that if your Pom walks nicely beside you that there won’t be any problems. However, can you guarantee that there will never be any pressure on his neck with the use of a collar?
Both acute events (lunging off to the side, the leash is stepped on and causes a quick jerk to the neck, etc.) and long-term events (years of pressure, strain, and tension on the neck due to pushing ahead while on leash, or for some tiny Poms, just the weight of the leash on the neck) are both areas of concern.