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Chylothorax - My story so far [2 yr old Sheltie]

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Member Since
02/09/2013
 
 
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

[notify]
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 10, '13 12:03pm PST 
Good Luck with her continued recovery. hughug
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Bella

1286456
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 17, '13 7:09am PST 
Update: 3 months after last fluid removal Bella is still doing fine. Her breathing is a bit heavy but it may be due to tissue damage from the original episode and the pleural drain. This happened twice before and went away after about a week, it is not severe and has not effected her running around.

Edited by author Sun Mar 17, '13 7:12am PST

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Bella

1286456
 
 
Barked: Wed May 22, '13 6:42pm PST 
UPDATE [May 22,2013] - Last week I brought Bella to get a checkup. The vet said her lungs sounded clear and we asked if we could have a diagnostic scan to ensure that there was no fluid in her thorax. Since he was amazed by her progress, he said that the scans might be a good thing just to verify. We had the scans today (X-Ray and Ultrasound) and it confirmed her problem seemed to have gone away. The vet is amazed.... of course our family is excited about our miracle dog. He told us we can be optimistic about her future progress. The only issue is scar tissue has effected her breathing a bit.
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Bella

1286456
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 1, '13 5:57pm PST 
Update Sep 1, 2013 - Over a year has passed since she was diagnosed with Chylothorax and our "miracle dog" has no symptoms of return. She is still on a low fat diet with Rutin because I believe it's not hurting her and don't want to take any chances.
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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 3, '13 5:02am PST 
Wow...that's great news for Bella! Thanks for sharing here! I had a situation where I was diagnosed with bells palsy and yet no one else had experienced it. I started a diary for it when it happened.

Thanks again and glad Bella is doing well! hughughughug
[notify]
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Tue Sep 3, '13 4:04pm PST 
That's awesome Bella!! way to goapplause We're so glad for you. Here's hoping for continued good health. wishes
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Tubby

Tubby-a little- black fluff ball
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 18, '13 12:57pm PST 
My beloved Jackson had chylothorax and unfortunately after about a year and a half, he lost his battle but he gave it one hell of a fight. He had two surgeries and also had two ports installed (one on left side and one on right side after left became infected). He was also on low fat diet and rutin. We did everything we could for our boy and spent over $10,000.00 trying to save him. I know you haven't posted for awhile but I'm hoping that Bella is still doing fine. Please post an update so I can at least somewhat smile knowing that your girl is still doing good! Thanks!
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Bella

1286456
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 13, '14 6:36pm PST 
April 13, 2014: Just to follow up, Bella, now 4 yrs old, is still doing fine. She is still on a low-fat diet with Rutin.

Edited by author Sun Apr 13, '14 6:38pm PST

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Member Since
05/15/2014
 
 
Barked: Thu May 15, '14 8:20am PST 
My baby girl is a 4 year old fox terrier/sheltie mix, and she has just been diagnosed with chylothorax. I'm in my 20s. I work two jobs just to stay above water. It's been 3 days, and I've already spent $1,000. I am TERRIFIED. I cannot lose my baby. If you have a success story, please help. If all you can offer us are your prayers, we will gladly take those too.
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