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Use of vascular access ports with intrathoracic drains for treatment of pleural effusion in three dogs

Alane K. Cahalane DVM1, James A. Flanders DVM, DACVS2, Michele A. Steffey DVM, DACVS3, and Kenneth M. Rassnick DVM, DACVIM4
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

Case Description—3 dogs (9 to 12 years old) were evaluated because of recurrent pleural effusion that was refractory to treatment of the underlying cause.

Clinical Findings—Dogs were evaluated because of cough, dyspnea, tachypnea, or lethargy or a combination of these clinical signs. Radiography, ultrasonography, or thoracocentesis were used to confirm the presence of pleural fluid in each dog. A neoplastic cause of pleural effusion was confirmed in 2 dogs. In 1 dog, fasciitis of the mediastinum and the left parietal pleura was diagnosed, with no evidence of neoplasia.

Treatment and Outcome—Each dog was anesthestized, and thoracotomy was performed with manual perforation of the mediastinum. Permanent, subcutaneously placed vascular access ports were attached to intrathoracic, Jackson-Pratt drain tubing for repeated drainage of pleural fluid. Drains were used successfully in the 3 dogs for periods of 6 weeks, 11 weeks, and > 3 years.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that subcutaneous vascular access ports attached to intrathoracic drain tubing may be an effective way to remove recurrent pleural effusion in dogs.

Abstract

Case Description—3 dogs (9 to 12 years old) were evaluated because of recurrent pleural effusion that was refractory to treatment of the underlying cause.

Clinical Findings—Dogs were evaluated because of cough, dyspnea, tachypnea, or lethargy or a combination of these clinical signs. Radiography, ultrasonography, or thoracocentesis were used to confirm the presence of pleural fluid in each dog. A neoplastic cause of pleural effusion was confirmed in 2 dogs. In 1 dog, fasciitis of the mediastinum and the left parietal pleura was diagnosed, with no evidence of neoplasia.

Treatment and Outcome—Each dog was anesthestized, and thoracotomy was performed with manual perforation of the mediastinum. Permanent, subcutaneously placed vascular access ports were attached to intrathoracic, Jackson-Pratt drain tubing for repeated drainage of pleural fluid. Drains were used successfully in the 3 dogs for periods of 6 weeks, 11 weeks, and > 3 years.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that subcutaneous vascular access ports attached to intrathoracic drain tubing may be an effective way to remove recurrent pleural effusion in dogs.

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Michael Simmons for the figure illustration.

Address correspondence to Dr. Flanders.