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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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What are the symptoms of a punctured lung in a dog

Resolved Question:

What are the symptoms of a punctured lung in a dog?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
Hello.

A punctured lung will cause air to leak out and fill up the area around the lungs leading to lung compression and collapse. This makes oxygenation difficult and the gums appear a blue/ white color as opposed to pink. They also have labored breathing and will struggle to catch their breath. It's an emergency if this is seen.

The limping and swelling sounds more like trauma from something. If still putting weight on the leg, then you can give Aspirin at a dose of 5 mg per lb every 12-24 hours. You can also ice the area 2-3 times daily to help the swelling go down.

If no improvement over 2-3 days, then I would get him seen and make sure it's not more serious.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Gums and tongue nice light pink. When gum pressed, turns white and comes back to pink immediately. If his lung is punctured, it has to be small, the labored breathing only started a couple hours ago, with injury 36 hours ago. I've treated him with a multi-module pain and swelling meds (aspirin 650mg/vicodin-motrin 7.5/200). He was able to move about more freely after 5 hours of rest this morning. I've given him milk and soaked his food in warm milk tonight, which I've never done before. He drank all the juice but not much food, though he had a regular appetite throughout the day. His breathing, though labored, is not rapid; still the same slow breathing he does. There is no punctures and no fractures, though I can't say for sure if a rib is partially fractured under the shoulder bone (poss causing puncture). He's walking, but slow, oddly favoring his right back leg, though when manipulated, no pain, when I pick up his left back leg, he stands on the right back ok. Seems like a weight distribution, muscle tiredness thing, but not sure. All in all, he sounds like someone who has phlegm in his throat when breathing, though he seems to be getting 75% use of lungs. His chest and rib cage are expanding as should, just seems a bit labored or slightly painful. I await your opinion. Thanks much. Pam
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks.

It doesn't sound like a punctured lung. It sounds like he's juat sore/ painful causing this breathing pattern. It wouldn't hurt to get x-rays just to make sure though.

Do not give any more Motrin or Aspirin. The combination of Motrin and Aspirin can cause ulcers in the GI tract and kidney failure in dogs. Motrin is not well tolerated in dogs. Aspirin is ok, but not with Motrin.

If he continues to not use the leg with rest for 5-7 days, then I would have him seen and make sure it's not an ACL tear in the knee. This can cause a non-weight bearing lameness and it's very common in dogs. Surgery is needed to stabilize the knee if that is the case.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

Ref the pain meds. I've always given aspirin, though I talked to a local vet which said vicodin(meaning vicodin apap is ok in small doses (10/325- 1/2pill), but also said motrin was ok in small doses too. I don't have any tramadol, but do have Gabapentin. Will this relieve pain in this situation? I asssumed Gaba was for more Neuro pain. I've given him a reg benadryl to keep him calm and allow him to sleep. Please let me know your recomm for adjusting pain med/Nsaids. I am using ice off and on all day, and it's worked average/good.
Thanks much.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 years ago.
The only over the counter pain med I recommend is Aspirin. Vicodin and Motrin are ok in small doses, but Motrin + Aspirin is a potentially lethal combination. I also hesitate with Tylenol as it can cause some serious problems with oxygenation and the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen.

Gabapentin is a good pain med. I give this quite frequently and it's very safe. The dose range is from 3-10 mg per kg (1.5-5 mg per lb) every 12 hours. It is better for nerve pain/ herniated discs but it works well for many types of pain.

Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17049
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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