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Thank you for your question about Barney. I am sorry to hear he has this serious problem at such a young age.
I see you went offline!
Did Barney have an ultrasound of the heart to see if there is any evidence of heart disease, or a heart base tumor?
Yes he had an ultra sound scan tonight which showed the fluid . The vet had already told us there could be a tumour somewhere but it hasnt shown on the scan.
Is your veterinarian a general practitioner, or was Barney seen by a veterinary cardiologist?
He was seen by our regular vet who is just a general practitioner.
The most common reason for a dog to have buildup of fluid around the heart, called pericardial effusion, is a tumor on the heart. Was the fluid that was drained sent out for analysis? The cause of the effusion sometimes can be determined by having the fluid looked at by a veterinary pathologist.
Once in a while, especially if no tumor is found, the effusion/fluid is for no apparent reason ("idiopathic" pleural effusion). In that case, surgically removing the pericardium can help.
It would also be a good idea to have his blood pressure checked.
The fluid wasnt analysed although barney did have a blood test which only showed minor traces of something. The vet felt this was not too important. He did also mention removing the pericardium but felt it could be dangerous.
It is a surgery that should only be done by a specialist; I am a general practitioner and would never attempt this surgery.
My best advice is to get more information, and the best way to do this would be to see a veterinary cardiologist, to find out what the "minor traces of something" actually meant, to have the fluid analyzed if another tap is done, etc. This is a serious problem that may have a bad outcome, but without knowing what is causing Barney's effusion, you do not know that it is helpless.
I have had dogs with pulmonary effusion get better and live for years, but many of them do end up having cancer.
Rebecca, if the fluid was analised do you think this would give a conclusive answer to Barneys problem.?
It might help, but no guarantee. However, if cancer cells are seen in the fluid, there would be your answer and you would know what you are dealing with.
Rebecca we are greatful for your advice.
You are welcome.
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