Case Study

Signalment:  8 year-old MN DSH

History:  ‘Quicksilver’ presented for progressive abdominal distention.

Physical Exam Findings:  Other than abdominal distention, PE was WNL.  No murmur was auscultable.

Lab Findings:  CBC/chem/T4 were unremarkable.  The patient was tested negative for both FeLV and FIV.  The effusion was characterized as a transudate.

Ultrasound Findings:  Abdominal ultrasound revealed large volume of anechoic effusion with no organ pathology.


Radiographs:  Radiographs were obtained, showing loss of abdominal serosal detail and abdominal distension, indicative of effusion.

What are the differentials for abdominal effusion and in this case, are there any other radiographic abnormalities that may help identify the underlying cause for effusion in this patient?


What’s Your Diagnosis?

1.  Mild cardiomegaly
2.  Increased diameter and tortuosity of caudal vena cava on the lateral view.

side radiograph

Subsequent cardiology consultation and echocardiogram diagnosed unclassified cardiomyopathy with bilateral atrial enlargement and right sided congestive heart failure.