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Budd–Chiari-like syndrome in a dog with a chondrosarcoma of the thoracic wall


Address correspondence and reprint requests to:
Dr. Megan F. Whelan, Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536. E-mail:


Objective: To describe a dog with Budd–Chiari-like syndrome secondary to caudal vena cava compression from a thoracic wall chondrosarcoma.

Case summary: A 9-year-old spayed female Shetland Sheepdog cross with a recent history of non-productive cough developed severe abdominal distension and dyspnea. Marked ascites and enlarged hepatic veins were identified with ultrasonography. At surgery, a right thoracic wall mass was found to be compressing the caudal vena cava. Fluid analysis of the ascites revealed a modified transudate with elevated protein concentration, consistent with Budd–Chiari-like syndrome. Clinical signs resolved following thoracotomy and complete resection of the mass.

New or unique information provided: Obstruction of venous blood flow can result from compression exerted by a space-occupying thoracic wall mass on the caudal vena cava. Clinical resolution can be achieved with return of adequate venous circulation by removal of the mass and alleviation of the external pressure.