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fluid on lungs

August 24th, 2007, 03:59 PM
My 8 year old cat was having trouble breathing, so I took her to the vet, and the xray show fluid on the lungs. They are not sure of the cause. She is on medication to help remove the fluid, but it probably won't cure her. She is doing alot better, but the new xray still show fluid. They have mentioned other possible tests. Any advice or suggestions?

August 24th, 2007, 05:49 PM
Was his blood drawn for testing? Did the vet have any ideas about what the problem could be?
Is your cat eating and drinking OK?
Fluid on the lungs is usually pretty serious, that's all I know.
:fingerscr that I'm wrong.

August 24th, 2007, 06:36 PM
Sorry to hear about your cat's lung problems. The Cornell University website has some info on feline lung ailments that you might want to check out:

Another comparatively common lung condition, pleural effusion, occurs not within the lung but in the space between the outer surface of the lungs and the inner surface of the chest cavity, both lined by a thin tissue called the pleura. A wide variety of causes - including heart failure, kidney disease, infection, cancer and traumatic injury to the airways - result in the buildup of fluid within the pleural cavity, the pressure of which compresses the lungs and inhibits their expanding and contracting. This, in turn, causes shortness of breath, chest pains, fever, and several other serious problems.

Along with asthma and bronchitis, says Dr. Goldstein, the most common feline lung diseases overall are those resulting in pleural effusion. They include: - pyothorax, a bacterial infection of the chest;
- feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), the result of a specific viral infection that may cause fluid to build up within the abdominal and/or chest cavities;
- chylothorax, an accumulation of a fatty fluid (chyle) in the chest;
- lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphoid tissue; and
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition resulting in the excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues and cavities.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When a cat that is experiencing respiratory distress is brought to a clinic, the veterinary personnel on hand will, of course, attempt to discern which of the various lung ailments is responsible - but not before treating the animal's potentially deadly breathing difficulty. Says Dr. Goldstein: "By the time a cat is in an emergency situation, we have to treat first and diagnose later because it is very, very fragile. Stress is the last thing that you want to cause in an animal with significant respiratory disease. So after a brief cursory exam, we will put the cat on oxygen and give medications or sedatives as needed. Sometimes, we will not touch it at all - we'll let it calm down a little bit."

When the cat's respiratory crisis appears to have passed, it will usually be treated "presumptively," says Dr. Goldstein, for one of the two most common lung conditions. The animal will receive steroids if asthma seems to be the problem. Or if pleural effusion is suspected, fluid will be drained from its chest. Only after the cat has stabilized will an exclusionary diagnosis - utilizing X-rays, blood tests, and a fecal examination - be undertaken to definitively identify the source of the respiratory distress, following which an appropriate treatment plan will be established.

I wish you and your kitty all the best and I hope they find out what the problem is. Let us know what the results are.

August 24th, 2007, 08:01 PM
I am sorry to hear about your kitty, I think sugarcatmom gave you some good info. My first thought with fluid in the lungs is either respiratory infection or some sort of heart failure. What tests did your vet suggest? Did the xrays show an enlarged heart? I have found that making a list of questions I have before I talk to the vet helps me to make sure I get all my questions answered. I would ask your vet what he or she thinks and where you should go from there. I recently lost my dog and her illness was very difficult for me but this forum was very helpful. I hope you are able to find some answers and some relief for your baby.

August 24th, 2007, 10:02 PM
:pray: :grouphug:

August 25th, 2007, 01:00 PM
Thank you for all your good wishes and all the info, it has been very helpful. I feel better knowing more about the situation and I can be better prepared with a list of questions for my vet. Also, thanks for responding so quickly.
A little more detail about her: She is eating and drinking just fine, although she is very skinny, but that's the way she's always been, she eats more than the others, but she's the tiny one (I guess that could be a symptom of something she's had all her life, like a heart problem). She is now on a high calory diet, as per the vet. She breaths faster than the other cats and she doesn't run around as much, but aside from that, she's acting normally, playing and cuddling( a lot, I'm very lucky:cat: ). She is taking furosemide to help remove the fluid and also Prednisone(steroid).
Now we have to do more tests, but I'm wondering about the risks about certain tests like a lung puncture to take a sample of the fluid, how dangerous is the test itself? And then possibly installing a drain. Does anyone have an idea of the risks involved?

Thanks again for all you help and caring
:ca: :cat: