Thursday, June 23, 2011

Signs of Aspiration Pneumonia


Sidney has had AP once when he was first diagnosed with MegaE. Luckily, we haven't had it again yet.

There is no one, or single combination of Aspiration Pneumonia (AP).

Below are some things to watch for.

Signs of aspiration pneumonia include:
LETHARGY
ELEVATED TEMP
COUGH
HEAVY BREATHING (SOMETIMES NO COUGHING)
LOSS OF APPETITE
TREMBLING
YAWNING EXCESSIVELY


Many dogs only show one of the signs - for instance, Sidney didn't cough or have a temp, but he was refusing to eat his food. Often, when we suspect something is not quite right with Sidney, we are correct... you have to trust your gut instincts. I've read that many of these dogs have NORMAL temperatures, and, in fact, normal blood counts (not all, obviously). And, most "sound" okay when the Vet listens with a stethoscope.

The ONLY way to definitely tell is with x-rays (3 views ideal) - not just listening to the lungs which may sound clear - and you need to see a vet immediately if you suspect AP since this is ultimately the most dangerous element of Canine Megaesophagus. Additionally, to make the Vet's job a little harder, the x-ray changes may not show up for 1-3 days after the dog gets sick. So, it takes a pretty astute owner and Vet to pick up early AP.

With MegaE dogs, they are usually on antibiotics for 3-4 weeks and usually 2 different types of antibiotics (such as Baytril and Clavamox). However for us, we just had Sidney on Clavamox.

With MegaE dogs you want to hit the AP hard and fast! Not only DON'T wait until the next day; don't wait at all. Take them to an ER, if necessary.

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