Upper airway diseases/obstruction are relatively common causes of respiratory distress in dogs and cats. However, because lung parenchymal diseases are more frequently observed, upper airway problems may be overlooked. In order to fully appreciate upper airway disease, it is essential to be familiar with the structure, function, and common abnormalities.
Definitive diagnosis of pulmonary disease remains elusive at times. Cytological or histopathological samples are useful to help better classify the underlying cause as well as determine both prognosis and treatment course. Thus, it is prudent for the criticalist to have a strong grasp of the various techniques and options available for sampling.
Respiratory distress is common and challenging. Cats often compensate well for pulmonary diseases, and some conditions can rapidly fulminate. Dogs are often more "honest" although they can decompensate rapidly as well. It is crucial to balance the equal goals of limiting stress on the patient with respiratory distress, and to work to identify the specific cause of the distress so that appropriate therapy can be provided.
Pneumothorax is defined as free air in the pleural space. Normal intra-pleural pressure is about - 5 cmH20, which means that in order to equilibrate pressures, air from either the atmosphere, or the lung will equilibrate rapidly with the pleural space. Pneumothorax can be further characterized as traumatic, spontaneous and iatrogenic.
The purpose of this lecture is to review the management of pyothorax in cats and dogs. Pulmonary infection can result from bacterial, viral, fungal or protozoal infection, however, pyothorax is almost uniformly bacterial. The pleural space has a small amount of fluid normally (~ 5 ml) which serves as lubrication for the pulmonary parenchyma.
Tracheal stenting has been recently re-introduced as an approach to management of severe tracheal collapse. Severe tracheal collapse is life-threatening and while extra-thoracic collapse may be amenable to extra-luminal prosthetic rings, intra-thoracic collapse is not.
Traumatic thoracic injuries are prevalent in small animals, particularly in dogs. The most common causes of thoracic trauma are motor vehicular accidents and bite wounds. Other possible, although less common mechanisms include gunshot, knife wounds or being kicked by a larger animal (horse/cow). Injuries may range from mild to life threatening.
The history of canine influenza virus began with the identification of infections in racing greyhounds, directing research that defined canine influenza virus (CIV), a variant of equine influenza virus with a unique genetic signature capable of being transmitted from dog to dog.