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Dog very sick, fluid in thoracic cavity
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Dog very sick, fluid in thoracic cavity

Our 5 year old, mixed breed, (collie) dog stopped eating 3 days ago.  She does drink water.  very tired, difficulty breathing (panting), Yesterday Xrays show fluid in thoracic cavity, apparently pressing on lungs. Tests showed very low white cells, no albuminae; started her on antibiotics and IV fluids. Today x ray still shows fluids, white cells up, but creatinine high, now on the alert for kidney failure.  Sample of chest fluid (very thick) sent to lab, results not in yet. Vet wants surgeon to operate, (not in until Friday),  unless renal failure. Could pressure from fluid press against the heart and cause renal failure? Besides a foreign object causing infection, what else could be wrong? Could improvement be expected just from draining fluid in chest?  She is very weak, has not vomited, defecating well. Thanks for your help.
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Any news on your pup?  I'm dealing with renal failure in my dog as well, so post back if you have any questions on that.  Also, check out the Ask a Vet Forum - Dr. Cheng posted some really good information on that topic to a couple of my posts on renal failure.
We relied on our Vet who "thought" she had heart trouble, and that she was stressed by a very irregular heart beat and put her on heart medicine.  That night, giving her her 2nd dose, she collapsed.  I couldn't get hold of him that night, so called the vet up the road.  He saw her that night, and said she had a 104 fever, rapid heart beat, and didn't have any heart medicine, so I gave him what our vet gave us.  She stayed the night in a less-than-ideal situation, and I contacted a cardiac Vet 50 miles away.  

It was snowing heavily here, and it was a nightmare just getting her to his clinic as she was still hooked to a fluid drip for hydration.  This Vet came in on his day off, and did all kinds of tests and x-rays.  His tests showed fluid in the chest cavity, lungs floating in the fluid, very irregular heartbeat, somewhat dehydrated, white cells elevated, and her stomach was full of air from labored breathing.  Otherwise, her bones were perfect, and all else was within range. I thought "great" nothing that cannot be taken care of.  I asked him where is the fluid coming from, and lastly, he showed me the tumor on her left side.

He said they could drain the fluid to make her comfortable and stable, then could operate, but he wasn't sure that they could safely remove the tumor, and that the operation would cause our baby great discomfort, and in the end, we may only extend her life 2-4 months.
He felt the tumor would be cancerous.

I am disgusted with the amount of money these vets charge, always wanting money up front.  It seems the money (which he mention more than once) came first.  Between the other 2 vets in less than a day, it cost $800.  Then his tests were another $400 plus.  The operation would b $2000 plus, and he couldn't guarantee more than a few months more with her.

You have a short time to make a decision, weighing all that had been told us.  Meanwhile, you baby is looking at you for help with those big loving eyes, expecting you to take care of her distress (you are the parent).  All I could do was break down, and hug her.  I knew I had to put her down. The vet could not tell me what her quality of life would be, but the operation would be very painful to her.

How could this happen?  So suddenly.  The signs began 2 weeks ago when she couldn't climb up on our bed to sleep at night.  Then I noticed she was sleeping straight out, not on her side.  Then the panting began, and she wouldn't eat her bones.  She whined, and I knew something was very wrong.  That's when I brought her to our Vet, and the nightmare began.  We are rural, and the weather was horrid with the snowfall and cold.  Driving in treacherous conditions with a sick dog was a trauma in itself.  Then to find after ekg's, x-rays, etc, all of their "thinking" was wrong.  It is so hard with a pet, they cannot tell you how they are feeling, you have to know your pet and watch for signs.

Cindy was our baby.  It made me sick to choose to end her life.  I couldn't rely on the first 2 vets should something go wrong after the operation.  The 3rd vet, a cardiac specialist, was so far away and only in on certain days of the week.  My vehicle is not an ambulance, therefore, just getting her to and from the vet was so stressful and uncomfortable for her, only being able to lay on her side, so she tried to stand or sit most of the ride down.  She had had a diuretic, and needed to pee, but being hooked up to the fluid bag, she held it as I couldn't stop, and just hoped she'd pee on the seat, at that point I didn't care.

I hope no one else ever has to go through a nightmare like this just to get help for their baby, nor should any pet go through the discomfort of all the tests and squeezings as they probe for a cause.

I will miss my Cindy forever.
I am so sorry for you and your Cindy! God bless you for all the pain and suffering you and your dog went through.  I understand you completely, several years ago I lost my Great Dane , we did two surgeries, and she still died. You did everything right, but the pain of loosing is terrible, I still fill it.
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