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Fatal cardiac arrest in a calf with uroperitoneum
  1. Hamaseh Tayari1,
  2. Charlotte Cuypers2,
  3. Lisa Schäffler3,
  4. Kirsten Proost4 and
  5. Stijn Schauvliege
  1. 1 Veterinary Anaesthesia, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2 Department of Surgery and Anaesthesia of Domestic Animals, Universiteit Gent Faculteit Diergeneeskunde, Merelbeke, Belgium
  3. 3 Department of Large Animal Internal Medicine, Universiteit Gent Faculteit Diergeneeskunde, Merelbeke, Belgium
  4. 4 Department of Surgery and Anaesthesiology, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hamaseh Tayari; h.tayari.1{at}


A five-month-old Belgian Blue female calf presented with a 72-hour history of depression, anorexia, muscle weakness and severe abdominal distension. Abdominal ultrasonography and abdominocentesis revealed the presence of uroperitoneum due to bladder rupture.

Venous blood gas analysis showed haemoconcentration, hyperkalaemia and metabolic acidosis. Electrolytes and fluid balance were corrected with aggressive fluid therapy and peritoneal drainage overnight, and surgery was scheduled for the following day.

Intraoperatively, gradual drainage of abdominal fluid was performed to avoid sudden haemodynamic changes, and despite successful bladder reconstruction, near the end of surgery, the patient developed severe bradycardia, atrial standstill, sine waves and pulseless electrical activity, unresponsive to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Cardiac arrest in this calf was likely caused by a combination of washout of toxic product from previous ischaemic tissues, severe acidosis, severe hypoxaemia and electrolyte disturbances. Clinicians should be prepared to handle possible complications of uroperitoneum.

  • analgesia
  • anaesthesia
  • calf
  • uroperitoneum
  • cardiac arrest
  • hyperkalaemia
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  • Contributors All authors made substantial contributions. CC, HT: anaesthetic management. HT: drafted the manuscript. CC, LS, KP: contributed for data acquisition and have reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript. SS: clinical supervision for the case and reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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