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PATIENT STORIES

It all started with a cough

Published on December 2, 2021.
Last Updated December 2, 2021.
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dog pericardial effusion
His family first noticed a cough, but then on one of his walks, Neo struggled to keep up and appeared swollen around his front legs and belly.

Big boy Neo is a 6 year old Neopolitan Mastiff, weighing in at almost 70 kg, and living his best life. He loves going running with dad Tony and getting cuddles from his mum and human siblings. The only ones in the family he’s not fond of are the two cats! His family first noticed a cough, but then on one of his walks, Neo struggled to keep up and appeared swollen around his front legs and belly.

Rightly concerned, his parents took him to his local vet who diagnosed Neo with pericardial effusion, a condition when the sac surrounding the heart fills with too much fluid, which can stop the heart from pumping properly. The fluid was drained but this condition can be caused by a number of diseases, many of which can be quite serious. As such, he was transferred to SASH for a comprehensive investigation, including blood and fluid testing, heart imaging, and a CT scan. This was important to rule out things like cancer/tumours or bleeding disorders.

Thankfully, Neo’s test results didn’t show anything sinister, but the fluid around his heart and lungs continued to accumulate. It was decided that the best way forward was surgery to remove the sac surrounding the heart, and prevent further fluid build-up.

Soon after surgery, Neo was able to return home to join his loving family. We are thrilled to hear that the big guy’s doing well, back to glaring at the cats, and is on the mend. His parents extend their gratitude to the team work from multiple SASH departments including Emergency, Critical Care, Surgery, Anaesthesia, and Radiology.

About the Author

Jerry Liu

Veterinarian
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SASH is home to some of Australia’s leading specialists and veterinary experts. If you have any concerns about your pet, please get in touch with us.

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