Tairrie’s Terrible Ordeal

Three-year-old Tairrie, a lovely greyhound suddenly developed rapid and laboured breathing and her concerned owner thought she was suffering from lung worm or kennel cough so she took her to her local vet who referred her straight away to our emergency and critical care team.

Tairrie was diagnosed with a serious and life-threatening breathing disorder called idiopathic chylothorax where the thoracic cavity fills with chylous fluid without a known cause.

Our diagnostic Imaging and Soft Tissue Surgery clinicians were waiting to treat her, as one of only a handful of animal hospitals in the UK that are equipped to carry out the complex surgical procedure. The surgery, a thoracoscopic (keyhole) thoracic duct ligation, was successfully performed by Specialist in Small Animal Surgery Matteo Cantatore.

Tairrie had previously had more than five litres of suspected chylous effusion removed. When she arrived at AMVS even more fluid was removed before the keyhole chest surgery to allow fluid to drain safely away. The pleural fluid volumes rapidly decreased after surgery and Tairrie was quickly back to her normal self.

Her owner said “It was a frightening experience, as had I not taken her to the vets late at night, Tairrie likely would have suffocated in the night. I was very concerned because of complicating factors in Tairrie’s case and the potential for recurrence of the condition after surgery, but it was clear that it was the only option in terms of there being any chance of a successful outcome.”

She added: “Tairrie now has more energy and more confidence, is loving her food and her walks and is enjoying life. When she was at AMVS I felt she was in the best place and in safe hands, and it certainly felt like everyone that I spoke to really cared about Tairrie and doing the best for her.”