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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33787
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My 14 year old yorkie has been diagnosed with Emphysema. The

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My 14 year old yorkie has been diagnosed with Emphysema. The vet has prescribed anti biotics and a brocho dialator tablet each day. The dog has a heart murmur (which has not worsened over the years apparently) otherwise seems well. What is the likely prognosis for him?

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Gill, emphysema is a synonym for the finding of a bulla(e) - an air-filled space within the pulmonary parenchyma that arises from alveolar distention or destruction of alveolar walls and/or a bleb(s) - an accumulation of air within the layers of tissue that comprise the pleura. The prognosis for these patients is highly variable because animals with emphysema can be clinically normal or, conversely, a bulla or bleb might rupture causing spontaneous pneumothorax (free air in the thoracic/chest cavity) and respiratory distress. Treatment involves improving respiratory function and oxygenation as Sammy's vet has prescribed in the form of the bronchodilator. Long-term resolution is best done by removing bullae or blebs but that isn't reasonable at Sammy's age. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. The vet didn;t say which type it was and didn't suggest removal. As you say, its not feasible at Sammys age. Will Sammy be panicked or in any discomfort do you think?

Should pneumothorax arise, yes, he would become acutely stressed and in need of supplemental oxygen and thoracocentesis - removal of the escaped air in his thoracic cavity. You're quite welcome. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How would I know if this happens?

His respiratory rate would increase over 30 breaths per minute. He would appear anxious and fearful. He wouldn't be able to lie down because doing so collapses the lungfields on the dependent side limiting his ability to expand his lungs. He would need the attention of his vet at your earliest convenience.

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you for your help.

You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.