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Clinical bottom line:

Currently available literature on canine pyothorax management is low quality, so it is difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from it. With this in mind, however, the literature does suggest that invasive medical management (thoracic drainage and lavage via in-dwelling thoracostomy tubes, and antimicrobial therapy) and surgical management (in conjunction with antimicrobial therapy) of canine pyothorax provide better long-term survival rates compared to non-invasive medical management (antimicrobial therapy, with or without thoracocentesis) alone. More definitive conclusions cannot be made until higher quality evidence (prospective, randomised, blinded) is available on the topic.

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