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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

* This is the Veterinary Version. *

Pancreatic Pseudocyst in Small Animals

By Jörg M. Steiner, DrMedVet, PhD, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, AGAF, Associate Professor and Director, Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A & M University

A pancreatic pseudocyst is a collection of sterile pancreatic fluid enclosed by a wall of fibrous or granulation tissue; these structures are also considered a complication of pancreatitis. Several cases of pancreatic pseudocysts in dogs and cats have been described. Clinical signs are usually nonspecific and mimic those of pancreatitis. On abdominal ultrasonography, a cystic structure in close proximity to the pancreas can be identified. Aspiration of the pseudocyst is relatively safe and should be attempted for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Fluid from a pancreatic pseudocyst should have few cells and should not contain any evidence of inflammation. Pancreatic pseudocysts can be treated medically or surgically. Medical management involves ultrasonographic-guided percutaneous aspiration and close monitoring of the size of the pseudocyst. Surgery may be indicated in animals with persistent clinical signs or when the pseudocyst fails to regress over time.

* This is the Veterinary Version. *