Pyothorax occurs when pus, accumulates in the chest cavity. Pus, which is made up of white blood cells and dead cells, congregate to the site of an infection. Eventually, the white blood cells die, leaving the thick whitish-yellow fluid that is distinctive of pus.
Pus that has accumulated in the chest cavity forms into sacs that line the pleura (serous membranes lining the thorax and enveloping the lungs) resulting in scarring the cavity and severely impairing lung function.
This bacterial infection settles in the cat’s chest cavity from bite wounds and can cause the cats to display respiratory distress, shock and sudden collapse.
The bacteria that causes pyothorax include
• Pasteurella Multocida • Bacteroides
• Peptostreptococcus • Fusobacterium
Treatment for Pyothorax include
A Complete Blood Count
A Biochemistry Profile
Sample fluid from the chest cavity
Cats that have developed this condition must be hospitalized for treatment. It may take several days to weeks to fully eradicate this infection. Drainage of the chest cavity through a tube is critical; otherwise, the condition cannot be resolved. The chest cavity will need to be rinsed out (through the chest tube) every six hours with warm, sterile saline.
Antibiotics and pain medication will be administed. An antibiotic regimen should be continued for at least a month after the infection has cleared. While there may be some lung damage remaining within the chest cavity, prognosis is fair to excellent if owners follow procedure correctly.
Pyothorax is a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated promptly.