Thursday, July 25, 2013

Whittingham Kennels

Mummy and Daddy took me to visit some furry friends today at the Whittingham Retired Greyhound Trust rehoming kennels in Waltham Abbey. We like it there. There is a huge field at the back and a pretty walk down into the woods on the edge of Epping Forest.

First of all we took out Rooney for a walk. He was as quiet as a lamb and very well behaved. He would make a lovely pet for someone. Being 5 means he is just youthful enough for a bit of fun, but mature enough not to have any annoying over exuberant puppy characteristics. He has a very waggy tail, which has been shortened as he kept banging his tail against the wall.

Whilst we are on the walk, we also met another lovely Black boy called Charley. He had a very calm, cuddly nature and is still a pup really at only 3 yrs old. He seemed very good around other dogs.

Daddy has a soft spot for very large greyhounds, and Lenny is the tallest one they had. I was very distraught when Daddy put me in a paddock, and then took Lenny out for a walk...what a cheek! I quavered and whined and did my most heart rending rattles and sighs......and sharp squeaks. They did bring Lenny back though. Mummy thought he looked really elegant trotting beside Daddy. He reminded her of a trotting carriage horse. Daddy was jogging quite fast whilst Lenny's stride was not even a run, just a fast, walk with the occasional trot.

Mummy has a soft spot for Harry. He is 4 and he did get a home, but his owners felt that owning a dog was not quite right for them after one night....and it was nothing to do with Harry really.

Now here it the thing about us greyhounds. If you have never owned one before, and you take us home, it can feel a little bit odd for a few can be filled with anxieties and worries that we won't settle or behave.  We might even seem a little bit feral, or over-excited. When Dizzy and I arrived here we both reacted to things with enormous enthusiasm and I have to admit, we did not know the rules and got a little bit out of hand on the first night. Mummy and Daddy had a Chinese and had no idea quite how quickly we can move when one food appears....Dizzy pulled a nest of noodles from the bottom and off Mummy's plate, munching at the speed of light. Of course, we were taught not to steal or beg and as soon as we are shown the rules, once is enough and we get it. But to begin with, Mummy and Daddy did say ''oh no. what have we done!'' as we seemed odd to them. Greyhounds move and do things in an excited fashion which can give the appearance of being wild or out of control, but actually we are creatures of habit and just as happy to unlearn any kennel or racing we say, if you adopt a hound then just give it a go for a week or so, and you will see that we fit into your way of life and we will love you like nobody else has ever loved you. it is common to get first time nerves when you have a child, or you adopt a new pup, but sadly unlike human babies who on the whole get to stay after one day whatever happens, we often get handed back to kennels by folks who think they made a mistake and a dog is not for them. We are big, we can be excitable and sometimes a little aloof if we have been passed around but all of that wears off so quickly and we learn to behave the way you want us too. After all, it is the submissive and gentle characteristics bred into us for racing and coursing which has made us the gentle and noble breed we are. No other breed could take what we have had to endure and turn out to be so loyal and stable. I would like to be an ambassador for the adopted greyhound. 

You might also find that we are not quite housetrained, but even that can be a worry but is easily corrected. It took me about one day to understand not to pee indoors, and then I got it. Dizzy took about 2 days. Mummy and Daddy took us out every hour on Day 1, every 2 hours on Day 2, and enforced the double toileting outdoors first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. All we needed was praise and a biccy, and if we did pee accidentally....we do not need any primitive behaviour please like rubbing our nose in it or spanking our bottoms. We just need you to say a firm 'No' and take us outside as quickly as possible with a command like ''In the garden''....and that explains it.
Often in racing kennels we are locked up for hours, so are allowed to pee in certain areas of our kennels so we don't immediately know we should not be peeing in your giant kennel too!

These kennels do such good work at rehabilitating dogs and getting them homed. There is a very happy atmosphere there and none of the dogs are distressed in any way as conditions are so favourable. They have lots of light, air, company, fuss, walks and trips out to the paddock to be outdoors. The only problem is, if these dogs do not find good loving homes then it will not make way for the hundreds of other dogs that need a home.
Whittingham needs to empty its kennels regularly and make way for new hounds in need.

They do have some residents, who get overlooked though which is a shame. There is a girl called Pixie, who is very sweet but has spent all her life of 8 yrs in kennels. With good health, she may have another 8 yrs if she is lucky, or at least 6...and it is a shame that she might never get to know what a sofa is like or have a loving family because of her age.

There is also a lovely, lively boy called Red who is a bit of a character called Red. He is 6 yrs old and that is getting dangerously near to the age that means he is a veteran and more likely to stay in kennels. He is a lovely red/fawn colour, has a short tail (his was too waggy too), and is cuddly and cannot wait to get out of his kennel for walks. 

Apparently, he can be a bit choosy about making friends with other dogs...and I know just how that can be. I am of Royal blood and a personage such as myself, could not lower themselves to talk to the underdogs like whippets, or jack Russells, or spaniels. And don't get me started on labradors. If one of those comes indoors, then I just have to show my teeth and complain to establish a correct working hierarchy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Living as a Solo Dog, Doing Two Dogs' Jobs

Mummy and Daddy say I am a brave and independent little girl. A few times, when Daddy asks me if I want to go for a walk, I look around to see where Dizzy Rascal is and then remember that he is gone for good. Mummy keeps crying, Daddy is a bit quiet, and all I can do to help them is try to be twice the dog I was before. I am doing two dogs' jobs of looking after my bereaved humans. I have been exceptionally good, haven't even tried to get up the stairs at night except for Storm night.

OK, Storm Night....I could not help myself. The whole evening was spent with flashing skies and banging noises and it looked like Mummy and Daddy were ignoring it. Then we went to bed and it started again. I whimpered a little bit, just to alert them in case there was danger, and Daddy invited me up. It was a really hot and sticky night with not much room on the bed and I have never slept on the bed at night (well, except when Daddy goes away). I just threw myself on top of Mummy, dug my claws in, and then panted which shook the bed and sent hot breath down Mummy's neck. In fact, I was such a hot dog that Mummy was dripping in sweat and then was icy cold where it was evaporating! Eventually Mummy persuaded me to sleep in the middle, but it was a hot steamy night. This is the first time I have shown any fear of lightning  normally Dizzy helped me feel safe. he was a handsome boy too and always made me look good. Who would have thought this pampered pooch, on organic and mixed food diet and regularly exercised would have got a complicated illness so young? He was the picture of health this time last year.

Handsome Dizzy in the Snow 2008

I have been on a little trip to Whittingham Kennels and we took a dog called Sky for a walk, but he was not interested in me or Mummy and Daddy, he was a very aloof kind of boy. We like the big, bouncy confident our Dizzy Rascal. We don't want to replace him, who could? We just would like to meet other greys and get to know them and we are going there about once a week whilst Daddy is off work.

Our First Day at our new Home in June 2007

In September the Whittingham rescue kennels are having their roof redone and so need to empty each half of the kennel for a week at a time and put the hounds into temporary foster homes. So a greyhound will be coming to live with us for a week in September hopefully. Well, I have my faves and I might just fancy a black boy this time. What about these lovely chaps?

Charlie...he is 3 and very sweet and cuddly

Harry is 4

Cameo who is 3 yrs old  is sweet,
and a little bit shy like me, but very handsome

Rooney is 5 so closer to my age. He looks quite cheeky

See how I have gone for the toy boys? Anyway, this is just one local kennel of many.....If you did not want to adopt, or foster, they always welcome volunteer walkers once they know you.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

New Vet

I am missing Dizzy a bit, even though he could be a bit of a nuisance. He was very noisy! Mummy and Daddy are looking for a new vet for me. Mummy and Daddy have not been 100% happy with what happened with Dizzy's condition now they have had time to review all the facts.

Originally, back in Feb, Dizzy developed a distinctive cough then had rapid breathing difficulties, as well as being snappy and in pain. So we visited our vet, but he was too busy to see Dizzy so we saw another vet in the same practice who dealt with orthopaedic cases, although this is not why Dizzy had an appointment. Mummy and Daddy did said they thought there was something wrong with his chest, but the vet ignored any questions and just started pulling Dizzy's legs out. Dizzy always squeaks when you do that, and Mummy and Daddy already knew he had joint stiffness and age related weakness....but the chest and breathing was a different thing. The vet told us that all dogs pant and breathe like that, and he was probably just hot. We knew differently and were not that happy. I kept saying 'I know my own dog, and there is something very wrong with him'' especially as Dizzy was snapping at home, and having difficulty breathing out....and I asked if we could have an xray, but the question was never answered. We both asked, does an xray mean he would have to go under a general anaesthetic, and the vet said yes of course he we did not pursue asking for an x ray, trusting the vet would know if we did need one and was not keen to do one. Dizzy was 9 so we did not take a general anesthetic lightly.

The vet handed over to our usual vet, outside of our hearing, and the normal vet came in said he was too busy to have a conversation or answer any questions, so we just had to listen and he just talked at us non stop about Dizzy's back legs and what it could be, and the options....all of us  wanted to say, ''forget the legs...what about the breathing!'' We were prescribed Cimalgex for his bad legs, but nothing for his chest.

That evening the cough developed and worsened and he was very unwell, so we had to go back....and he was diagnosed with a cough and given antibiotics. We had several trips back and forth, where it was difficult for us to get any information across because the vet was too busy or too tired, and he tested the urine and found some blood or protein, and so we continued with antibiotics for a bladder infection with the advice he had probably got a bladder infection from being run down with the chest infection.

The really distinctive straining and coughing and breathing abnormality just got worse but we were just continuing to treat the bladder with antibiotics but Mummy was not happy about not doing anything with the chest. So in May, about 4 mths after the onset of the cough, Mummy talked to the vet on the phone and said she was really not happy about what was happening and that instinctively, it looked like Dizzy was wasting away, refusing to eat, and that there was something very wrong in the chest with loud intermittent honking and straining noises. The vet said  it sounded like a tumour on his chest and we really needed an x ray asap. At last, Mummy thought, and she asked about the procedure, thinking it would be a general, and found that actually, all was required was to lay Dizzy on his side and possibly have a sedative. It was done so quickly, and so easily without a sedative Mummy was wondering why we had waited so long to do it and why we were told it would need a general. So why had he not had one before? Despite going back and forth?

The vet phoned us, told us he had found a really big mass in front of his heart and it was probably a cancer like thymoma, or lymphoma. He kept telling us, if he did open the chest and it was a thymoma he had treated several dogs in the same way and they all lived. However, that changed to a diagnosis of cancer after needle biopsy with a rare chance it could be something mimicking cancer, but no suggestions as to what diseases could give such chest symptoms and results. We talked over the treatment options and he advised us if we decided to go elsewhere for oncology, then Dizzy would get treated without our consent and they would 'take over' our dog and we would 'not get a say in what happens' like we do at our nomal vet....Mummy and Daddy were suitably worried by that, so decided to stay with their trusted overall general vet. Dizzy did love being there. We were told it was about 99% a cancer tumour, and that surgery was very risky and a big deal, so we were advised to have chemo.

So poor old Dizzy went through lots of chemo treatment and came out in sores, stopped eating, but kept  getting the same symptoms of the cough, struggling to breathe and a dipping spine and laboured panting....and each time the only thing that relieved it was draining the fluid off. We got to know the hallmark symptoms of fluid building up really well and specifically requested that Dizzy was drained sooner, rather than later, to avoid it becoming a painful crisis like it had done each time. However, the last time it built up pre surgery the vet said there was no need to drain it because he could see outwardly that his breathing was fine and his bloods were so good, but we were back in 2 days for it to be done as it was another crisis and Dizzy in huge pain. He was not fine, he would stand in front of the TV for attention for hours, panting in and out, and if he tried to move or lie down he would cry out, grown and growl and get up. He got so tired he would collapse on our hands. But all the time, we did not want to think the vet was wrong and trusted his judgement.

Then the last time he had fluid drained, a simple needle procedure, the fluid built up in about 4 or 5 days so it got to the crisis of surgery being needed and he was in so much pain and digging at the floor and totally unable to sit or lie down for about 12 hours, not even in the car and he was tired...he looked like he was dying to us, and I think he was.. So he had surgery and we were advised that the lung had become necrotic, and it was biopsied for cancer and removed and we were told it was probably cancer but could talk over treatment options.

Dizzy came home, became swollen in his legs which bothered him. but not that much.
However, the old symptoms of fluid inside the chest cavity came back. Mummy knew it was there and Dizzy would tell her by his behaviour. So Daddy took me back to the vet to see if we could drain it. A different vet saw Dizzy, and remarked that the wound was closed to the chest cavity and had no way of draining the fluid and advised that he would be kept in to open up the wound and drain the fluid out of the chest. And extraordinarily, he advised us this was not cancer at all, it was actually a twisted lung lobe. We were told his chances of survival were very good, provided the fluid can be drained etc and complications managed. That morning was the last morning I saw him alive. At home, we had a little party because we thought he was through the worst. Mummy researched lobe torsion and found that provided the twist is not untwisted in situ, and removed whole, and the chest kept free of fluid that dogs had a fairly good chance of recovery but obviously can die easily in the first 7 days. We were up to 8 or 9 days so should have been past danger. We did keep pushing for the chest xray, but being told it was unkind and too much to put him through.
Mummy was very concerned about there not being a drain or some kind of shunt to get rid of fluid in there. And his skin was crackling, like plastic everywhere, which we now know is subcutaneous emphysema where air tries to escape the chest cavity and comes up as bubbles through the skin and can be a sign of a serious underlying condition. That meant as well as fluid, he had air in the chest, and if that air got to the heart it could be fatal.

However, when our own vet came back on duty, he decided to not drain the main chest wound or chest cavity and treated the oedema in the legs only with pressure bandages. On the phone, we kept asking for the chest to be drained as we knew 100% what Dizzy's symptoms were telling us with his difficulties and pain and were advised, his breathing is fine so they do not feel we need to put him through the discomfort of xray. We were not invited to visit, and each day got ready to pick him up and also kept being told he was scoffing his food, but then when he was home it was really difficult to get him to eat. He was very weakened by lack of food, and lack of sleep. Mummy was grief stricken on the Wed and Thurs, she had a really bad feeling about this and kept pushing and pushing for someone to drain that chest. They did eventually open the chest, after Dizzy had died and loads of fluid came out.

Mummy also mentioned she was upset that Dizzy was suffering so much pain, we knew how bad it was when he tried to dig a hole in the carpet. He kept laying his head on her lap and looking so pathetic and in need of pain  relief. However, when Mummy asked about it she was advised that blood pressure could drop and put the dog into crisis so she understood why they were withheld. But the vet did make a comment about Mummy being uncomfortable about the pain, rather than Dizzy, and that it might be a case of making Mummy more comfortable rather than what Dizzy needs. After asking around, it turns out that a lot of other greyhounds have had similar or even less serious operations and had always had some form of strong pain relief. The research also said after lobectomy, patients improve faster if they are without pain because mobility is so important to avoid complications. I think if Dizzy had not been in pain from the fluid, he could have perhaps walked a bit more....and moved it. But why did he not have a drain? A greyhound has to wonder about seemed obvious to me.

On friday, poor Dizzy collapsed and could not be revived. He was xrayed and it was discovered he had a completely filled chest cavity. The vet says he cannot say what the cause of death is and was quite tearful about the experience. Mummy however feels she knows what the reason could be. Weakened by pain, fatigue of not being able to go to sleep and not able to eat his organs were probably in a very poor condition despite appearing 'normal'. But if that chest was so full of fluid, that it was causing him that much pain and pushing his chest out, how could a heart muscle keep pushing and beating against that pressure? Mummy and Daddy strongly feels they have lost confidence in their vet. Throughout the whole of this condition it seems as if treatment was reactive instead of proactive. Mummy and Daddy were so familiar with the conditions of him having pressure build up from the fluid, that they  could pinpoint how full that chest was....but sadly, they were made to feel as if they were neurotic parents and the vet knew best. However, they feel that if Dizzy had been sent for MRI or CT scan, it would have cost less than the chemotherapy did anyway (which was unnecessary) and then a vet might have operated and fixed that twisted lung. They feel that with the correct surgery, there probably would have been a drain or outlet put in....either tube or shunt...and that his chances were pretty fair. In January, he was a very fit and active dog...he went so downhill and got skinny and wizened and in poor condition, and at his very worst he ended up having the surgery. There were decisions being made after the event, but no particular hurry to try and get a clear treatment plan. And Mummy and Daddy are not qualified vets. But they feel their vet let them down in not listening and draining the chest of fluid before eventually it finished him off. The vet did cry when Dizzy passed away, but I wonder if he was crying for Dizzy and us, or feeling inadequate in some way. They could have been genuine, or could have been crocodile tears.

We were never actually told by our main vet that Dizzy did not have cancer, and never had the lung torsion explained to us at all by him. In fact, we suspect that when he removed the 'tumour' he did not actually know it was not a tumour, and that it was just a necrotic lung lobe as he did nor recognise it. And if he did not recognise it right away, (and Mummy and Daddy could have done now they have images of what they look like), then did he follow the procedure for tying off the drainage to it, so that necrotic fluid did not flood the other organs? As that is a major cause of death in a twisted lobe lobectomy surgery. And if Dizzy did not have cancer, and was doing so well in hospital...then why did the vet sound so miserable and spoke with a guarded (funereal) voice when we spoke to him, why did not say ''hey guys, good news, I was wrong, its not cancer after all'''?

Also, during Dizzy's treatment 3 times he was prescribed with an antibiotics that he has intolerance of and causes him severe vomiting and diarrhoea, and it was not written on his record. And several times a suggestion of a prescription were given but then the meds did not turn up in the dispensed drugs when we got home (or in the case of post surgery, we were only given one days supply of rehydration powders, no diuretics and only the min of one Cimalgex a day)And he had major, major surgery but no pain management as such other than taking one Cimalgex. Mummy understands pain relief can cause a drop in blood pressure etc, but really, for a major thing like he had...he was suffering. She did give him a little extra pain relief herself in addition, and found he was much recovered and able to walk and eat. All the evidence Mummy and Daddy found online about this major lung surgery showed that being pain free helped more in mobility aned then recovery.

We also got the opportunity ourselves of the referral to the Ohio SU and greyhound wellness program all set up  for our vet. But he didn't follow it through as requested, and then it was too late and Dizzy went into crisis and needed surgery.Mummy and Daddy had given him the tel no of a lady at the Ohio State University Wellness programme for greyhounds; they treat a lot of sick hounds there and are the World's expert in greyhound medicine....what a waste of a resource!

It is easy to blame someone when things go wrong, but we cannot help but think we could see all the warning signs and nobody was listening to what we knew of our own dog. Apparently, we are not the first people to have experienced these sorts of problems with vague diagnosis and treatment plan, and vague post operative care and not sticking to procedure. The vet is a lovely, lovely, man but we we cannot help doubt his expertise and ability to manage serious conditions. The RCVS had problems on previous cases with this vet, but we did not know of this until after Dizzy's death. We believe that half the problem of him being reactive and just treating what is visible in front of his eyes is down to plain overwork. He does not have the time to listen to our symptoms or descriptions, or look at our own suggestions or follow stuff up. He was always asking us to keep our information back, until the next time we speak, as he was seriously rushed off his feet and had a mental day. This was what he said on every appointment and of course, it did not help communicate very vital information about our dog's health and it was difficult to ask questions. We were invited to email instead and send pictures through, but he never even opened or discussed the emails.

So now we are looking for a vet who is not taking on too much, who can listen and proactively guard against complications rather than react to them.

Friday, July 5, 2013

RIP Dizzy Rascal

Dizzy had to go into doggie hospital on Tues as he was so full of fluid.
They were managing with that, and he was due to be discharged this morning. Sadly, he crashed at about 11.30 am and despite them trying to resuscitate and do heart massage, he could not be revived.

We are all in shock. Lily hasn't realised yet, but she has been looking for him on walks. He was such a loving beautiful, cuddly, big-hearted hound and we are heartbroken.
We are just so glad that he was being cuddled at the time it happened.
We are off to collect his collar and lead and say goodbye to him this afternoon.

Thank you Dizzy for being such a good companion and for always being up for a cuddle, even when you were really sick.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lung Torsion or Lobe Torsion

Good news....I have a twisted lung, but we think this is not lung cancer!

I was very unwell after my operation to remove the twisted lobe. We really thought this tumour was cancer, After the operation my legs started to swell up and I was crying because I could not move around and bend my legs. But walking around slowly was the best way of getting the fluid moving. Daddy did some lymphatic massage on me, to try and get the fluid moving nearer the heart and pumped away. However, once it was pushed past the shoulder, I just kept producing more and more fluid and I had like a small balloon on my chest but it was not seeping out of my chest wound. I started having all the same symptoms of not being able to lie down, scraping the carpet, not able to breathe or rest...I had to be propped up on lots of cushions in a semi sit position.

Anyway, Daddy took me to the vets at Animal Ark because I was in so much pain from the fluid and swelling that I was not eating, and not drinking and I was gaining weight from the  fluid but wasting away a bit underneath. Anyway, Daddy had the biggest and best news. I do not have cancer, the bit they removed is not a cancerous tumour. It is formed by a massively engorged and twisted lung lobe. Here is some information that Mummy gave me about my condition, and I have written down some of the symptoms I had.

Lung Torsion or Lobe Torsion (twisted lung)

Some deep chested dogs, for example Afghan hounds or a greyhound can be more susceptible to suffering from a twisted lung. AKA lung torsion, or lobe torsion.
Sometimes, one of the lobes of a dog''s lungs can become twisted. If it twists in such a way that blood is pumped in by an artery, but not pumped out because the vein is blocked then that lobe can become horribly distended and the lobe becomes necrotic. Basically that just means dying off and rotting away internally. it causes pleural effusion (which means fluid in the chest cavity which can be thick and full of mucous, or it can be pink and blood filled)

I wanted to post about this, because at some point in the future it could your owners who have similar problems with a similar chest condition.
I have found out that this particular condition although reasonably rare, is becoming more common amongst sighthounds, especially Afghan hounds, but this condition occurs more commonly in all deep chested breeds inc greyhounds. It can go undiagnosed, or like me be diagnosed as a mass or even cancer. Mummy and Daddy knew there was a mass, but they felt and the vet felt it was not fair to euthanize me unless we knew 100% what this was.
Our boy 9 yrs old has had breathing difficulties since Feb and was diagnosed with cancer after needle biopsy, with a teeny tiny % chance it could be a condition mimicking cancer 
I had xrays, needle biopsy, fluid drained off the chest repeatedly as well as chemo Vincristine but it made not a difference to the mass, although fluid draining relieved his pain and symptoms.
I went into a crisis last week and I have posted this under the thymoma, as we thought I had some sort of lung or thymus gland cancer, but after surgery the ‘tumour’ turns out not to be cancer at all. It is a lung lobe that has died off and twisted and become engorged, necrotic.
Here is a pic of what it looked like
My biggest problem has been the fluid building up in the chest cavity. I do have complications of lymph draining into my legs and they are horribly swollen at the moment.
Mummy and Daddy know exactly what sort of pain or problem I am getting now by my behaviour. I start sticking my neck right out and panting fast and hard, then I can't like down, and I start groaning in pain and standing all the time...and my belly is tight with my ribs pushed out.
So what wre my symptoms of pleural effusion (fluid building up in the chest) that is indicative of either this, or another chest problem?
Watch out for:
  • Uncharacteristically going off my solid food (i.e. not on chemo) even if it is cheese or meat and my fave stuff, or only wanting to slurp up liquids but not dry biccies or kibble
  • Difficulty swallowing, slight choking when swallowing
  • Distinctive, crowing straining single cough….coughs get closer together depending on how much fluid has built up. Here is me at the very mild beginning stages of this, I have been coughing like this for 6 mths and they get closer together. To see this cough on the vid, just start it at about 40 secs (unedited vid sorry!).

  • Not wanting to lie flat and only lying in Sphinx position. Eventually if much worse, not able to lie down at all. 
  • Groaning and kicking of legs grumpily when lying flat. 
  • Groaning or low growl of discomfort when trying to lie down.
  • Coughing up spots of blood, or blood coming from nose (without any chemo).
  • Pleural Effusion (fluid on the chest) which shows up normally as opaque milky areas on xray. The twisted lobe often looks opaque as it becomes engorged with blood that has no exit.
  • Sticky mucous at the back of my throat
  • Mesothelial, or other ‘thelial’ type tissues on needle biopsy. If fluid is drained off the chest, it can be characteristically pink and lab results do show evidence of cells dividing rapidly but often cannot confirm without a proper slice of the affected organ or tumour. We were told the cell results showed it was cancer like with only a tiny chance it was not cancer but could be a condition mimicking it.
  • Fluid build up anywhere else in the body. Swollen legs/joints with fluid. When pressed with a finger, leaves a depression that slowly fills up.
  • If lying down, holding myneck out straight and his head tilted up.
  • Pulling lips back to take in gasps of air (a bit like Popeye’s mouth).
  • Walking really slowly, needing to drag him along on the lead
  • Really tight abdomen, feels like a drum and if you tap it, it sort of resounds like a balloon filled with water.
  • Dipping spine….look at his normal posture and remember it, if the chest gets full of fluid, then the curve of the spine makes a camel hump at shoulders, then dips right down between shoulder and back end before coming up again, and the stomach bows down as well.
  • Becoming clingy….uncharacteristically sticking to you like velcro, not wanting to sneak up on the bed or sofa like normal.
  • Standing and doing a lot of vacant staring, especially with head facing a wall.
  • Digging, scratching or going to front door or back door to want to escape;
  • Hangdog expression. You might find that he doesn’t whine or vocalise apart from some groaning as if from indigestion.
  • Rapid fast breathing, panting hard and not stopping for hours.
  • Bad hot breath (more than usual) and sometimes a clicking or bubbling sound in the chest.

Treatment for lobe torsion

Normally it is surgical, and required the twisted lobe to be removed carefully (not untwisted in situ, as this releases toxins). This is called a lobectomy.
Normally there is a fairly long scar, or it might need a square section with a rib removed. My scar is quite neat on my side but fluid built up around it. There can be complications in surgery,my heart stopped and I died but was revived, but that could have been down to anaesthesia, age or condition as I was quite poorly…or it could be a release of toxins from the necrotic lobe flooding my heart or chest.
Post surgery complications can happen, I am having a few, but once over that hurdle (a couple of weeks after surgery) then prognosis is fair to guarded.
Sometimes the lobe twist can be present with other conditions, sometimes it is just ideopathic (no definitive cause seen) or could be from trauma.
There are conditions like chylothrax (milky fatty fluid in chest cavity) and I am not sure if it is that.....Mummy and Daddy pick me up from the vets today, so then we will know.