What is peritonitis and how to deal with it?
The general concept and causes
In medicine, peritonitis is the process of inflammation that takes place in the peritoneum (the membrane of the abdominal cavity). Many people who hear such a diagnosis are immediately scared, considering their fate already decided. However, do not despair ahead of time, because the symptoms of peritonitis - this is not a sentence. After all, some of its types with proper treatment and timely surgery can be treated.
The cause of this disease is an infectious pathogen, which was on one of the many sections of the peritoneum. The causative agent may be viral. Features of this part of the body that it does not have the possibility of a local fight against inflammation, but because it starts to progress rapidly. This triggers the production of a large number of toxins, which lead to severe poisoning of the body in humans or cats.
It is possible that the infectious pathogen enters the peritoneum from the internal organs.This can occur as a result of the loss of the integrity of an organ (for example, the intestines) as a result of injury or rupture. Often this process occurs when appendicitis.
Another cause of peritonitis is intestinal obstruction. When, for one reason or another, a large amount of feces accumulates in the intestinal walls, and they squeeze the peritoneum, causing an inflammation process.
Any disease associated with the gastrointestinal tract can also lead to peritonitis. Such a disease can be a consequence of such phenomena as:
- cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder, when its contents find ways to enter the peritoneum);
- pancreatitis (inflammation in the pancreas);
- appendicitis (when pustules open);
- perforated ulcer in the stomach or duodenum (when a through hole occurs and the contents enter the peritoneum).
Types of disease
There are several types of peritonitis. First of all, it is classified as common or local. In the first variant, inflammation occurs throughout the abdominal cavity, and in the second, only parts of it.
Sometimes there is also the phenomenon of abscess of the abdominal cavity.And although these local inflammations occur in the peritoneum, they are only harbingers of peritonitis (in the case when its infectious or viral pathogen is not destroyed, and the process progresses).
In the first stage, when acute peritonitis is observed, severe abdominal pain occurs. It will most likely be located in the area of the inflammatory process or in the damaged organ (for example, in the intestinal area). This can irritate the nerve endings, and then the pain will be transmitted to the shoulder or the area of the clavicle. Over time, acute peritonitis enters a different stage of its development.
For example, most often the pain begins to spread throughout the peritoneum. And the temporary periods of aggravation and subsidence are replaced by incessant pain. If you bring the disease from the state of "acute peritonitis" to the terminal state, the pain will continue to subside.
Infectious peritonitis or its viral variant is always accompanied by nausea and vomiting.And initially only the contents of the stomach come out. If the condition does not improve, then there is paresis (obstruction) of the intestine, which can be determined by the absence of the process of waste gases and stool. In the future, vomiting will already contain bile and feces.
Very clearly manifested the disease in the patient's appearance. It has an expression of limitless suffering on the face, pale skin, a decline in strength, the appearance of sweat (cold), and the appearance of bluish coloring of the skin. At the same time, acute peritonitis causes a person to take those poses in which it is possible to at least partially relieve pain. This may be lying on its side or on the back with legs bent and knees bent.
The temperature will rise, and breathing will eventually become shallow, the heart will beat faster.
The terminal stage of the disease is characterized by euphoria and pallor, a sharp mind gives way to a clouded consciousness. The tongue is covered with a dark bloom, there is a strong abdominal distention, while it practically does not hurt.
Accurate diagnosis of peritonitis occurs in the laboratory.After a patient admitted with a diagnosis of acute peritonitis, is examined by a surgeon, he is referred to an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity, a general blood test and a radiograph of the peritoneum are also prescribed. It is possible that for making a more correct diagnosis, laparoscopy or laparotomy will be needed. The doctor may prescribe other tests (research). After all, for the surgical intervention that is recommended for this disease, he must be sure about what is happening with the patient.
If you or your loved one, or a pet, are already in the hospital, you should be aware that the refusal of the operation or the conduct of certain studies can cost life. Viral or infectious peritonitis is a disease that is life threatening. And he should always be taken very seriously.
After all, the course of the disease and its treatment depend on whether the doctor is able to correctly diagnose in the first 12 hours.
Peritonitis in children
Most often this disease in children occurs as a complication of appendicitis. It is also often the consequences of enterocolitis, which can be staphylococcal, infectious, or caused by perforation of the ulcer. Rarely enough peritonitis occurs as a result of severe inflammation of the gallbladder or the ovaries.
Symptoms in children appear the same as we see in adults. This vomiting, and fever (up to 38-38.5 ° C), and increasing pain in the abdomen. When the process is activated, there is an increase in pulse and respiration, and leukocytosis is recorded.
The chair may linger or be absent altogether (intestinal congestion). And if the child is very small, then diarrhea may occur. Further progress leads to severe intoxication and a sharp deterioration. The skin becomes gray, and as a result of severe vomiting that accompanies acute peritonitis, dehydration develops.
In children, the diagnosis of the disease occurs most often by the method of palpation. Severe pain and tension of the abdominal muscles are determined by Shchetkin's symptom - Blumberg.It consists in the fact that during palpation with sharp pressure and withdrawal of the finger, the pain increases.
It is necessary to treat peritonitis only in the conditions of a hospital. Home treatment with painkillers, hot-water bottles, a hot bath, etc. can spoil the clinical picture. At the same time, it will be difficult to make an accurate diagnosis and recognize whether it is peritonitis.
In the hospital, doctors conduct surgery, the purpose of which is to detect and get rid of the source of inflammation.
After the center is removed, the peritoneum is repeatedly washed with special solutions using antiseptics. At the same time, drainage is used to remove the contents from the abdominal cavity.
Antibacterial therapy is also carried out, gastric lavage is done, the work of some internal organs is corrected. For example, if the activity of the heart was disrupted, then drugs are prescribed to maintain it.
Peritonitis in cats
In cats, peritonitis can also be infectious. This disease occurs both in acute and in chronic form. It is observed in both wild and domestic feline representatives.One of the coronoviruses causes illness in cats. It flows in a dry, moist and asymptomatic form. Peritonitis is most dangerous for animals aged from six months to 5 years.
The thing is that, starting from the 2nd half of the incubation period and for 3 months after the disease, the animal excretes the virus through urine and nasal secretions. Most often in cats infection occurs orally, although there are cases of transfer of the virus by airborne droplets.
Interestingly, only cats (not cats) and kittens are susceptible to this virus. And the latter are more sensitive.
Once in the body of cats, the virus begins to multiply in the tonsils and intestinal area. After it spreads to the lymph nodes. Through the blood, the virus spreads throughout the body, falling into a variety of organs, where there are favorable conditions for further reproduction.
If the cat has full immunity, then the development of the virus stops. If the immune system is weakened, then the virus will continue to develop and settle down in the body of the animal.
Forms of the disease
In cats, there is a form of the disease that can lead to death within a few weeks. In another embodiment, the course of the disease may be delayed for six months. In this case, cats will experience periods of attenuation and exacerbation.
Symptoms in cats with a disease are as follows:
- temperature up to 40 ° C;
- peritonitis (pleurisy).
In the wet form, accumulation of discharge in the peritoneum occurs. This leads to cats breathing and noises in the heart. When the dry form affects the eyes, kidneys, liver, lungs, the nervous system is inhibited. In this form, the death of the animal is possible in 2-5 weeks. The treatment is carried out in the clinic and is prescribed only by a doctor.