View Full Version : Vet is puzzled after problems with a dental -- swollen throat and liquid in lungs

28th August 2010, 04:07 PM
My tri-color, Puppers, went to the Vet yesterday for a dental cleaning. We're not sure how old Puppers is as we adopted her. We think she is going on 8 years old.

Puppers has had few health problems, but even with brushing her teeth have been bad and it was past time for a dental. When I called the vet I was told that they had not been able to clean her teeth as they could not insert a tube in her throat for the anesthesia. Her throat was swollen and the tube would not go in.

The vet tried a bronchioscope, but the throat was so swollen it only it a blockage. He put in a very small tube which passed to the top of the lungs. The throat was swollen past where she swallows.

From the lungs came a phelgmy liquid with "chunks" of something. He has no idea what these chunks are. He says they look like trachea bits (but aren't) and crumble when you touch them. He sent the stuff off to a lab for pathology.

He gave her penicillin and steroids. He says the results will be in in about a week. Meanwhile Puppers is home and now has a dry hacking cough which seems to scare her at times. The vet said her throat was irritated from the tubes and this was "normal.'

I asked if it was cancer or a bacterial infection and he has no idea. He says he is "puzzled" and "baffled" and has never seen anything like this.

So now we wait and hope. Vet will probably refer us to a specialist but at this point he has no idea what kind of a specialist he would send us to.

Puppers is my 5th Cavalier -- I've had Cavaliers since the 1980s. I've had dogs with MVD and wonder if she has fluid in her lungs from MVD, but that wouldn't explain the chunks and so far no sign of a heart murmur. Vet says lungs sound clear (which is just plain weird).

Any ideas?

28th August 2010, 04:43 PM
It sounds like a form of brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS). Puppers could be overheated, causing swelling of the throat. That does not explain the chunks, however. Once you get the pathology results back, you might want to consult with a specialist.

Where do you live. There are a few specialists who have conducted BAOS research in various countries. Here are a few:

Nick Jeffrey in the UK
Gilles Dupre in France
C. V. Torrez and G. B. Hunt in Australia
Todd W. Riecks, Joseph Taboada, and Stephen J. Birchard in USA

ACVIM is developing a list of sub-specialists, which will include the ear, nose, and throat specialty. Right now, some vets board certified in internal medicine specialize in ear, nose, and throat.

28th August 2010, 04:52 PM

brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS) is a new one on me. I'll have to "look it up."

I live in Central Florida, aka Orlando.

Puppers, like all my Cavaliers before her, gets the occasional snorting from the elongated Cavalier palate. Nothing serious. Perhaps this is jut an abnormality and just means we won't be able to do the dental.

She really needs a dental, though. I've heard of a dentist / vet who does one without putting the dogs to sleep. Perhaps I need to look into that.

When I know more about Pupper's condition I'll post.

28th August 2010, 07:11 PM

brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS) is a new one on me. I'll have to "look it up."

I live in Central Florida, aka Orlando. ...

To save you some time in looking BAOS up, here is a link: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/brachycephalic.htm

There are a couple of board certified internal medicine specialists at a specialty clinic in Maitland, Florida. One of them, Dr. Lisa Moore, holds herself out as specializing in respiratory medicine, which I think is the applicable category to Puppers' symptoms. Dr. Moore's resume is at
http://www.avsspecialists.com/about/doctors_detail.php?specialty=1&doctor=2 This clinic can be very expensive, and I try to avoid going to it except as a last resort.

If one of my dogs had this problem, I would consider contacting the University of Florida vet school at Gainesville -- see http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/veterinary-hospitals/small-animal-hospital/

Since we both live in Orlando, I must tell you that my first choice when dealing with a disorder which stumps the conventional vets is to go to just about the top holistic vet in the United States, who has office hours on most Fridays at a clinic in Winter Park, Florida. For example, his paper, "A Holistic Approach to the Treatment of Cancer" (see http://www.discount-pet-superstore.com/pet_cancer_treatment/images/a_holistic_approach-01.pdf ) is referenced by medical specialists in their research study reports on cancer treatments of humans. But I digress...

Anyway, Dr. Demers' resume and contact information is at the bottom of this webpage: http://www.animalacupuncture.org/our-doctors.html

28th August 2010, 11:34 PM
I'm not sure that she has this. Puppers has never shown any symptoms, and the vet said her lungs sound clear. Neither has she shown any signs of MVD.

She does not breathe through her mouth (as the information for the disease indicates is symptomatic). Neither does she cough or show other symptoms.

She had no symptoms of anything prior to going to the vet yesterday for a dental cleaning. The first 'symptom' was the swollen throat. The Vet said the "chunks" look like trachea but are not (which indicates the trachea is in place).

At this point I'm just waiting until I hear from the Vet next week. Poor Puppers is coughing now (dry cough) and panting -- thanks to the tubes being shoved down her throat. The Vet gave her steroids and antibiotics so here is hoping whatever it is might be an infection that clears up on its own.

30th August 2010, 02:43 PM
Sure sounds strange. Could she have aspirated something some time back? Maybe years ago? Please let us know if your investigations bring back any answers and the very best of luck in figuring out what is going on.

30th August 2010, 05:07 PM
I think I may know what happened. I'm just guessing, but about a month ago Puppers ate some grapes (my bad). I rushed her to the emergency vet and they gave her activated charcoal.

I'm wondering if some of that got into her lungs?

Well, I'm still waiting to hear from vet later this week. Good news is that while she still coughs a bit she is MUCH better. Acting happier, even rolling around on the floor and smiling. I'll let you know what happens.

30th August 2010, 08:51 PM
pleased she seems better

30th August 2010, 11:32 PM
I'm glad she is sounding much better. :)

My father was a specialist in respiratory diseases and told me about really strange things that people might cough up sometimes years and years after they'd accidentally inhaled them. It just made me wonder if there might have been some situation in which something got down into her lungs. Maybe it could be the charcoal if she somehow inhaled it?

2nd September 2010, 02:00 AM
Good news.

The Vet called. Puppers somehow ingested food into her lungs. I'm laying odds it was the activated charcoal from the emergency vet, but my vet would not give an opinion.

The good news is she should be fine. We're going to put her on steroids for a week to ensure the swelling in the throat is gone and then he'll try the dental again. I am much poorer, but at least my dog is going to be fine.

2nd September 2010, 11:56 AM
Oh I am so glad it isn;t something more worrying with greater health implications! You must be very relieved. :flwr:

I think food would make more sense given that it was crumbly -- charcoal would probably not break down in the same way and they could probably via tests tell it was food. Some dogs if they eat really fast might inhale food in this way. The inhaled food could have been in there a very long time, too.

Maybe consider one of those special bowls that force a dog to slow down? Something like this:


It may not be apparent when she eats that she is eating fast enough to inhale food and a bowl like this just makes it take a bit longer and prevents the problem. :)

2nd September 2010, 04:59 PM
So pleased it was nothing too serious and that Puppers will make a full recovery.:flwr: