Pus in the Chest Cavity in Dogs

Pyothorax is known as an accumulation of a pus (septic exudate) within the chest cavity (pleural space). It is an infection of the chest cavity which is mostly caused by bacteria although it may also be caused by other organisms such as viruses or fungi. This infection results in the accumulation of fluid (that contains an infectious (usually bacteria) agent and neutrophils (WBC)) in the space between the lungs and the body wall, known as chest cavity or pleural. This accumulation causes the lungs to partially collapse resulting in breathing difficulty and may prove fatal if not treated immediately and aggressively. 

Noteable is the fact that this pus is different from abscess in that it does not create an enclosed wall of tissue to inhibit the bacteria from spreading. Instead, the pus forms into sacs that line the pleura, eventually scarring the cavity and severely impairing lung function. 

Pyothorax can be caused by a penetrating wound through the chest wall, a foreign body traveling through tissues around the chest wall, holes that were created in the esophagus or trachea (or other airway into the lungs), a ruptured lung abscess, an extension of pneumonia, post-operative infection or by spreading from the blood.

Common symptoms associated with this condition include:



Low-grade fever

Chest pain or discomfort

Loss of appetite (anorexia)

Weight loss (sometimes the only sign)

Increased, or decreased breathing rate

Collapse after exercise with slow recovery of energy

Recent history of fights or puncture wounds

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