Feline Chylothorax

dstocking1

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I am looking for other cat owners who have had a cat survive or die from Feline Chylothorax. Please e-mail me your story.

My friend has a cat that was just diagnosed with it and he would like to read other survivor stories.

Thank you.
 

donna

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dstocking1,

Sorry to hear about your friends cat. Chylothorax is fluid build up in the pleural space. It is found more in siamese and himalayin cats. It is an uncommon disorder caused by trauma to the chest or increased pressure to the pleural duct or veins. Symptom is labored breathing.

I have never encountered it in my cats.

I hope things go well for your friend and his cat. Keep us posted.
 

lynette

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I lost a siamese to it years ago and was told the suspected cause was trauma. Now the theory is that it's related to heart disease.
 
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dstocking1

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Actually, Chylothorax isn't specifically related to anything in particular. There are many underlying diseases.

My friend's cat, Damian, was diagnosed with Chylothorax on feb 14/01...he has made remarkable progress since then.....all because of taking high doses of Rutin/day. Darryl, my friend is still giving Damian 2000-2500mg of Rutin/day.....and this has cured it.

Pass this on to anyone that you know who's cat/dog has chylothorax....and please e-mail me if you require further info.

Debbie
 

livy

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Thank you for the info on Rutin, I'm going to try that as my cat has chylothorax right now and I can't afford to keep getting the fluid drained. She is five years old and we only recently got her declawed after all of our furniture, rugs, chairs are completely scratched up. I asked the vet if declawing could have something to do with chylothorax but they said no. My cat doesn't have the main causes which are heart, trauma, or a tumor as she's pretty young for that. I still wonder as her cause is "idiopathic" which is a fancy way of saying they don't know. I feel so bad having declawed her just a month ago and blame myself for her current ill health. I think that the declawing did have something to do with the lymph build up in her chest cavity/mediastinum. Just like a woman who has a mastectomy should never take a blood pressure on the affected side and should do range of motion exercises in order to facilitate drainage from the lymph nodes, this cat needed to keep scrathing stuff/range of motion. The fact that now that she doesn't scrath and just sits around is hard for me to accept as just a coincidence. So for the last day I've been doing range of motion exercises with her simulating a scrating motion, hoping this will help her lymphatic system drain as it used to. I will also add the Rutin if I can find it, I understand it inhibits lipid peroxidation, since the lymph system deals with lipids hopefully this will do the trick. My cat is also now on a very very low fat diet to not give her anymore lipids per vets recommendation. She's also still on prophylactic antiobiotics, and pain killers. I hope somebody finds this helpful and that it helps generate ideas for treating this rare disorder.
 

saki

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Here's my story...I have a 11 yr old siamese cat..not pure bread. She was very healthy & no problems whatsoever, but she had a bad case of bad breathe. I just moved to an unfamiliar area and didn't know what vet to take my cat Saki to. I rec'd a recommendation from one of my neighbors. I took my cat for a teeth cleaning. Vet did take a blood test before they put her on any kind of anesthesia. Everything was all good. They needed to extract some teeth..which was fine i agreed. Picked her up in the evening after work. Things seemed normal. He prescribed Metacam for pain. I administered .6 ml the first night..second .4ml and next four days .3ml..then .1ml for the next several days. After the first .3 ml, she started to be very lethargic, so I took her back to the vet. He took test and diagnosed her w/kidney damage. He didn't know the reason. Gave me Iv liquid and baytril antibiotics. Started to be better, but after a week ..she looked bad..not eating and hiding. He took more test...kidney was normal. I got fed up and took her to another vet. New vet noticed abnormal breathing. Took x-rays of her heart and couldn't see it because her chest cavity was full of liquid. They said, she almost died and took fluid out of her chest. Vet kept her for five days and took liquid out twice a day. On the sixth day, I took her home with 3 types of antibiotics and iv fluids to administer twice a day. Vet said, she is diagnosed with Chylothorax and can't figure out how she got it. She's an indoor cat and never had problems beside bad breath. After all the test, no answers as of yet, but no tumor, hearth disease or heart worms. What could it be? Her dental cleaning/ teeth extraction was done 5/18/05 and I finally know what she has on July 19, 2005....& after $ 3,500 dollars later. I am still waiting for testing from cultures that were taken. I think the original vet had a lot to do with my poor kitty suffering right now. I feel so extremely guilty for taking her to a vet I wasn't familiar with. The reason I am telling you my story is because, I think it had nothing to do with declawing your cat. I think it was the mis - use of the anesthesia. I am not a vet, but I can't think of anything else. Anesthesia was used for her teeth cleaning / teeth extraction and you had anesthesia for declawing. If anyone can give me any input or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.
 

saki

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Here's my story...I have a 11 yr old siamese cat..not pure bread. She was very healthy & no problems whatsoever, but she had a bad case of bad breathe. I just moved to an unfamiliar area and didn't know what vet to take my cat Saki to. I rec'd a recommendation from one of my neighbors. I took my cat for a teeth cleaning. Vet did take a blood test before they put her on any kind of anesthesia. Everything was all good. They needed to extract some teeth..which was fine i agreed. Picked her up in the evening after work. Things seemed normal. He prescribed Metacam for pain. I administered .6 ml the first night..second .4ml and next four days .3ml..then .1ml for the next several days. After the first .3 ml, she started to be very lethargic, so I took her back to the vet. He took test and diagnosed her w/kidney damage. He didn't know the reason. Gave me Iv liquid and baytril antibiotics. Started to be better, but after a week ..she looked bad..not eating and hiding. He took more test...kidney was normal. I got fed up and took her to another vet. New vet noticed abnormal breathing. Took x-rays of her heart and couldn't see it because her chest cavity was full of liquid. They said, she almost died and took fluid out of her chest. Vet kept her for five days and took liquid out twice a day. On the sixth day, I took her home with 3 types of antibiotics and iv fluids to administer twice a day. Vet said, she is diagnosed with Chylothorax and can't figure out how she got it. She's an indoor cat and never had problems beside bad breath. After all the test, no answers as of yet, but no tumor, hearth disease or heart worms. What could it be? Her dental cleaning/ teeth extraction was done 5/18/05 and I finally know what she has on July 19, 2005....& after $ 3,500 dollars later. I am still waiting for testing from cultures that were taken. I think the original vet had a lot to do with my poor kitty suffering right now. I feel so extremely guilty for taking her to a vet I wasn't familiar with. The reason I am telling you my story is because, I think it had nothing to do with declawing your cat. I think it was the mis - use of the anesthesia. I am not a vet, but I can't think of anything else. Anesthesia was used for her teeth cleaning / teeth extraction and you had anesthesia for declawing. If anyone can give me any input or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.
 

pat

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Hi,
I am very sorry to hear of your kittie's diagnosis. My sweet, wonderful Christopher (a 3rd generation Seal Lynx Point American Curl), was diagnosed with this, and the cause was found to be inoperable tumors in his chest.

Rutin was one med we gave that helped us to have 6 more weeks together before he passed away. Here is the best site I found on Chylothorax: article on Chylothorax

The key thing as I understood it is this per the article" resolution of the disease must occur before fibrosing pleuritis develops. Once it is present, the prognosis is grave, even if the underlying disease has been successfully treated."
 

emilio

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In July, my cat (domestic short hair - weighing 22 lbs) went in to have four teeth removed. During surgery, under anesthesia, he nearly died. He started turning blue. They revived him. X-ray revealed fluid around lungs. Had to take him from the cat "hospital" (why do they call themselves hospitals when the cannot take care of a patient overnight - esp one that had problems during a procedure they did?). Emergency vet removed some fluid, cardiologist around 4 oz. No signs of heart problems/cancer. And no signs of adhesions that would normally be present if the fluid had been present for some time. Diagnosis - idiopathic. His chest is being tapped again today (his breathing seemed labored) and we will begin Rutin. The vets say there is no known association w/anesthesia....but I have to wonder. I have never had a cat who developed Chylothorax. And the vet that I spoke w/today said it is very rare (unlike the vet under whose care the anesthesia was administered who said it was quite common). I am very upset about the thought of losing my dear boy and very unhappy with the vet. (Vet is very high-end, very expensive. I thought she was the best.)
 

pat

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Emilio, I am so sorry. I found the rutin did help extend my Christopher's life (in his case there was a cause - lung tumors), please read the article I provided a link to, I found it very helpful.

best wishes to your kitty for this to resolve.
 

tailsoluv

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Originally Posted by Pat & Alix

Hi,
I am very sorry to hear of your kittie's diagnosis. My sweet, wonderful Christopher (a 3rd generation Seal Lynx Point American Curl), was diagnosed with this, and the cause was found to be inoperable tumors in his chest.

Rutin was one med we gave that helped us to have 6 more weeks together before he passed away. Here is the best site I found on Chylothorax: article on Chylothorax

The key thing as I understood it is this per the article" resolution of the disease must occur before fibrosing pleuritis develops. Once it is present, the prognosis is grave, even if the underlying disease has been successfully treated."
Hi, guys,

I am extremely lucky to have never experienced this problem, but I tried to access your link and it told me that the url was not found on this server. I would very much like to familiarize myself with it. Could you please type out the full link for me. I would really appreciate that.

BTW, its a miracle that the first thing the vet did was actually test and not say "Oh, the cat must have FIP."

Thanks in advance for providing the info.

Barb A.
 

pat

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Originally Posted by tailsoluv

Hi, guys,

I am extremely lucky to have never experienced this problem, but I tried to access your link and it told me that the url was not found on this server. I would very much like to familiarize myself with it. Could you please type out the full link for me. I would really appreciate that.

BTW, its a miracle that the first thing the vet did was actually test and not say "Oh, the cat must have FIP."

Thanks in advance for providing the info.

Barb A.
Sorry try this it should work now:
link to article on Chylothorax
 

emilio

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Thank you for your message. The vet drained 200ml from Big Boy today. She was not terribly familiar with Rutin, but did actually give a prescription for it. Suggested I contact a pharmacy as it would have to be special ordered. I did call a pharmacy who said it could be ordered after I had already gone to Vitamin Shoppe and picked some up. She only prescribed 500 mg/day. I wonder if this will be adequate, especially given a weight of 21.5 lbs (down 1 lb!). (I only make this comment in light of a message posted above where 2000 mgs given per day!) Poor boy is breathing easier, but is pretty subdued.
 

pat

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Hi,
I wish I had written down the doseage, but I believe it was a 500 mg tablet of Rutin that I was using - Chris was on 1/2 tab in the am and pm (as well as lasix and prednisolone). Your kitty should be feeling much more comfortable/breathing more easily - that is a good amount of fluid to have removed.
Chris was weakened, and we could see changes in his breathing that would let me know he needed a tap, but he still tried to play, to run and would spend as much time as he could simply on my lap or chest, snuggling. He was a dear.
 

prissykitty

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I had a sweet cat named Ginger who I had since she was 8 weeks old. One day when she was around 4 years old I noticed her breathing very shallowly and very rapidly while she was standing in front of the in-window AC unit trying to get as much air as she could. I immediately took her to my local animal hospital there in North Hollywood and the vet took an x-ray that showed Ginger's lungs were collapsed. He said he was not equipped to handle such a problem and referred me to the VCA animal hospital there on Sepulveda Blvd. near Wilshire.

It took me about an hour to get over the hill because traffic was horrible. I brought Ginger in and went straight to the counter and said my vet sent me directly here, my cat's lungs have collapsed and we don't know why. The staff immediately rushed her back and put her in an oxygen chamber. We sat in the waiting room for about a half hour then the vet called us in to talk to us. She said we would have to leave her overnight and they would do a thoracocentesis to see what kind of fluid they were going to pull off from around her lungs. They said they would call us the next morning and I remember asking to see Ginger before we left. She was so scared in that little clear plastic box with the oxygen tube going in one end of the box.

The next morning the vet called and told me Ginger had chylothorax and that they drew about almost 300 cc's of chyle off of her lungs. (I think 300cc, it's been a while) They explained to me that chylothorax was caused by a condition called Lymphangectagia and that the prognosis was poor. They told us that surgery to repair the malformed lymph ducts had a very low success rate, like 10%. They said there was some special food that we could give her that might slow down the process of her chest filling up with fluid again. The food looked like cardboard and Ginger was a cat that loved to eat and loved her regular food and special treats. She was a big girl, but not terribly overweight. I asked how long it would be before her chest filled up with fluid again and they said probably 5-10 days.

My (now ex) husband and I discussed that we did not want to subject Ginger to a surgery with a low success rate and make her remaining time with us painful due to the surgical wound. We also knew that subjecting her to more chest taps was not humane for her and that chyle buildup in the pleural cavity would cause scar tissue and probably already had. We knew we did not have that much time with Ginger so we took her home. Even with both sides of her chest shaved from the thoracocentesis when Ginger got home I could tell she felt so much better. My ex and I figured we would know when it was time to let go.

I made a point to ingrain in my memory how wonderful and unique her fur smelled, how soft her belly was, and how her calico pattern was just so, it looked like there was a thumbprint on the back of her head where it was a perfect spot to rest your hand. I slept on the floor with her every night. I cried the first night, and I cried the last night because I knew it was the last night. During that time between initially finding out her diagnosis and the time that was her time to go I gave her every different kind of treat she wanted and some catnip too. I didn't chastise her for scratching the furniture.

It was 12 days from when I first found her struggling to breathe. She was the first cat I ever had to put to sleep. I stayed as calm as I could and talked softly into her ears telling her how much I loved her as the vet gave the injection.

I wish there was something more I could have done. Ever since we first adopted Ginger we had suspected something wrong with her, some sort of genetic problem. When she was spayed when she was 5 months old she developed the hernia within a day afterward. They did a hernia repair on her but she always had a knot of scar tissue in her abdominal wall. I know Ginger was happy those last 12 days. She went very peacefully.
 

emilio

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I have great hopes for the Rutin. And I will probably ask him to endure a couple of more taps if necessary. So far, he does not have the adhesions around his lungs. I have, however, trying to prepare for letting him go. And I will try to take full advantage of his time with me. Thanks you for the support.
 

pouncymom

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I have a cat named Pouncival diagnosed with Chylothorax. Vet sent us to specialist, prognosis poor, not much could be done, and no one thought he would make it to his 4th birthday in September. He also has asthma. Not a good combo. My regular vet suggested a low fat diet (Purina OM) so we went with that. Diets take about 2 months to take effect. I also have him on Jackson Galaxy Spirit Essences Easy Breather which helps him when he has asthma attacks. I  give him Fancy Feast Broths with the Easy Breather (4 drops about 4 times a day). This is really a treat food, but it does not have a bunch of junk in it and is very low fat. The Purina OM combined with the FF Broths worked so well for him. My vet was drawing chyle out of his lungs which started out white and thick looking. It gradually started looking clearer and today at his two month mark, I took him in to have him x-rayed and fluid drawn from his lungs. My vet was astonished! She could see no fluid in his lungs on the x ray. The conclusion is that the low fat diet worked wonders for him. I am not saying this would work for every cat, but it is certainly worth a try. Hope this helps some of you. Please let me know if you have any questions.
 

pouncymom

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Everyone, I am also reading that many of you are blaming the vet or anesthesia. Chylothorax has no known cause. You most likely will never find out why your cat gets it. Please research this on google. It is like cancer. No body's fault. It happens. Try the low fat diet, try Rutin. If you are lucky it will help. My cat was on the short list for life, and now he is doing really well. Hang in there.
 

brooklyndonut

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Hello,

I'm not sure if anyone is still active on this thread since most of the posts were from 2005 and the most recent from a few months back. But here's hoping!

My beloved tabby was diagnosed with pleural effusion and just yesterday the vets told me it was chylothorax. I've taken her to 2 vet centers - one more general and one a hospital with specialists and surgeons. She has had every test other than a CT (next step), and everything has come back negative. So I was told it was idiopathic (no known cause). But I'm wondering if it's really chylothorax. I saw the liquid they removed from her chest the first time they drained her since I transported one batch of the sample to the specialist hospital - and it wasn't milky white or pink, it was clear and orange-ish best I could tell. Vet #1 even noted that she was pretty sure my cat didn't have an infection because the liquid would be milky whereas in her case it was clear.

Yesterday I took my cat in for a second chest tap (8 days after the 1st), and had a consult with the surgeon who is pushing me to do a CT to rule out everything so we can proceed to surgery, which they said only has a 50/50 chance of resolving the problem. I'm frantically trying to get as much information, advice, 2nd and 3rd opinions as possible as CT and surgery are expensive and extremely stressful for the cat of course. 

I've read that sometimes chylothorax can heal on its own spontaneously, but the vets at place #2 said that's not the case. Vet #1 said she'd had cases of idiopathic pleural effusion (basically what my cat actually has if the liquid in her chest is not chyle but something else) that just resolved naturally. I was and am still hoping that this is one of those cases. 

Nobody has mentioned low fat diet + Rutin as an option to try before surgery. From what I've found, there's been some success, but it's by no means guaranteed. Still, I'm surprised (alarmed?) that it hasn't even been suggested. I was hoping to monitor her, do less invasive things to help her along and hopefully have her get better more naturally or with Rutin/medicine, doing additional chest taps as necessary. And then if things don't improve, (or God forbid get worse) then really looking at surgery as an option. 

Anyway - I just wanted to reach out to see how things worked out for those of you who posted previously - or anyone taking a look at the forum who's dealing with it now/more recently. Any advice, information would be so much appreciated! This has been breaking my heart and I'm desperate to try to help my poor cat as much and as quickly as possible.

Thank you!!!
 

pouncymom

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I have a cat with chylothorax (among other things). I was told by specialists after a thorough exam to take him home and make him comfortable that there was nothing to be done. My regular vet told me that since that was the case let's try a very low fat diet and see if that helped. Bear in mind, this cat's lungs were so full of fatty fluid that she could not see much in his x-rays. She kept drawing fluid off. Within several weeks of going on Purina OM (prescription diet - fat is 6%) at his next check up he had no fluid in his lungs. If you need more information please answer my reply and I will give you my vet's info so your vet can contact her. Before surgery I hope you can get your cat on a low fat diet. Not everything works for everyone, but I was told my cat had no  time left. That was over 6 months ago. Good luck
 
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