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Quantification and characterization of pleural fluid in healthy dogs with thoracostomy tubes

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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 4 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 5 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To quantify and characterize pleural fluid collected from healthy dogs after placement of a thoracostomy tube (TT).

ANIMALS 8 healthy Coonhound-cross dogs (mean ± SD weight, 27.2 ± 1.6 kg).

PROCEDURES Thoracic CT of each dog was performed before placement of a TT and daily thereafter for 7 days. Thoracic fluid volume was calculated from CT images. Effusion was aspirated when detected; volume was recorded, and cytologic analysis and bacterial culture were performed.

RESULTS Mean ± SD volume of pleural effusion detected by CT was 1.43 ± 0.59 mL/kg (range, 0.12 to 3.32 mL/kg). Mean volume collected via aspiration was 0.48 ± 0.84 mL/kg (range, 0 to 2.16 mL/kg). Cytologic analysis yielded results consistent with an exudate, characterized by septic suppurative inflammation in 6 dogs and mixed inflammation in 1 dog; there was insufficient volume for analysis in 1 dog. Sufficient volume was obtained for bacterial culture for 6 dogs, which yielded pure growths of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (n = 3) and Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (2) and mixed growth of both of these species (1). The TT was removed before day 7 in 4 dogs because of pyothorax (n = 3) and irreversible damage to the TT (1).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Presence of a TT induced a minimal volume of pleural effusion in healthy dogs. Pyothorax developed in most dogs between 4 and 6 days after TT placement. On the basis of these findings, a TT should be removed by the fourth day after placement, unless complications are detected sooner.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To quantify and characterize pleural fluid collected from healthy dogs after placement of a thoracostomy tube (TT).

ANIMALS 8 healthy Coonhound-cross dogs (mean ± SD weight, 27.2 ± 1.6 kg).

PROCEDURES Thoracic CT of each dog was performed before placement of a TT and daily thereafter for 7 days. Thoracic fluid volume was calculated from CT images. Effusion was aspirated when detected; volume was recorded, and cytologic analysis and bacterial culture were performed.

RESULTS Mean ± SD volume of pleural effusion detected by CT was 1.43 ± 0.59 mL/kg (range, 0.12 to 3.32 mL/kg). Mean volume collected via aspiration was 0.48 ± 0.84 mL/kg (range, 0 to 2.16 mL/kg). Cytologic analysis yielded results consistent with an exudate, characterized by septic suppurative inflammation in 6 dogs and mixed inflammation in 1 dog; there was insufficient volume for analysis in 1 dog. Sufficient volume was obtained for bacterial culture for 6 dogs, which yielded pure growths of Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (n = 3) and Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (2) and mixed growth of both of these species (1). The TT was removed before day 7 in 4 dogs because of pyothorax (n = 3) and irreversible damage to the TT (1).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Presence of a TT induced a minimal volume of pleural effusion in healthy dogs. Pyothorax developed in most dogs between 4 and 6 days after TT placement. On the basis of these findings, a TT should be removed by the fourth day after placement, unless complications are detected sooner.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Sakals (sherissesakals@gmail.com).