Recognizing and treating pericardial disease - Veterinary Medicine
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Recognizing and treating pericardial disease
The clinical signs of pericardial disease are similar to those of other heart problems whose treatment may conflict with how we treat pericardial effusion. And if tamponade develops, it's a true emergency. Here is the information you need to capably handle these cases, including a step-by-step protocol to perform pericardiocentesis.



The prognosis for a patient with pericardial disease depends on the underlying etiology, varying from excellent to grave. See the discussion under individual etiologies for more detail.


The successful management of pericardial disease in small animals depends on rapidly diagnosing and managing cardiac tamponade, if present. Even a small volume of effusion can significantly impact cardiac output when it leads to cardiac tamponade.

Mark D. Olcott, DVM
Animal Emergency & Critical Care
165 Ft. Evans Road NE
Leesburg, VA 20176

Meg M. Sleeper, VMD, DACVIM (cardiology)
Section of Cardiology
Department of Clinical Studies
Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104


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