From Dog

Hemoperitoneum is defined as presence of blood within the abdominal cavity.

Clinical signs are dependent on volume of blood loss from circulation and may include lethargy, depression,pale mucous membranes, anemia and shock.

Causes include:

  • Trauma
- Dog fights
- High-rise syndrome
- Splenic carcinoma
- Hepatic carcinoma
- Hemangiosarcoma
- Sertoli cell tumor
- Mesothelioma
- Adrenal carcinoma
- Angiostrongylus vasorum migration
  • Post-operative hemorrhage - e.g. testicular arterial hemorrhage after castration, hepatic parenchymal hemorrhage following hepatic dissection for intrahepatic portosystemic shunt ligation

Diagnosis is readily ascertained by abdominal paracentesis or ultrasonography.

Treatment outcome is variable and dependent on the underlying cause and its severity.

Surgical exploration of the abdomen is indicated in many situations, and is aimed at resection or control of the bleeding focus, removal of any devitalized tissue, and biopsy of additional sites of suspicion[1].

Optimal treatment for all patients with hemoperitoneum frequently requires advanced critical care, anesthesia, and surgical techniques.


  1. Brockman DJ et al (2000) A practical approach to hemoperitoneum in the dog and cat. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 30(3):657-668