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Pyothorax in dogs - clinical signs, diagnosis and therapeutic recommendations
Clinical presentation of canine pyothorax can be delayed and nonspecific. Fever, dyspnea and weight loss are the most common and often non diagnostic physical examination findings.

Diagnosis is made with radiographic findings and analysis of aspirated pleural fluid. Pleural infections have a high prevalence of polymicrobic infections. The diagnosis of pyothorax is made by cytologic evaluation and culture of pleural fluid.
Eighty percent of specimens from dogs with anaerobic infections contain both obligate anaerobes and aerobic bacteria. Antibiotic therapy without drainage and lavage is ineffective for pyothorax. Mortality is higher in patients treated with multiple thoracocenteses and antibiotics than in those treated with tube thoracostomy.

Excessive delays in treatment can result in serious pulmonary dysfunction and may necessitate surgical intervention.

Prognosis for canine pyothorax is fair to good with early diagnosis and aggressive medical and/or surgical treatment. Working dogs appear to be more predisposed to developing pyothorax secondary to grass awn migration.


Source: Scott, J. A.; Macintire, D. K. (2003): Canine Pyothorax: Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis, and Treatment. In: Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine
Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practising Veterinarian, 2003, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 180-195






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