Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pleuritis

Synonym(s): Pleurisy

Introduction

  • Rare finding in companion animal medicine.
  • Cause: inflammation of the pleura.
  • Signs: dyspnea, tachypnea, pyrexia, depression.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, thoracocentesis and cytology.
  • Prognosis: good to guarded depending on etiology.

Pathogenesis

Etiology


Primary causes
  • Tuberculosis Pulmonary tuberculosis.
  • Actinomycosis.
  • Nocardiosis.
  • Trauma or infection due to bite wound or pleural foreign body.
  • Mesothelioma Mesothelioma.
  • Tumors within visceral or parietal pleura (physical abrasion → exudation).
  • Hematogenous spread of infection from other sites.
  • Auto-immune disease.
  • Irradiation (thoracic radiotherapy).
  • Canine infectious hepatitis Liver: chronic hepatitis.
  • Leptospirosis Leptospirosis.
  • Idiopathic.
Secondary causes

Pathophysiology

  • Initially pleural inflammation results in a non-effusive pleuritis.
  • Pain is generated as the visceral and perietal pleural layers rub against one another during the respiratory cycle.
  • Rapidly progresses to a serous pleuritis.
  • The pleura become thickened and the production of a fluid effusion helps the surfaces to glide more easily.
  • Bacterial pleuritis may progress to effusive pyothorax.
  • Following inflammation the pleura may become scarred and fibrosed.
  • The fibrosis makes the pleura rigid and this results in constrictive pleuritis in which the lungs are unable to expand normally.
  • If the pleura are drained in this situation, rupture of the visceral pleura may occur and a pneumothorax may develop.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Fossum T W, Evering W N, Miller M W, Forrester S D, Palmer D R & Hodges C C (1992) Severe bilateral fibrosing pleuritis associated with chronic chylothorax in five cats and two dogs. JAVMA 201 (2), 317-324 PubMed.


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