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Pleural Effusion- Any experiences?

Discussion in 'Diseases & Illnesses' started by Bellasmom, May 20, 2016.

  1. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    Hi, I ran across this site while doing some research on Shelties and pleural effusion. My precious sweet Bella has pleural effusion and we can't figure out what's causing it. She's has several ultrasounds, two echocardiograms, multiple X-rays and blood work. All come back normal, no masses, no cancer from fluid cytology (which came back twice as a modified transudate), blood work seems fine. Liver was slightly elevated and proteins on the low side of normal. We've drained her 4 times, average fluid is around 600cc or ml at a time. Today she had surgery to place two pleural ports so we can drain her ourselves. Once drained, she breathes much better. She is still active and playing but her appetite has decreased. I hand feed her so she eats and put her on a low fat diet. She's only 8 and we just can't put her down since she acts normal and we do love her so much. The latest test is for Bartonella but that takes 3 weeks for the results and we did biopsy the pleural tissue and pericardium to definitely rule out cancer.

    We are stumped and we are at the end financially. Anyone ever deal with this? What was the cause? Treatment and outcome? I will ask about thyroid, PLE, liver, and infection. I just can't think of anything else. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    I am sorry you are going through this, it may be so frustrating not finding a cause.

    I take it you've tested kidneys, liver, heart, diabetes. Just some ideas of things that Shelties often get. Lupus is also something seen in Rough Collies, usually DLE, which is easy to spot because of the lost pigment on the nose, but systematic (SLE) could be an issue. Pancreatitis is something we see often in Shelties. If you haven't already, I'd test for gallbladder mucocele; Shelties tend to be over-represented in GBM.

    Let us know what the latest tests show - I'm really interested in hearing the outcomes and it will help others who face the same issue.
     
  3. Hanne

    Hanne Forums Enthusiast

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    Welcome to SN
    - are so very sorry to hear about your little Bella┬┤s health, really understand your concern.

    I know nothing of this unpleasant disease, just read about it here http://www.spodan.com/2124.html not that I think you can read anything you do not know but give you just link anyway.
     
  4. Mignarda

    Mignarda Forums Enthusiast

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    I recall reading that pleural effusion can be caused in some cases by autoimmune disease. Does she respond to treatments such as cortisone?
     
  5. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    We had the following tests done on Wednesday: heart worm antigen, a chemistry profile package, tick panel 6 with Lyme (IDEX 2356), Bartonella culture & PCR and a comprehensive CBC- FHSA. Bella is being released this morning and I'll ask the Dr. about the diabetes, gallbladder, kidneys and heart. The pancreas was looked at and it was mildly inflamed and her stools aren't orange anymore but it worth asking again. The heart is fine. The echocardiogram, both of them she had, are showing no heart issues. Just some fibrin which I think the second vet thought were masses but she has no masses. Thanks for taking the time to respond and I'll inquire about these other issues. I agree, if I can find the answer and it helps someone else its a great thing.
     
  6. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    I think we are starting her on a trial dose of prednisone today. If we started it before the biopsy it could have affected the results. The vets are leaning towards some inflammation as the cause and if that's not it the. It's idiopathic. At least with the pleural ports she will be comfortable and not have to wait for an appointment to be drained. I'm reading everything I can find about pleural effusion just hoping to help the Dr.s who have been really good and quite patient with me.
     
  7. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    Bella is home and resting. She did great during surgery but today you can tell there's a bit of discomfort when trying to lie down. Not sure if if its pain or just that's the sutures are still new but I'll let the dr know. As far as tests, they did test for diabetes, liver, thyroid, etc. No prednisone until we get the labs tests back on Wednesday. She ate pretty good yesterday which pleasantly surprised me:). The Dr. Did say her protein level was low and it seems like she is losing it into the fluid. She said we don't n Ed to increase protein but rather make sure she's getting all of the other nutritional values so we will talk with the nutritionist. Anyone have any suggestions for a recipe that even the finickiest dog can resist? Also any safe nutritional supplements? Again, thanks everyone. Bella means so much to us and we want to do everything possible to get her back healthy
     
  8. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    I'm not sure exactly what she would need, diet wise - but most dogs can not resist hot dogs! However, they are not the best food for dogs. I have sometimes sliced a hot dog in half lengthwise, mixed it in with food, then removed it, so that there is a hot dog flavor to the food without actually eating the hot dog itself.
     
  9. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    Thanks Cara but I got a bunch of dog food samples to try, both dry and stews as a backup. So far today she did eat her kibble and hopefully she will eat more later tonight. I did order Dogasure which is a liquid meal replacement for dogs. I noticed she liked my vanilla protein shake which gave me the idea to search for something made for dogs where I know for sure she will get the nutrients needed. We try to feed both our Shelties healthy food and occasionally they get a hot dog:).
     
  10. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    Oh, good, glad she's eating :)

    Spirit gets a super healthy diet and has never had a hot dog in her entire life - though I'm sure she would ADORE it!!!!! Actually, I've never given any of my dogs an actual hot dog to eat. But I had a diabetic dog before, who would often not eat, which completely screwed with his insulin dosing, so sometimes getting a bit of hot dog flavor mixed in would entice him to eat. Gotta do what you gotta do!
     

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