Chylothorax in cats: 37 cases (1969-1989). Academic Article uri icon


  • Case records of 37 cats with chylothorax examined at 2 institutions were retrospectively evaluated. Dyspnea and coughing were the most common abnormalities noticed by the owners, and most cats were dyspneic on initial examination. There was no statistically significant difference in the gender distribution of cats studied when compared with reference populations; however, purebred cats appeared to be overrepresented in the study population. Four of the cats had unilateral pleural effusion (2 left side, 2 right side) and 9 cats had effusions that were primarily, but not exclusively, on the right side. Surgery was performed on 20 cats. Fifteen cats underwent thoracic duct or cisterna chyli ligation; 20% had complete resolution of pleural fluid. There was no significant difference in the survival rate of cats that underwent thoracic duct ligation and those that were treated by other means. Six cats had mesenteric lymphangiography performed; 2 cats had normal results, and the remainder had various degrees of thoracic lymphangiectasia. Two cats in which pleuroperitoneal shunts were placed and 2 of 3 cats that underwent pleurodesis were euthanatized or died after surgery.

author list (cited authors)

  • Fossum, T. W., Forrester, S. D., Swenson, C. L., Miller, M. W., Cohen, N. D., Boothe, H. W., & Birchard, S. J.

citation count

  • 60

publication date

  • February 1991