Use of Omentum as a Physiologic Drain for Treatment of Chylothorax in a Dog


  • Address reprint requests to John M. Williams, MA, Small Animal Teaching Hospital, The University of Liverpool, Crown St, Liverpool, L7 7EX, UK.


Objectives— To describe a novel technique for the surgical treatment of idiopathic chylothorax in a dog.

Animals— A 6-year-old, male Rhodesian Ridgeback, which presented with a history of reduced exercise tolerance and dyspnea.

Methods— Idiopathic chylothorax was diagnosed. Intermittent pleural drainage failed to resolve the problem. During surgery, extensive pleural fibrosis made it impossible to identify the thoracic duct. A dorsal omental pedicle was advanced through an incision in the diaphragm and into the cranial thoracic cavity to act as a physiological drain.

Results— The dog recovered well and has remained free from clinical signs of recurrence of the effusion (16 months at the time of writing).

Conclusions— The disease-free interval achieved in this dog indicates that this novel technique is worthy of further consideration in the management of idiopathic chylothorax.