A two-year old, 38kg-wt male Labrador was presented for management because of progressive exercise intolerance. At presentation, rectal temperature was 38.5oC, pulse rate was135 beats per minute (but weak). There was ascites along with oedema of the extremities. The heart sound was muffled and pulsus paradoxus was very mild. The patient was well hydrated. Thoracic radiography revealed a globoid shaped heart occupying most of the equatorial thoracic volume; there was loss of details of cardiac silhouette and there was dorsal deviation of trachea at carina. Ultrasonography revealed a distinct epicardium, pericardium and a very wide anechoic space in between. Blood picture was within normal findings. Idiopathic chronic pericardial effusion was diagnosed. Ultrasound-guided pericardiocentesis was carried out using a 16 gauge over the needle catheter attached to a 3-way stopcock and a 20mls syringe; about 65mls of clear effusate was aspirated. Laboratory analysis of the effusate revealed that it was a transudate. The patient was placed on 3mg/kg furosemide, twice daily for 5 days and the patient returned to gradual exercise during hospitalization. Oedema of the extremities and ascities decreased, the appetite improved and the dog became more active. Thoracic radiography fourth week post pericardiocentesis revealed a normal cardiac silhouette. The cause of pericardial effusion was not known.
Idiopathic, pericardial-effusion, pericardiocentesis, transudate, ultrasound-guided.