Aspiration Pneumonia

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Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:16 am

Brina had her tie back surgery to fix her laryngeal paralysis on April 29th and after that everything seemed to be going great, she was full of energy, she felt great, the surgery took at least 3 years off of her. Two weeks after the surgery I took her to the vet to get her stitches out and while they were pulling them out she inhaled her own saliva and started hacking and coughing. I didn't think much of it at first and she seemed fine after that, but a couple of days later she came down with aspiration pneumonia, which is quite common after this surgery. Luckily I took her to the vet right away, the symptoms were just starting to show (coughing, shallow breathing, shaking, loss of appetite, vomiting, etc.), she didn't even have a high fever yet. They gave her antibiotics and she was already doing better the next day. Everything went back to normal in a couple of days. She's been off of antibiotics for two weeks now, but I've noticed that she's inhaling her own saliva quite often. I've eliminated every possibility of her inhaling anything, especially with food and water, but how the hell am I suppose to avoid her inhaling her own saliva?? I did not expect this to be a problem. But it is and I don't know how to fix it.

For the last two days I've been noticing some of her symptoms starting up again, she's been coughing and hacking occasionally, especially in the morning. I've bought her a good vitamin supplement (Pfizer's VMP) to help her boost her immune system and I can only hope it will help fight this problem. Right now it can go either way, we can end up at the vet and on antibiotics again in a day or two or she will be fine and will be able to fight this on her own. I really don't want to keep putting her on antibiotics every two weeks, this is why I'm trying to find a way to help her.

Are there any good supplements I could use to boost her immune system? I've been told to put her on Colostrum permanently, a lot of people had good experience with it. Is there anything else I could do? If it gets worse we will ofcourse go get antibiotics, but putting her on them every two weeks is not a long term solution.

Aspiration pneumonia is a serious condition and it can be deadly if it gets bad. But I honestly thought I will be able to prevent it after the surgery.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:12 am

80 views and not a single reply... Ehh...

I don't know how to fix this. We're dealing with the same thing again as of today, Brina is sick and I'm taking her to the vet in a couple of hours when my brother gets off work. I guess she'll need another round of antibiotics.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:00 am

Ugg I'm so sorry Saska. If it were me, I'd err on the side of cautious and get some antibiotics. Maybe your vet will let you have them on hand? I know you don't want to have to keep using them but you've come so far.

I'm thinking of Brina and wish I had some answers for you.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:48 pm

We're back from the vet, they gave her antibiotics, but only after I've spent an hour explaining what's wrong. I don't know why nobody believes me when I tell them I KNOW what's wrong with MY dog. They had to be sure so they did a blood panel which just confirmed what I told them in the first place - it's a bacterial infection, the start of aspiration pneumonia. Their other options were kennel cough or a virus, but of course it wasn't any of those things. And no, there's nothing I can do that would fix this long term, if she aspirates anything (in this case it was either water or her own saliva), she will develop pneumonia every time, it's a normal reaction of the lungs to a foreign object. Ugh... Frustrating. :po:
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Nickdawg » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:05 am

:hug: to you and Brina.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:35 am

Thanks. Brina is feeling much better today, luckily the antibiotics start working right away every time. She's eating and drinking normally, plus there was no vomiting this time. Oh and no, they won't give me antibiotics to keep them on hand, they won't even give them to me without checking Brina first which means I will have to pay for a check up every time. Ehhh... At least Brina is ok, that's all that matters.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Amie » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:07 am

That's horrible, I'm so sorry. Glad Brina is feeling better!
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:40 am

Yeah, it's just their policy about antibiotics. I do understand it, but in this case they could make an exception. Or at least not charge me for a check up, that's 30€ more just to take her temperature. I can do that at home.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:00 pm

I'm glad she's getting better but the constant visits suck.

I know how you feel about people not listening. I can't even get a doctor to listen to me about my newborn! So infuriatingly frustrating!
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:28 am

Yeah visiting the vet is always stressful for Brina...

Here's a thought... Would a Nebulizer help in this case? I'm thinking of buying one.

I'll call the surgeon who did the surgery this week to see if he has any ideas on how to manage this problem without the constant use of antibiotics.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Cat24 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:41 pm

I don't have an experience with dogs with this condition, just humans but unless you're planning to use the nebulizer to administer the antibiotics I think it would be counter productive to have her inhale mist.

My thoughts would be to inquire about medications or supplements which would inhibit saliva production and depending on when Brina is inhaling the liquid perhaps something like one of the dental suction wands to help remove excess saliva.
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:52 am

Thanks for the ideas!
Cat24 wrote:I don't have an experience with dogs with this condition, just humans but unless you're planning to use the nebulizer to administer the antibiotics I think it would be counter productive to have her inhale mist.
Hmm.. I've only used a nebulizer once and that was years ago on some foster kittens who had major respiratory issues and it helped them. Other than that, I have no experience with it, I'll have to look into it.
Cat24 wrote:My thoughts would be to inquire about medications or supplements which would inhibit saliva production.
That actually exists? I'll look into it. Wouldn't a dog be drinking more while taking these? The thing is, Brina isn't producing any more saliva than a normal dog, we fixed all of her dental issues earlier this year and her mouth is completely healthy.
Cat24 wrote:and depending on when Brina is inhaling the liquid perhaps something like one of the dental suction wands to help remove excess saliva.
The problem is, there's no way to predict when it will happen. It just kinda happens randomly.

The other idea I've had was using small amounts of colloidal silver which is supposedly a natural antibiotic and can be used on animals. But again, I have no experience with it so I'll have to research it more.

Brina is not doing as well as I hoped she would be doing 10 days after we've started the antibiotics. We have 4 days left, but she's still coughing and it's still a wet cough, the kind when you can hear she's coughing up stuff from inside the lungs (this is the cough that is the first symptom of pneumonia I notice). I hope the lungs are just cleaning themselves out, but I'm afraid we'll end up at the vet soon after we stop with the antibiotics. And I'm still pissed off by the fact that I've overpaid the last vet visit, they didn't do much and the vet who examined Brina promised me to send me an email about some supplements I've asked her a question about and she didn't have an answer. She told me she would ask around and get back to me, well it's been 10 days and no answer. So yeah... I'm seriously considering going to a different vet next time. It sucks tho, this is the clinic I've been taking Brina to for the last 7 years. Ugh..
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby patty » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:58 pm

I've been thinking about Brina, how is she feeling now?

How long does the vet put Brina on antibiotics? Just reading on the internet that a minimum of three weeks straight may be necessary.

Cat24 mentioned the nebulizer, several web sites recommend that also. Some even mention when you take a shower let your dog in with you and shut the door. The warm steam helps.

It's mentioned to not let the dog lay more than 2 hours on it's side.

Tons of get well wishes sent.

:hug:
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Enigma » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:21 pm

patty wrote:I've been thinking about Brina, how is she feeling now?
You know, I'm not even going to say she's doing good, because as soon as I do, something goes wrong. Every time I start feeling excited that my dog is somewhat healthy, a few days later she gets sick again. Ehh... Right now, she's still coughing occasionally, but she's been feeling ok, even has a little more bounce to her step.
patty wrote:How long does the vet put Brina on antibiotics? Just reading on the internet that a minimum of three weeks straight may be necessary.
They keep prescribing her antibiotics for two weeks and I don't think it's enough, but on the other hand, I hate giving her so much pills all of the time. but of course, if it's necessary I will keep on giving them to her. I thinking of going back and asking for another week's worth of antibiotics.
patty wrote:Cat24 mentioned the nebulizer, several web sites recommend that also. Some even mention when you take a shower let your dog in with you and shut the door. The warm steam helps.
The nebulizer info I went through so far suggests that it helps with pneumonia.

I've called the surgeon who did the surgery today and got nothing. He says there's nothing I can do to prevent her from inhaling things, we just have to wait for her to get used to the new way of swallowing. In the mean time, all we can do is treat her with antibiotics if it comes to pneumonia, even if that means once every month. All other questions I've had about support therapy for her immune system, using cough syrups, minimizing the effects of antibiotics on the body, using the nebulizer and stuff like that, went unanswered. I was told to "use my own knowledge and judgement" on that. You know, he's a great surgeon, but as a human being he's an arrogant prick. I went to three different vets with the same questions and none of them helped me in any way. I need to find somebody who is not only a good vet, but a decent human being at the same time and will help me get Brina through this, even if we have to do it by trial and error, I just need to find a way to at least minimize the aspiration pneumonias. I will however keep doing my own research, a friend of mine gave me a good link to some yahoo groups on this, I haven't had time to go through it all, but you can find a lot on the internet. So if anyone has any good links or other info about laryngeal paralysis, aspiration pneumonias and improving the immune system, please post it, I will be happy to read anything I can :)

Thank you!
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Re: Aspiration Pneumonia

Postby Shoshana » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:17 pm

I don't know anything about ot, but I hope Brina feels better soon!

I did see this on Google tho..

Laryngeal paralysis and they mentioned

While there’s no cure, the most effective way to treat it is through what’s called a “tie-back surgery.”

Returning to Milovancev’s curtain analogy, the surgery involves “tying back” one side of cartilage, keeping it open to ensure the dog gets sufficient oxygen to breathe.

Surgeons don’t tie back both sides because that can increase the risk of complications after surgery, he says.

Pet owners who opt to have the surgery done at OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine can participate in an ongoing clinical trial. The trial is a blinded study in which some of the canine participants will receive a commonly prescribed anti-nausea drug called metoclopramide.

The surgery is successful without complication more than 80 percent of the time, Milovancev says. The most serious complication from the surgery is a condition called aspiration pneumonia, an infection of the lungs and airways to the lungs.

The condition occurs when the foreign matters, such as food, regurgitated stomach contents or other liquids, are breathed into the lungs.

Dogs with laryngeal paralysis are already at risk of developing aspiration pneumonia, because the esophageal nerves may also be affected; undergoing anesthesia can increase the risk.

Milovancev and his colleagues hope that metoclopramide will prevent the dog’s chances of developing aspiration pneumonia by decreasing the possibility for reflux to occur.
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