What would cause a lung calcification? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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What would cause a lung calcification?

My 6 year old cat Random just went to see the vet today because over the weekend he developed a cough. At first I thought he was trying to hack up a hairball, but he persisted doing it over and over and did not cough anything up. I then noticed that his breathing seemed a little more rapid and shallow than normal. He's still eating and drinking fine though.

The vet took a chest x-ray and said that he saw inflammation in the bronchioles and calcifications in one lung. I'm a bit panicky, what could cause this? He said it was unusual and he's overnighting the x-ray to a skilled radiologist to look at. I should have answers in a couple of days but I was just wondering in the interim if anyone has experience with this?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 09:54 PM
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Looks like your going to have to teach us what you learn from it, thanks for posting what you have,

and let us know what happens next.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Well so far I've learned that this is a generally benign issue. He said that lung calcifications are generally caused by some kind of brief infection or airborne invader that the lung reacted negatively against. It could also be allergy-induced.

The vet gave me Prednisone to give to Random twice per day and it seems to be helping. He's definitely coughing less but he is still coughing. His breathing is better but it's still a little more rapid and shallow than normal. He's eating and playing normally though so that's great.

So, I'm supposed to keep an eye on him this week and bring him back in next week to get re-evaluated and another chest x-ray to see how things look. My concern is that the Prednisone is just masking symptoms and that the problem isn't going away but I hope that I'm wrong.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 12:20 PM
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good point about masking symptoms,

you could call on a different Vet and see if they would also seek the same treatment.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh wow, thanks for the link to the article, I had no idea!! How do you find out which litters are dust free, will the packaging specify?

I was thinking before I would like to have his bloodwork checked as well, I'm definitely going to ask for that at his checkup next week.

Thank you so much for the feedback!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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The litter is a definate culprit although literally almost anything can cause this.
I've seen slides of human lungs that have calcification from someone aspirating a tiny bit of food. The lung sort of encapsulates it.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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jennifer2 - What happens to lungs you've seen when they aspirate a little bit of food into them? Does it usually just go away on it's own and is it fairly non-threatening?

Meowmie - thank you very much for the litter suggestion! I'm going to try out Precious Cat next time I'm at the store.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 07:44 PM
 
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Usually when I see a lung slide, the person is deceased. When I've seen the calcifications, my boss (a pathologist) said that usually the person wouldn't even know it was there. In most cases it is something that has been inhaled that is too large for the cells to "eat" so the lung just sort of encases it to protect itself. I suspect that if you got a lot of them, you'd have some symptoms, but just a stray one here and there, no.
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