Cooper, a 5 month old male Boston Terrier was brought in one Sunday last month because he was simply having a lousy day. For 24 hours he was not behaving like a puppy, he was lethargic and not interest ineating. His parents knew something was wrong.
One of our First Year Associates, Dr. Peress examined Cooper and it became very clear that Cooper was not well. X-rays showed his lungs had fluid building up in his chest cavity and consolidation of a lung lobe; all originating from a variety of possibilities but all potentially life threatening. An initial aspirate of the fluid in his chest showed pus and was sent out for more detailed testing.
At this time, it was suspected that Cooper had pneumonia and a pyothorax. A pyothorax is the accumulation of puss in the chest cavity due to an infection. Cooper was immediately hospitalized under intensive care in our oxygen therapy chamber and given intravenous medication and fluids throughout the night.
In the morning Dr. Peress transferred Cooper’s case to Dr. Heim who placed Cooper under anesthesia to insert a chest tube. This delicate procedure was complicated by Cooper’s poor lung quality but necessary to remove the pus from his chest as the accumulation of fluid around the lungs is life threatening.
For three days, Cooper received antibiotics and nebulizations to address the pneumonia, and chest lavages to wash out the fluid that was accumulating in his chest cavity. While his attitude and appetite improved and his bloodwork was getting better, the fluid in his lungs was not resolving and his pneumonia was worsening. The laboratory test results of the fluid taken from his chest at his initial visit returned as e coli. It was time to do more.
Dr. Heim recommended Cooper get a CT scan to more fully visualize the origin of his illness. Fortunately, Mobile Pet Imaginga new mobile service in the area offered to perform a free CT for Cooper's to introduce their services to our practice. While this diagnostic test was a risk for Cooper’s health because he must be under full anesthesia throughout, it would provide the most efficient diagnosis of cause. His owner consented.
The CT scan showed Copper’s right middle lung lobe was abscessed. An explorative thoracotomy, was recommended with removal of the right middle lung lobe. Drs. Heim and Herrington performed the procedure and Cooper handle the anesthesia well.
After surgery Cooper improved dramatically. The chest tubes were removed and he was sent home a few days later. The damaged lung lobe was sent for pathology and confirmed the abscess. His prescribed antibiotic were both powerful and effective and he has made a full recovery.
Since his discharge Cooper has returned for suture removal and vaccinations. He is living the good life, like all puppies should. We are so pleased to be able to share his success story.