A Pneumothorax is characterized by the collection of air in the space around the lungs within the chest that interferes with the inflation of the lung lobes. The amount of air in Kodiak’s chest was increasing because of a leak in the tissue of his lung causing a tension pneumothorax. This condition is a medical emergency that can cause steadily worsening oxygen shortage and low blood pressure. Unless reversed this condition can progress and cause death.
The referring veterinarian immediately sent Kodiak to our hospital and he was admitted by Dr. Manasherov. A chest tube was placed by Dr. Sessa to remove the air around the lungs and immediate diagnostics were performed.
Pneumothoraces can be caused by physical trauma to the chest and often require surgery to repair however, spontaneous pneumothoraces can also occur for a variety of reason and typically resolve with only medical treatment and monitoring. Siberian Huskies are believed to be more susceptible to these kinds of spontaneous pneumothoraces because of their large, deep chests and this appeared to be the case with Kodiak.
For two days, Kodiak was hospitalized and the air was constantly removed from his chest to ideally allow the leak to heal. However, that did not occur. X-rays did not show signs of healing, location or cause of the leak. Kodiak was getting worse. Surgery was the only other option and Dr. Bibevski and Dr. Mansherov took Kodiak in on a Tuesday.
Dr. Bibevski and Dr. Manasherov performed a mediastinotomy. By cutting into the center of the chest they were able to view and evaluate both sides of the lungs to search out the leak. By placing water in the lungs and stimulating breathing, bubbling was seen at the leak site. (see video below). The damaged lung lobe was identified and removed.
Kodiak was hospitalized for only two days after this open chest surgery before he was breathing well and ready to go home. Today, Kodiak is better then ever. He made a 100% recovery and is back to playing along side his owner.
Kodiak was only hospitalized for six days but they were intense. He became a much loved patient not only because of his constant medical supervision but because of his incredible personality. He is a great and loving dog.
We have waited a while to highlight this fellow so we are so pleased to be able to recognize him as our Patient of this Month!!!