Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Second Canine Spontaneous Pneumothorax

I have been working out of town (an hour away), so both dogs have been sleeping all day in my cubicle at work, with exceptionally wonderful coworkers keeping an eye on them. On Friday, when I dropped them off, Pupgirl hacked twice like she was trying to bring up breakfast. I sat down and waited 10 minutes, but she lay down, appeared comfortable, and was just resting. When I got out to the job site at 7:15 am., I called the lab director, who arrives about half an hour after I leave, to ask her to keep an eye on the girl. She checked immediately and told me Pupgirl was sleeping comfortably, and was all happy and perky when she saw Lisa. However, I later learned that another coworker in the lab next door heard her cough about half an hours earlier than that, about 9 cough in a row, and had gone in to check on her.  At 8 a.m., the lab director called to tell me that she was coughing again. I immediately called the vet hospital to authorize Lisa bringing her in for me, and called Lisa back to tell her that she should take Pupgirl in. Lisa said she had thrown up her breakfast and was very perky and comfortable and to stay out there. I didn’t; I came in, took her to the hospital, so she was seen by a doctor only 3 hours after I first saw her cough twice.

They removed a half a liter of air, but both lungs were leaking. After 48 hours, she has not had to have another tap to remove any more air, although the emergency room vet thinks she is still leaking a little as she was breathing a little rapidly last night at 9:30 (but today, st 8 a.m., her respiratory rate was normal--I'm hoping that means she's sealed the hole). But the vet was comfortable with not taking another x-ray Saturday. She thinks it was a small bulla that burst, and not the large one (plum-sized) we know is on her right lung because in her own words “ the big one will kill her when it bursts.” 

I went to see her Saturday night and she cried. She cried. She first made this sound when the first pneumothorax happened, and again last night when she saw me. She cried, a high pitched sound that wasn't a bark, wasn't a howl, wasn't a yowl, but a cry. I think it's her telling me that she wants to go home, don't leave me here, I feel funny, I want to go home. I didn't want to cause another pneumothrax, so I visited just a couple of minutes.It's weird--she looks great, except for breathing a little rapidly. And between episodes, she was fine--healthy, perky, active, alert, wanting to wrestle with Mr. Big, her normal self

I am, of course, terribly upset. Is this going to happen every two months now? That’s not fair to her. But I know that I am not ready to put her to sleep when we have no idea when this will happen again. However, I am terrified of her suffocating if and when the large bulla erupts. I am stuck in a horrible position and have no idea where to go except that I can’t make any decisions now while it’s happening.

Hug your furbabies tight for me and Pupgirl tonight.

1 comment:

  1. What a horrible decision to have to make, or even *think* of making. I'm praying for Kazia, and for you, too, for her to spontaneously heal and never have another episode, and for you to have the strength you'll need to deal with watching her every breath. I know that's what you're doing and I hope with every breath in MY body that Kazia doesn't ever have another episode...