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Aust Vet J. 2008 May;86(5):180-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-0813.2008.00284.x.

Ascites due to pre-sinusoidal portal hypertension in dogs: a retrospective analysis of 17 cases.

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School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Western Australia, Australia.


Accumulation of a pure transudate abdominal effusion in the absence of significant hypoalbuminaemia is uncommon in dogs and is due to pre-sinusoidal portal hypertension. Reported causes of pre-sinusoidal portal hypertension vary, but suggest a reasonable prognosis. A retrospective analysis of 17 dogs that presented to our institution with ascites due to pre-sinusoidal portal hypertension identified idiopathic hepatic fibrosis or canine chronic hepatitis as the underlying cause in the majority of cases. Twelve (70.5%) dogs were 4 years of age or younger at time of presentation. Total serum protein was higher in dogs with chronic hepatitis than it was in dogs without inflammatory disease. The prognosis was generally poor and no histological, imaging or biochemical parameters were useful as prognostic indicators. Dogs died or were euthanased due to severe clinical signs associated with the portal hypertension and/or perceived poor prognosis.

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