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Up Topic Dog Boards / Health / Dog with collapsed lung
- By dogs a babe Date 17.01.10 17:14 GMT Edited 17.01.10 17:16 GMT
Do any of you have any experience living with a dog with only one working lung?

My mongrel went into the vets last week to check for an obstruction, whereupon the vet made the rather shocking discovery that his entire guts were in his chest.  Although this most often happens instantly, and as a result of severe trauma like a car accident, it seems more likely in our case that this actually happened over a period of time and he could in fact have been living with the condition for some years.   The diaphragm may just have had a small tear and the intestine could have migrated much more slowly allowing the body to adapt.  One lung had collapsed completely where it was under pressure from the intestines and liver.

Luckily I'd had some good advice from my other dogs breeder (thanks Diane) and taken him into the hospital branch of my vets as I thought an xray may be required for the possible obstruction.  The vet rang me with some dire warnings as soon as he saw the xray, but he was fantastic.  He gently milked the obstruction (crumbly wood) from the small intestine through to the large bowel, put everything back where it should have been and repaired the diaphragm.  He also had to remove the spleen.

My amazing boy went in on Tuesday and came home on Wednesday, he's recovered very well from the actual procedure and is eating drinking, pooing and weeing as normal.  Thank goodness.  He will obviously just be lead walked for at least 10 days.  My question really relates to the long term.

If it has been years then he has managed very well with only one lung.  No one who knows him would ever has suspected!  However, now he has all that space back in his chest the vet can't really say what will happen next as he has very little evidence to work on.   This is a condition that more often than not is immediately fatal in dogs, and in cats (quite common it seems) they tend to leave the situation as it is and not disturb anything.   There is a possibility the lung will inflate, the other lung may expand to compensate, or the heart may shift over slightly. 

From your experience, is there anything I need to know or be aware of?
- By Justine [gb] Date 17.01.10 17:39 GMT
Im glad you dog is doing well Dogsababe.

Not quite the same but years ago when our elderly cat was run over, he broke both hips and was cage rested for 6 weeks and had his tail amputated.  Our vet xrayed his chest at the time and his stomach etc was still in the right place.

About 3 years later, he started getting very lethargic, even though he was a pensioner at the time, he just looked pale, as they all do sometimes.

So we went to the vet and he xrayed his chest, and his stomach etc were sitting in his chest too.  The vet was shocked to see that, cos we were sort of expecting a tumour.  He pulled the stomach back down and repaired the diaphragm and he recovered very quickly.  His colour was good and he was much more active than he had been.  We had no idea how long he'd had it for, as he'd shown no signs of illness so our vet just put it down to an old age thing, where things just go abit lapse and shufty about!

But he went on for a good few years after that without any problems, so I think his lungs both reflated and he must have felt alot better very quickly after the op.   He went on to develop kidney failure a few years after that, but thats a common thing in elderly cats anyway, his passing to RB wasn't related to his previous problem.
- By Tanya1989 [ru] Date 17.01.10 19:51 GMT
:eek: wow!!!! never heard of this in dogs before apart from trauma, heard it happening in people.... wow... don't really know what to say... thank god for a genius vet! wow... completely taken by this. you have been sooo lucky (if thats what you can call it) so glad to know even the most unlikely, devastating things can be cured... im totally shocked by this i am talking gibberish!

well done your vet.... he/ she needs a medal!
- By JAY15 [gb] Date 17.01.10 21:43 GMT
it sounds crass to say this is a really interesting and important post--I do believe that, but just want to say that I hope your boy has a speedy and uneventful recovery xxx
- By JeanSW Date 17.01.10 21:55 GMT
dogs a babe, I've never experienced anything like this, but I agree that you have a great vet!  Must ask you who you use when I retire to your area!  :-)

I have an elderly Beardie who had a splenectomy years ago, and that was a huge success.

I also agree that it's great for people to post these sort of things, we all learn so much from these boards.

I sincerely hope things go well for you.   Jean
- By dogs a babe Date 18.01.10 17:17 GMT
Thanks all for your posts.  Justine, thanks for the information about your cat - our timings may also be 3 years

Our dog (now 7) was 10/11 months when he came to us, and might have had an incident before ending up in the Dogs Home.  Another possibility is a nasty fall/jump 3 years ago.  The vet is re checking old x rays as Finn was xrayed after this event.  However, the xray was on a very specific area in the abdomen so the full extent of the damage may not have been detectable, if indeed things were awry then.

Interestingly now I've found it's also called a Diaphragmatic Hernia I've found a little more about it.  Finn appears to have had a Chronic Diaphragmatic Hernia and there is an interesting study here from 2004.  CDH in 34 Dogs and 16 Cats.

We are now 6 days post op and I'm feeling cautiously optimistic.  He's eating better than he did before the op which leads me to suggest there have been issues for some time.  With the benefit of hindsight there are other possible symptoms which, on their own, were not enough to cause alarm.  It's worth noting though that his obstruction would have been unlikely without the restricted intestine and that 3 dogs in the study mentioned were operated because of acute intestinal obstruction.

Big praise again to my other dogs breeder who, in conversation, alerted me to the possibility of an obstruction.  Really good breeders, and experienced dog people are worth their weight in gold :)
Up Topic Dog Boards / Health / Dog with collapsed lung

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