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CAUDAL VENA CAVA KINKING IN DOGS WITH ASCITES

Authors

  • Augusta Pelosi,

  • Joseph K. Prinsen,

  • George E. Eyster,

  • William Schall,

  • N. Bari Olivier

    Corresponding author
    • From the Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to N. Bari Olivier, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314. E-mail: olivier@cvm.msu.edu

Abstract

A 9-year-old dog with spontaneous ascites was found to have hepatic vein distension and a tortuous vena cava on abdominal ultrasound. In right lateral recumbency, the caudal vena cava crossed the diaphragm and became kinked before entering into the right atrium. Following this observation, we performed an experimental study in a normal dog to determine whether kinking of the caudal vena cava could be the result and not the cause of ascites. Ascites was induced using warm saline injected through a needle inserted into the abdominal cavity. Venograms were collected from different body positions, under four conditions: before and after a total of one, two and 3 liters of saline had been injected. Caudal vena cava kinking was observed in the experimental dog after 2 liters of fluid had been injected. Vena cava obstruction may cause ascites, but we found that sometimes caudal vena cava kinking can be the result and not the cause of the peritoneal effusion.

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