image of Ascites
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A body cavity effusion is defined as the abnormal accumulation of fluid of any type within a cavity, and ascites is the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. This chapter provides an algorithmic approach to ascites based on the characteristics of the fluid, and considers relevant history, physical examination, diagnosis and differential diagnoses.

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24.2 Gross appearance of effusions. (a) Protein-poor and (b) protein-rich transudate.
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24.4 (a) A dog and (b) a cat with ascites, apparent as abdominal enlargement.
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24.5 Algorithmic approach to ascites based on the characteristics of the fluid. [crea] = creatinine concentration; FeLV = feline leukaemia virus; FIP = feline infectious peritonitis; FIV = feline immunodeficiency virus; PH = portal hypertension; [potassium] = potassium concentration; TNCC = total nucleated cell count (x 10 cells/l); TP = total protein.
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