Quick onset of Aspiration Pneumonia
New to community, should have joined years ago! But after this weekends events, I would like to share my story about my fighting pug, Max.
Over the weekend, Max was being watched by my sister who was house sitting. On Sunday morning, she was getting ready to let him outside with my other dog (shep/husky). Both dogs typically sleep in the room with my fiance and I at night, so my sister brings them into the guest room with her at night to keep up same routine. When she woke up, she opened the door so that they could both go downstairs and wait by the door for her.
She went downstairs to the door a few minutes later and noticed Max (pug) wasn't there waiting with Bella (shep/husky). She called on Max several time and noticed that he just wasn't coming. She went looking for him and found him in the office laying down in pile of yellow Fleming like vomit. She immediately cleaned his face and nose and contacted us. While on the phone with me, she noticed that his breathing had changed and asked what is the usual color of his tounge. I asked her to put the phone near his mouth so I could listen to his breathing. I immediately knew something was wrong. I informed her to call my mom to come over immediately and that I would be coming on asap. I was about an 1.5 hours away in Chicago. I told her to carry him downstairs outside to see if he'd use the bathroom. Nothing happened so she brought in back in. My mom kept me updated on his breathing status while I was driving home. If his health decreased she would take him to ER. Shortly before I arrived, my mom notice that his breathing become more labored. He kept taking short fast breaths.
As soon as I got home, we immediately rushed him to ER. I called for him to come over to me by the door but he wouldn't move, so my fiance went to pick him up and take him to the car and noticed his bloated belly. My fiance held him during the car ride and we both noticed his breathing gradually become more rugged. With the humidity outside and it being hot, I think it added additional stress on his body during ride to ER.
During his initial evaluation, the MD stated she thought it could have been heart failure or liver failure but additional test were definitely needed. She asked what happen, ask if we routinely vaccinated him and about prior medical history. He had no prior history with ragged breathing, he typically does not vomit and he gets his routine vaccinations once a year. We told the MD, that he does every once and a while cough and spit water out when he drinks it too fast. (Doesn't always happen, usually over summer when its warm.) When playing and chasing my other dog, he does breath heavier than normal but after a few minutes of cool down back in the house, he returns to normal breathing. He does have arthritis in his back knee and we do have to give him joint supplements, but other than that he's happy, healthy dog. He was fine the morning I left home and my sister ensured me that he showed no signs of anything being wrong during the day or those few minutes in the morning passed before she went downstairs to let them out.
Sitting there waiting for what seemed like hours, MD brought us into area. The x-rays revealed, both his lungs contained a vast amount of fluid. The amount of fluid in his lungs was so severe, to the point where I couldn't determine the definition of his heart or lungs. The MD stated that his heart's right ventricle was fine and his preliminary diagnosis is aspiration pneumonia. They could not remove any of the fluid surgically as that would be to hard for him to recover from. MD determined, Max would be admitted to ICU, sedated to reduce the stress on his body from trying to breath so hard, supplied fluids and antibiotics and place into oxygen chamber. I have never been as frighten as I was during those minutes looking at his x-rays and seeing him being sedated and prepared. We were allowed to see Max several hours later he rested and the sedation wore off a little bit.
Today, 7/16 is day two. This morning the MD called to provide status. Max's x-rays showed improvement - some of the fluid has been released. He was still dependent on the pure oxygen when he visited him this evening. The staff's goal tonight for Max - which big goal for us, is to see if he can successfully breathe in normal cage. This will mean huge step for us bringing him home by Wednesday. On Wednesday, another x-ray will be taken on his lungs. This image will determine if the antibiotics are fighting infections and helping him or if fluid should be tested. We hope the fluid keeps getting out of his lungs!
Has anyone else been through this? I just want to ensure that he's getting best medical treatment!