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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1988 Nov 1;193(9):1104-8.

Pancreatic abscess in dogs: six cases (1978-1986).

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.


Pancreatic abscess was diagnosed by exploratory celiotomy in 6 dogs. The most common clinical signs included acute onset of lethargy (n = 5), anorexia (n = 6), vomiting (n = 5), and diarrhea (n = 2). Physical examination revealed pain response to abdominal palpation (n = 5), depression (n = 5), icterus (n = 3), fever (n = 3), and cranial abdominal mass (n = 2). Consistent preoperative clinicopathologic abnormalities included leukocytosis with left shift, observance of toxic neutrophils on the blood smear, hyperlipasemia, hyperamylasemia, hyperbilirubinemia, and increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity. In 5 of 6 dogs, abdominal radiography revealed increased soft tissue density in the cranial portion of the abdomen. Ultrasonography performed on 4 dogs confirmed pancreatic mass. In all dogs, exploratory celiotomy revealed a cavitary pancreatic mass that contained sterile, mucopurulent material. Histopathologic diagnoses included acute necrotizing or chronic-active pancreatitis and steatitis. Two dogs were euthanatized at the time of diagnosis, and the remaining 4 were treated by use of pancreatic debridement(s), open abdominal drainage, and intensive administration of fluids and antibiotics. One dog was euthanatized 4 days after surgery, because of progressive pancreatic abscessation. Three dogs recovered and were discharged.

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