|Barked: Sat Feb 9, '13 4:51pm PST |
|Idiopathic Chylothorax – My Sheltie’s story
Hi everyone, I thought I should share this story about my Sheltie because I never saw a story like this posted anywhere and give some hope to those going through what we did. My female Sheltie, born in March 2010, weighed 24 pound when she started her symptoms. I will present this story chronologically:
August 2, 2012 - My dog was experiencing labored breathing and we decided we should get it evaluated by our vet. Upon examination he decided to X-ray our dog and determined she had fluid in her thorasic cavity to the extent she should be seen by a surgeon to have the fluid removed immediately if she were to survive the next 24 hrs. We took her to an emergency vet that afternoon and had about 1 liter of fluid removed. In addition to the fluid removal she received an abdominal ultrasound. The fluid removed was analyzed and determined to be chyle. She remained overnight for observation. We were told the bad news and also told the outcome was very guarded. Nothing was seen in the ultrasound or in the fluid examination to point to a cause. He heart was in good condition and heartworm disease was ruled out. We were given the option of major surgery with a 50% success rate or to put her on a low fat diet supplemented by Rutin and hope for the best with a less than 10% chance of long term survival. We were told if we opted for this, we should drain the thorax one or two times before we decide to put her down. We opted for the later because of the huge expense and low success rate. She did better, but she was a bit more subdued in behavior.
August 30, 2012 - The symptoms reappeared and the vet removed about 350ml of fluid from her thorax. Numerous fibrin tags were seen in the fluid and considered normal for the condition. She did better after this removal.
September 9, 2012 – The condition worsened and the vet removed 835ml of fluid. All bloodwork showed nominal readings. She did much better after this removal, but we were concerned at the rapid rate of fluid accumulation.
October 2, 2012 – The conditioned again worsened and we talked to the vet about a pleural port so we could continue to drain the thorasic cavity ourselves so we could save money long term and drain the thorax ourselves. We elected to have the port implanted. She was operated on and had about 600ml of fluid removed.
October 15, 2012 – Surgical re-check and had about 400ml of fluid removed.
October 26, 2012 – removed 960ml of fluid via plural port
November 6, 2012 – removed about 300ml of fluid via plural port
December 6, 2012 – Very little fluid was not coming out of pleural port. We elected to have an X-ray because we noticed some labored breathing. X-Ray indicated fluid accumulation. The surgeon suspected that the pleual drain had fail and suggested we replace the tube and the drain, not the port; we elected to do that. The surgeon showed us the removed drain and it showed that fibrous threads had closed off the original drain and had invaded the tubing.
December 12, 2012 – Re-Check with 150 ml of fluid removed
December 19, 2012 – Re-check with 42 ml of fluid removed. The port yielded on 12ml and the vet did an ultrasound guided aspiration of another fluid area for the remaining fluid. He was concerned about the new port, but recommended continual monitoring.
January 10 , 2013 – We were a bit concerned that we haven’t had a need to remove fluid and noticed that our dog, while alert, seemed to us to be breathing heavy. The vet listenened to her lungs and they seemed clear and no fluid came out of the port. The vet did tell us some of these dogs go “dry” for a while and start up again after a couple of weeks, however to hope for the best.
February 9, 2013 – Six months into our journey, our dog seems fine and has been getting more and more energy as the days continue. We hope and pray this continues.
All I can say is pray, feed a low fat prescription diet, and give Rutin and maybe you might get to keep your dog a little longer than the vet might tell you at first.
Edited by author Sat Feb 9, '13 5:23pm PST
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