Pleural Effusion

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Pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity around the lungs and heart. It occurs as a result of an impairment in circulation, in cats with left heart failure, and in cats and dogs with biventricular heart failure. Pleural effusion can cause significant difficulty breathing, and cause your pet to act very distressed or lethargic. It is diagnosed by radiology or echocardiography.

Aspirating the fluid from the chest with a needle and syringe (thoracocentesis) is a therapeutic measure which often improves the pet’s condition dramatically. The fluid may also be submitted for cellular analysis (cytology) to determine the type of fluid and the cause of the effusion (heart failure, infection, neoplasia).

Definitive treatment of pleural effusion due to heart failure requires medical management of the cardiac disease.

24 Hour Emergency & Specialty

Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty

Natick, MA 01760
508.319.2117

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Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital

Latham, NY 12110
518.785.1094

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Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Woburn, MA 01801
781.932.5802

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Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

Portsmouth, NH 03801
603.433.0056

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SAVES

Lebanon, NH 03766
603.306.0007

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General Practice, Emergency & Specialty

Bulger Veterinary Hospital

North Andover, MA 01845
ER: 978.725.5544 GP: 978.682.9905

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