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Peter Bennett, DVM
Peter Bennett, DVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1306
Experience:  20 years experience as a Small Animal veterinarian
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My Dog just got hit by a car - The vet says he has a tear ...

Resolved Question:

My Dog just got hit by a car - The vet says he has a tear in his lung - Is it still possible he may recover ?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Peter Bennett, DVM replied 10 years ago.
I will give a conditional 'yes' for an answer. But it has the standard qualifications.

Depends on how large it is.

Depends on the cause, and the subsequent treatment.

Depends on the current treatment.

In order to take a breath, the chest cavity must be a closed container. The chest expands, creating a vacuum in it, and air rushes into the lungs. Anything that breaks this vacuum, will decrease the amount of air that can be sucked into the lungs. Remove it completely, and you have a collapsed lung.

There are two ways to break the vacuum. 1) a puncture of the chest wall, like a tooth in a fight. 2) a puncture of the lung, like from a broken rib

The first can be treated by, basically, sealing the external hole and 'pumping' the air out of the chest cavity.

The second is done with the same purpose...sealing the internal hole, and pumping out the air. This is not quite as simple, however. If the tear is a small one, it may seal itself over, and periodic tapping of the air off the chest will suffice. If not, this requires open chest surgery to correct.

If your vet isn't having to tap the chest, this is a great sign.

Can a dog survive on just one lung...if it collapses entirely? No, because the chest cavity is not sealed, one side to the other. Both collapse at the same time.

The rest is up to you.

I hope this answers your question, and best wishes.
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