ASCITES is the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity and is not a diagnosis in itself, but a clinical sign of disease. It can result from accumulation of transudative or exudative fluid, chylous effusions, blood, urine or bile. When a case of feline ascites is presented to the veterinary surgeon, a logical and thorough diagnostic approach is required to determine the cause. This article aims to provide information which will aid in this investigation. The pathogenesis of ascites is reviewed, together with historical and clinical examination findings, diagnostic techniques, and the major differential diagnoses.
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