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Major abdominal evisceration injuries in dogs and cats: 12 cases (1998–2008)

Sara B. Gower DVM, MA1, Chick W. Weisse VMD, DACVS2, and Dorothy C. Brown DVM, MSCE, DACVS3
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical characteristics, treatment, complications, and outcome of dogs and cats treated surgically for major abdominal evisceration.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—8 dogs and 4 cats.

Procedures—Medical records from January 1998 through March 2008 were reviewed to identify animals that underwent surgery for major abdominal evisceration. Data regarding cause of evisceration, signalment, physiologic variables, and hematologic variables were collected. Details of treatment, duration of hospitalization, and outcome were recorded. Linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association of signalment, physiologic variables, and hematologic variables on the number of days of hospitalization.

Results—Major abdominal evisceration was secondary to a traumatic event in 4 animals and to postsurgical dehiscence in 8 animals. All animals had evisceration of the intestines and gross contamination with dirt, leaves, or litter. Two animals eviscerated the spleen, and 1 animal had a perforated colon and was leaking feces into the peritoneal cavity. All animals underwent exploratory abdominal surgery. Surgical procedures performed included resection of compromised intestine, body wall repair, diaphragmatic hernia repair, nephrectomy, splenectomy, and primary colonic repair. All animals survived to discharge from the hospital. Median duration of hospitalization was 4 days (range, 1 to 7 days). Factors associated with an increase in duration of hospitalization included evisceration secondary to trauma, high lactate concentration at time of admission, and small body size.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Despite the dramatic appearance of major abdominal evisceration in cats and dogs, prompt and aggressive medical and surgical intervention can provide a favorable outcome.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical characteristics, treatment, complications, and outcome of dogs and cats treated surgically for major abdominal evisceration.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—8 dogs and 4 cats.

Procedures—Medical records from January 1998 through March 2008 were reviewed to identify animals that underwent surgery for major abdominal evisceration. Data regarding cause of evisceration, signalment, physiologic variables, and hematologic variables were collected. Details of treatment, duration of hospitalization, and outcome were recorded. Linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association of signalment, physiologic variables, and hematologic variables on the number of days of hospitalization.

Results—Major abdominal evisceration was secondary to a traumatic event in 4 animals and to postsurgical dehiscence in 8 animals. All animals had evisceration of the intestines and gross contamination with dirt, leaves, or litter. Two animals eviscerated the spleen, and 1 animal had a perforated colon and was leaking feces into the peritoneal cavity. All animals underwent exploratory abdominal surgery. Surgical procedures performed included resection of compromised intestine, body wall repair, diaphragmatic hernia repair, nephrectomy, splenectomy, and primary colonic repair. All animals survived to discharge from the hospital. Median duration of hospitalization was 4 days (range, 1 to 7 days). Factors associated with an increase in duration of hospitalization included evisceration secondary to trauma, high lactate concentration at time of admission, and small body size.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Despite the dramatic appearance of major abdominal evisceration in cats and dogs, prompt and aggressive medical and surgical intervention can provide a favorable outcome.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Gower.