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Companion Animal Practice
Differential diagnosis of ascites in cats
  1. Séverine Tasker

    Séverine Tasker qualified from Bristol in 1994 and spent over a year with the PDSA before moving to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies to take up a residency in feline medicine. She was awarded the RCVS diploma in small animal medicine in 1999 and is currently studying for a PhD at Bristol investigating the pathogenesis and diagnosis of Haemobartonella felis.

  2. Danièlle Gunn-Moore

    Danièlle Gunn-Moore graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 1991 and after a year in practice moved to the Feline Centre at Bristol to take up a FAB scholarship. She completed a PhD on the molecular epidemiology of feline cuiuiiaviius infection in 1998. She is currently the Ralston Purina Lecturer in feline medicine at the Dick.


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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