Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pneumothorax

Contributor(s): Theresa Dye, Richard B Ford

Introduction

  • Presence of air in pleural space.
  • Cause: trauma, eg hit by car (HBC/RTA); spontaneous or secondary to other disease.
  • Signs: respiratory distress.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, thoracocentesis.
  • Treatment: removal of free air from pleural space.
  • Prognosis: always guarded initially as very volatile situation with sudden deterioration possible.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Trauma, especially road traffic accident.
  • Penetrating thoracic wound.
  • Spontaneous.
  • Over enthusiastic ventilation during anesthesia.
  • Pulmonary cysts.
  • Lung abscess.
  • Abscess due to tumor necrosis.
  • Acute necrotizing pneumonia Lung: bacterial pneumonia.
  • Iatrogenic.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Large deep-chested dogs may be predisposed to spontaneous pneumothorax.

Pathophysiology

  • Rib fracture, thoracic wall damage → damage to visceral pleura, thoracic wall, diaphragm → air enters pleural space → reduced lung expansion.
  • Ruptured bleb or alveolar tissue in lung acts as one-way valve → air leaks into, and is trapped within, the pleural cavity → supra-atmospheric air pressure → lung pushed to side and chest wall bulge =tension pneumothorax.
  • The mechanism behind spontaneous pneumothorax is the rupture of the bulla or bleb.
  • It is not known why the bulla/bleb forms.

Timecourse

  • Acute.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Valentine A, Smeak D, Allen D, Mauterer J & Minihan A (1996) Spontaneous pneumothorax in dogsComp Cont Ed Pract Vet 18 (1), 53-62 VetMedResource.
  • Holtsinger R H, Beale B S & Bellah J R et al (1993) Spontaneous pneumothorax in the dog - retrospective analysis of 21 cases. JAAHA 29 (3), 195-210 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Valentine A K & Smeak D (2000)Pneumothorax in the dog.In:Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XIII.Ed: J D Bonagura. Philadelphia: W B Saunders & Co. pp 825-827.


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