Last month we talked about how to determine if your effusion was septic. This time, let’s look into further evaluation of effusion samples.

PCV tubes
PCV tubes.

If the effusion is haemorrhagic, here are some things to look out for.

Real or iatrogenic origin?

  • Blood rapidly defibrinates in cavities – so if it clots, it is iatrogenic.
  • If it swirls during collection, it is more likely to be iatrogenic.

Is it acute or chronic?

  • Compare PCV/total protein (TP) to peripheral. If sample PCV/TP = peripheral blood PCV/TP then a recent bleed is most likely the cause.
  • Always run a PCV/TP on haemorrhagic effusions – don’t always assume it is from a large haemorrhage. Effusions with low PCVs (for example, 5) can look like frank blood.
  • If sample PCV is low, but TP the same as peripheral blood, the bleed is likely chronic.
  • If erythrophagocytosis is present, it is chronic. Look for macrophages, containing dark brown to green pigments, in your smear.
  • Assess for the presence of clumped platelets. These can mean intravascular sampling or a very acute bleed.

Gerardo Poli is the author of The MiniVet Guide to Companion Animal Medicine – now available in the UK.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

Mick Millar details his experience of examining a dead adult female African elephant.

13 mins

David Rendle discusses the risk factors and methods of prevention for this condition, which mainly affects performance horses.

23 mins

Emergency and critical care superstar Louise O'Dwyer looks at the veterinary nurse’s role in pre-anaesthesia planning.

10 mins

Elisabetta Mancinelli examines how to manage this species by assessing its natural behaviour and interaction with other animals.

27 mins

Elisabetta Mancinelli describes methods and locations to obtain blood, and volumes considered safe to withdraw in small exotics.

24 mins

Kit Sturgess discusses various investigative strategies and methods of therapy for canine patients presenting with either an abnormally low or high blood pressure.

26 mins