Wild Tiger Health Project
Created by Dr John C M Lewis

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Abdominocentesis is the collection of free fluid from the abdomen. This is likely to be carried out in sedated tigers, unless the tiger is a very small cub.

A sedated tiger should be placed in right lateral recumbency. An area centred on the umbilicus of the tiger should be clipped and cleaned with surgical scrub. A 19 gauge 1 inch needle should be inserted caudal to and to the right of the umbilicus. The needle should initially be inserted without a syringe attached as an open needle is more likely to result in fluid flow. If there is fluid flow a syringe can then be attached to collect a sample. Fluid should be placed in EDTA tubes for cytology and in a sterile plain tube for culture.

Collecting free fluid by abdominocentesis in tigers is unusual and is an abnormal finding. Types of effusion are listed in the table below.