Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Cardiovascular Disorders

Pericarditis/Pericardial Effusion

General Information
The pericardium is a thin sac that surrounds the heart. Its function is to support and protect the heart. Under normal circumstances, this sac contains only a very small amount of fluid.

Pericarditis is inflammation of this sac. Pericardial effusion is a large increase in the amount of fluid within the sac. Pericardial effusion compresses the heart and decreases its pumping ability. Pericardial effusion often develops after pericarditis.

Causes of pericardial disease include heart failure, tumors, trauma to the heart or pericardial sac, bacterial toxins or infection, viral infections, and diseases that interfere with normal blood clotting.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Various laboratory tests, radiographs (x-rays), electrocardiographs (ECG), and such specialized techniques as angiography and echocardiography are often necessary to diagnose and monitor the response to treatment of pericardial disease. Pericardial disease is always a serious problem, and successful treatment is not always possible.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.