CHYLOTHORAX

Mptom72

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A brief note based on our experience. So in majority of cases chylothorax starts off very slowly and takes months to the point where you start noticing symptoms like sneezing or coughing with a significant sound and then gradually slight breathlessness, and finally the stages of slight forced breathing (abdominal breathing as chest cavity is full of chyle). Remember this often takes SEVERAL MONTHS!! Ok then what? Now that you noticed there is an issue you take them to the local vet and what do they do? Obviously thoracocentesis (draining via puncturing through the intercostal space). In our case he got some 250mL of milky fluid. They do radiographs checking for any obvious growths or malformations. Ask them TO DO ULTRASOUND ALSO!! Once this is done take your cat home. There is a slim possibility that there is some miraculous recovery. If not within few days chyle builds up again. This time if happens faster. So your NATURAL INCLINATION is to do more tapping. That’s fine BUT PLEASE FOR HEAVEN SAKE ENSURE WITH VET WHETHER THEY ARE PROFICIENT IN SELECTING AN APPROPRIATE SAFE ANESTHETIC DOSE!! Because your cat is already compromised on cardiac and respiratory functions!! Some vets FORGET THAT sending cats to cardiopulmonary arrest and cortical brain hypoxic damage. Anyways before going for the second tap check how proficient your vet is in doing it. ASK!!! There is also a risk to puncture/tear lung during the process inducing pneumothorax. Anyways be gentle when you get diagnosed so that your family carefully evaluates the options. It is NOT an easy process and IF the vet is inexperienced or doesn’t have a conservative approach it could do more harm than benefit. This is based on personal experience. Some may have benefitted but in our investigation it is rare 😢 Good luck all and may your pet NEVER get such an issue!!
 

silent meowlook

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The most recent case I know of is still going strong on Rutin and an extremely low fat diet. He did ave to be tapped multiple times, but it was done with sedation and oxygen flow by.
 
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Mptom72

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The most recent case I know of is still going strong on Rutin and an extremely low fat diet. He did ave to be tapped multiple times, but it was done with sedation and oxygen flow by.
That’s so fortunate for the family. So so happy and pray for them!! Yes if the veterinarian has experience in tapping and anesthesia precautions then yes that will add quality of life without doubt. So please just ask about the risks so they are reminded and remain vigilant. Specifically remind them about potential for cardiac arrest and respiratory collapse. Remember many or most cases of chylothorax have some amount of irritation related fibrosis of the pleural surface of lung and the pericardium. With pericardial fibrosis the expanding capacity of right side (to receive blood back after circulation) is reduced so that’s another reason for increased susceptibility to cardiac arrest. Also remind the vet of the potential for trauma to the lung during tapping. Generally of minor if heals quickly but if cat moves can be more. Anyways just remain vigilant and remind the veterinarian of all of the issues so they don’t just jump on it without necessary precautions like what happened to our dearest Cleo!!!
 

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Thank you so much for all that info! I am going through possibly this with my little Molly, she has fluid build up around her lungs and did not respond really to lasix. My vet did say her heart could be thickened, it is hard to tell on cats. the edema goes in instead of making the heart bigger. she does have scarring on her lungs, most likely due to survivng a bad case of distemper when she was younger. Just like her son, who has fluid inside his lungs and does respong to lasix and 2.5 mg of Prenisolone. She is on 2.5 mg of Pred, and has a lot less coughing and is more active. They have not drained her yet, they wanted to see how she is doing, so far so good.
 
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Mptom72

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Thank you so much for all that info! I am going through possibly this with my little Molly, she has fluid build up around her lungs and did not respond really to lasix. My vet did say her heart could be thickened, it is hard to tell on cats. the edema goes in instead of making the heart bigger. she does have scarring on her lungs, most likely due to survivng a bad case of distemper when she was younger. Just like her son, who has fluid inside his lungs and does respong to lasix and 2.5 mg of Prenisolone. She is on 2.5 mg of Pred, and has a lot less coughing and is more active. They have not drained her yet, they wanted to see how she is doing, so far so good.
So so sorry for Molly and you. How old is she now? What are her symptoms now that’s concerning to you? Breathing (abdominal breathing or panting or open mouth)? Loud coughing? Eating less? Exercise intolerance? Did the vet say they can’t pinpoint a particular cause for the fluid buildup? Did they do an ultrasound eval of the thorax? Anyways I put our baby on a supplement called RUTIN. They make it tasteless for cats too. I should have some left and could mail those out if it helps. It’s simply a nutritional supplement and humans take it too. Stimulates vascular health and removal of leaked fluid. Anyways the key is to see how long it took for developing symptoms. Was it slow (over years) or very rapid. Ours when I think back took more than a year because she did have some symptoms a year back. Have a clarity (if possible) on how it progressed over the past. If considering tapping just ensure the vet takes into consideration the risk of anesthesia for Molly due to her slightly compromised cardiac function and potentially lung too. Also ASK your vet how many similar cases they have experienced in their clinics and what is the status of those now!! This is one thing I missed. Also specifically speak to them about the actual tapping process and the possibility of injuring the heart and lung. The more you ASK the more your vet prepares themselves. YOU ARE THE ONLY GUARDIAN MOLLY HAS ON THIS PLANET!! So please ask for details and don’t hesitate to write your questions in a booklet or iPhone notepad when going for a vet visit. Anyways once you have an idea of the RATE OF PROGRESSION OF SYMPTOMS you can help your vet to advice you better. God bless Sending all positive vibes to Molly!!! She will make it!!
 

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My one little boy was diagnosed with leukemia 5 years ago at 5years old. He was given 'days' to live. Severe respiratory symptoms, too weak to stand, lost 1/2 his body weight. I started him on DMG after some research, a immune building supplement. I also started all of them on this and LifeGold, a supplement for cancers. The vet said to figure they all had leukemia. Molly, the mother of these two boys (different litters) is suffering from overstimulation aggression, and has all her life. I have tried everything, always thought it may be allergies. Had her on allergy medicine, seizure medicine, every kind of calming aides. She over grooms, has fits where she pulls hair out, and refuses to have you touch anywhere near her tail. Then she started coughing,probably a year or two ago, thought it was allergies again. Coughing has increased over the last 6 months and when she was done she abdominal breathed very heavily. Then last month she started breathing hard all the time, took her in. Started her on prednisolone and lasix after xrays, checked her two weeks later and said her fluid had not been significantly helped with Lasix. She has been on the Pred for about a month now and the coughing has gone down to a couple of times a day and no abdominal breathing. Her son was breathing terrible, sounded congested, couldn't hardly breathe, tried every kind of sinus medicine too, nothing helped. He got to the point he stopped even walking much, took him in, did xrays and started him on Lasix 25mg twice a day, and Pred, 1st at 5 mg twice a daynow down to 2.5 mg once a day. He is a very large cat, 18-20 pounds, and is much more active and breathing fast (always has) but normal. So both are much better, but don't know how long they can be on these meds. But whatever helps tehm lead a normal life! I haev had them 5 years longer than the vet ever thought! Dutch, teh big one is 9 yeras old, Yammy his brother is ten, and Molly, the mother, is ten. She was my neighbors cat for a while before I spayed and started taking care of her, she had litters at 6 months, and a little over a year old.
 
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Mptom72

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My one little boy was diagnosed with leukemia 5 years ago at 5years old. He was given 'days' to live. Severe respiratory symptoms, too weak to stand, lost 1/2 his body weight. I started him on DMG after some research, a immune building supplement. I also started all of them on this and LifeGold, a supplement for cancers. The vet said to figure they all had leukemia. Molly, the mother of these two boys (different litters) is suffering from overstimulation aggression, and has all her life. I have tried everything, always thought it may be allergies. Had her on allergy medicine, seizure medicine, every kind of calming aides. She over grooms, has fits where she pulls hair out, and refuses to have you touch anywhere near her tail. Then she started coughing,probably a year or two ago, thought it was allergies again. Coughing has increased over the last 6 months and when she was done she abdominal breathed very heavily. Then last month she started breathing hard all the time, took her in. Started her on prednisolone and lasix after xrays, checked her two weeks later and said her fluid had not been significantly helped with Lasix. She has been on the Pred for about a month now and the coughing has gone down to a couple of times a day and no abdominal breathing. Her son was breathing terrible, sounded congested, couldn't hardly breathe, tried every kind of sinus medicine too, nothing helped. He got to the point he stopped even walking much, took him in, did xrays and started him on Lasix 25mg twice a day, and Pred, 1st at 5 mg twice a daynow down to 2.5 mg once a day. He is a very large cat, 18-20 pounds, and is much more active and breathing fast (always has) but normal. So both are much better, but don't know how long they can be on these meds. But whatever helps tehm lead a normal life! I haev had them 5 years longer than the vet ever thought! Dutch, teh big one is 9 yeras old, Yammy his brother is ten, and Molly, the mother, is ten. She was my neighbors cat for a while before I spayed and started taking care of her, she had litters at 6 months, and a little over a year old.
You are a great parent to your beloved cats!! Amazing indeed!! Hangin there for them! Nature has rewarded you with more time so while there are troubles enjoy while Mother Nature allows!! Sending positive energy your way!!
 
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