Peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia
In this defect there is a persistent communication
between the pericardial and peritoneal cavities, which permits abdominal organs to
enter the pericardial sac (Reed, 1987). The extent of herniation is variable, and
clinical signs may occur within weeks of birth or after several years. Often the
hernia is asymptomatic (Evans & Biery, 1980).
The Weimaraner breed appears to be predisposed
and it is not uncommon in the cat.
The clinical signs may be gastrointestinal
(vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia, weight loss) and/or respiratory (dyspnoea, cough).
Diagnosis is made by radiography (
a,b) and ultrasound.
Treatment is by surgical correction of
the hernia and, in uncomplicated cases, carries a good prognosis. Occasionally
the liver may be adhesed to the pericardium and the prognosis in such cases is
These are usually found at the apex of the
parietal pericardium, usually lying within the pericardial space. The clinical signs
may be similar to pericardial effusion and treatment is by surgical excision which
carries a good prognosis (Reed, 1987).
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