A case of a profuse pleural effusion in a Border Collie

Buddy, an 8 month old Border Collie male dog, was referred to us with acute respiratory disease cause by a profuse pleural effusion. The referring colleagues drained 800ml of bloody fluid prior to referral. Routine haematology and biochemistry were performed and a further 600ml of fluid was drained from the chest and analysed. It proved to be a modified transudate.  A presumptive diagnosis of a diaphragmatic hernia with part of the liver and some intestines in the thoracic cavity was made by the medicine team following thoracic radiography and ultrasonography.

Buddy was transferred at this point to the surgical department. Now stable, we proceeded to a general anaesthetic and an open abdominal approach. The diaphragmatic hernia was confirmed and after careful direction of the adherences, the liver and the intestines were replaced into the abdomen. The diaphragmatic hernia was closed and a chest drain was placed as a preventive measure. A seal was obtained after we drained the chest with the help of the chest drain and the abdomen was closed routinely.

The dog made a good recovery post-surgery. After a night of hospitalisation, the chest drain was removed and Buddy was sent home back to his normal self.

Following discharge, the owner told us that Buddy ran after some sheep and bashed himself on a tractor wheel 2 weeks before, and with hindsight he thought most of the problems started from there!

Pre surgery

Post surgery with chest drain