Tuesday, March 15, 2016

On Cloud Nine (Lives)!

A little Larry news for you. The past six months he's been having some wheezing/coughing fits that I had originally thought were hairballs. When the remedy did no good, I hunted around online and started to think he had asthma. The X-rays and vets agreed, so he began taking steroids and a bronchodilator -- only that didn't seem to help, and sometimes seemed to make it worse. So late last week we took him into the vet yet again, and this time they found his lungs were surrounded with fluid (a condition called pleural effusion), which the vet said was all but certainly the result of late-stage heart disease or cancer. Spent the weekend in deep mourning -- with him gasping for air and seemingly on his death bed, and Damian and me in and out of tears -- before getting a call that the analysis of his fluid showed he had chylothorax, a type of pleural effusion that is indeed frequently associated with heart failure and cancer but can also be from an infection or an undetermined cause (idiopathic). Suddenly there was hope. (Larry's only 8.) On Monday, we visited a wonderful cardiologist in Hell's Kitchen. And after having a great lunch at Bacon Bar, we returned to the pet clinic to find out his heart is actually in great shape and that he doesn't seem to have any kind of infection, so his chylothorax was indeed idiopathic. This was GREAT news -- and expensive news at that! -- but now we are in the next phase of the situation in that he is still wheezing (like he's dying) and we're treating something that has no known "cause." In short: We are THRILLED that he is not dying, but we are so upset that we can't seem to help him get better. Wondering if any of you have had dogs or cats with idiopathic hylothorax and what kind of luck you had treating it. The vet is preparing instructions for a low-fat diet and giving him a homeopathic supplement called rutin. I'm eager to start, but have already read that this isn't always successful -- and if Larry is anything like me, the straightforward solution won't "work" on him! 


The Polar Beast said...

I am glad to hear that you finally know what was making Larry unwell. I hope the treatments prescribed lead to many more days of Larry welcoming you home from a long day at work or a long trip away from home.

edmcan said...

I don't know anything about it-I just wanted to wish you guys (including Larry) the best. You'll be in my thoughts and keep us posted, please.