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Research article2014Peer reviewedOpen access

Hepatic emphysema associated with ultrasound-guided liver biopsy in a dog

Westgren, Frida; Hjorth, Tove; Uhlhorn, Margareta; Engelsen Etterlin, Pernille; Ley, Charles


An eleven-year-old Chinese Crested Powder Puff dog presented with polydipsia/polyuria, inappetence, diarrhea and vomiting underwent an ultrasound-guided percutaneous liver biopsy. Two days post-biopsy the clinical condition of the dog acutely deteriorated with fever, dyspnea, ataxia and subcutaneous emphysema. Radiographs and ultrasound showed focal severe hepatic emphysema in the region of the previous liver biopsy. Post-mortem examination revealed chronic hepatitis with dissecting fibrosis, acute hepatitis with hemorrhage and in the hindlimb musculature extensive hemorrhage and necrosis. Pure cultures of the gas producing bacteria Clostridium perfringens were isolated in samples from the hind limb musculature. We propose that the hepatic emphysema in the region of the biopsy site was a result of a clostridial infection.


Septicemia; Bacteriemia; Complication; Clostridium perfringens; Gas

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2014, Volume: 56, article number: 25