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Objective

To determine signalment, diagnoses, presence of effusions in multiple sites, and outcome in cats with peritoneal effusion.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

65 cats.

Procedure

Medical records from 1981 to 1997 were reviewed to obtain information on cats with peritoneal effusion identified on physical examination, radiographs, abdominal ultrasonograms, or at necropsy.

Results

Conditions most commonly associated with peritoneal effusion in cats, in order of frequency, were cardiovascular disease, neoplasia, hepatic disease, renal disease, feline infectious peritonitis, peritonitis attributable to other causes, and urinary tract trauma. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) was the most common disease associated with peritoneal effusion; however, DCM was diagnosed in most of these cats before taurine deficiency was found to be a primary cause of this form of cardiomyopathy in cats. Neoplasia was the most common cause after 1987. Right-sided congestive heart failure was the most commonly associated disorder in cats < 1 year old, whereas neoplastic disease was more common with increasing age. Most effusions were detected during the initial physical examination and were modified transudates. Peritoneal effusion was commonly accompanied by fluid accumulation elsewhere, particularly pleural effusion. The prognosis for a cat with abdominal effusion in this study was poor (mean survival time, 21 days; range, 1 to 350 days; median, 2.5 days).

Clinical Implications

The primary differential diagnosis for peritoneal effusion in cats is neoplastic disease in older cats and right-sided heart failure in kittens. Diseases associated with peritoneal effusion generally have poor prognoses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:375–381)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary:

Case records of 9 dogs and 5 cats with eosinophilic effusions were reviewed. The animals ranged from 11 months to 13 years old. Seven animals had pleural effusions, 5 had peritoneal effusions, and 2 had pleural and peritoneal effusions.

Neoplasia was confirmed in 6 animals and suspected in 1. Eosinophilic pleural effusion was diagnosed 2 days after pneumothorax developed as a consequence of thoracic tube placement in a cat, and pneumothorax was diagnosed in another cat with eosinophilic peritoneal effusion. Other abnormalities seen in 1 or 2 animals associated with eosinophilic effusion were radiographic signs of interstitial or peribronchial pulmonary infiltrates, a history of allergic respiratory tract and skin disease, intestinal lymphangiectasia and lung lobe torsion, chylothorax, bite wounds causing intestinal perforation, and feline leukemia virus infection.

Based only on the protein concentration of the effusion, 7 effusions were classified as transudates and 7 were classified as exudates. Five of the 14 animals had eosinophilia (> 1,200 eosinophils/μl); 3 of these animals had neoplastic disease. Mean eosinophil count in blood samples was not significantly different between animals with neoplasia and those without. Eosinophil counts in blood samples were not linearly related to counts in effusions; however, in some animals the number of eosinophils in the effusion was much higher than the eosinophil count in blood, suggesting concentration of eosinophils in the effusion.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary:

In this study, we found that the rate at which radiographically diagnosed simultaneous pleural and peritoneal effusions (double effusions [de]) developed was highest in dogs and cats with infectious causes of pleuritis and/or peritonitis and in those with pancreatitis. However, de were observed more frequently in dogs and cats with neoplastic and cardiovascular diseases. Nonneoplastic liver disease was also documented as a cause of de in the population of this study. Frequency of de was increased in males and in animals > 6 years old. The finding of simultaneous pleural and peritoneal effusions can be considered an indicator of disease severity, and warrants a poor to grave prognosis.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the usefulness of a veterinary point-of-care glucometer for identification of septic peritonitis in dogs with peritoneal effusion (PE).

Design—Prospective clinical evaluation.

Animals—39 dogs with PE.

Procedures—Blood and peritoneal fluid convenience samples were collected concurrently in all dogs at the time of initial evaluation. A veterinary point-of-care glucometer was used to measure glucose concentration in heparinized whole blood, plasma, peritoneal fluid, and peritoneal fluid supernatant samples. Seventeen dogs had confirmed septic peritonitis, and 22 dogs had nonseptic PE. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and accuracy of identification of dogs with septic peritonitis were calculated for glucose concentration differences for whole blood versus peritoneal fluid (WB-PF), plasma versus peritoneal fluid (P-PF), and plasma versus peritoneal fluid supernatant (P-PFS).

Results—With a cutoff of > 20 mg/dL, the glucose concentration difference for WB-PF was an insensitive indicator of septic peritonitis (sensitivity, 41.2%; specificity, 100%). In comparison, the glucose concentration differences for P-PF and P-PFS had a higher sensitivity for septic peritonitis (88.2% and 82.4%, respectively) but a lower specificity (80% and 77.8%, respectively). With a glucose concentration difference cutoff of ≥ 38 mg/dL, specificity, positive predictive value, and accuracy of P-PF and P-PFS improved.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Determination of the glucose concentration difference for WB-PF with the veterinary point-of-care glucometer was not useful in identifying all dogs with septic peritonitis. A glucose concentration difference of ≥ 38 mg/dL for P-PF or P-PFS, however, supported an accurate diagnosis of septic peritonitis in dogs with PE.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abdominal ultrasonographic images of the cat. A—A large amount of peritoneal effusion can be observed (F). The bilateral uterine horns were distended and filled with echogenic fluids. B—The left pancreas between the stomach and spleen was irregularly

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

transabdominal ultrasonography. b This revealed microhepatica, dilated intrahepatic and mesenteric vasculature, an estimated large volume of peritoneal effusion, and aberrant vessels (most evident caudal to the left kidney). Splenomegaly and a scant amount of

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

cases, is associated with diseases causing ascites, most commonly cirrhosis. 9,10 Patients may complain of abdominal pain and often have increased temperature and decreased gastrointestinal motility. 2,9 Peritoneal effusion analysis that reveals a

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

pressure of < 60 mm Hg. Additional information collected, if available, included CBC data, PT, PTT, and findings on ultrasonography of gallbladder wall edema, peritoneal effusion, and other effusion characteristics. Initial treatment, defined as those

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association