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Long-term outcome and risk factors associated with death or the need for revision surgery in dogs with permanent tracheostomies

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  • 1 1Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 2 2Department of Clinical Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 3 3Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • | 4 4Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate long-term outcomes and identify factors associated with death or the need for revision surgery in dogs with permanent tracheostomies (PTs).

DESIGN

Retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS

69 client-owned dogs that received a PT between January 2002 and June 2016 at 1 of 4 veterinary teaching hospitals.

PROCEDURES

Medical records were reviewed, and data extracted included signalment, history, clinical signs, radiographic and laryngeal examination findings, presence of esophageal abnormalities, date and reason for receiving a PT, postoperative complications, cause of death, and survival time. Dogs surviving < 2 weeks after receiving a PT were excluded.

RESULTS

Major complications occurred in 42 of 69 (61%) dogs, with aspiration pneumonia (13 [19%]), skinfold occlusion (13 [19%]), and stoma stenosis (12 [17%]) being most common. Revision surgery was performed in 24 of 69 (35%) dogs, most commonly because of stoma stenosis or skinfold occlusion (9/24 [38%] each). Brachycephalic dogs were more likely (OR, 3.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 10.2) to require revision surgery than were nonbrachycephalic dogs. The overall median survival time was 1,825 days, and dogs that received corticosteroids before receiving a PT, had tracheal collapse, or were older had shorter survival times.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of the present study indicated that creation of a PT was a viable treatment option for obstructive upper airway diseases in dogs and that long-term survival after receiving a PT was possible; however, a PT may not reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia in dogs.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate long-term outcomes and identify factors associated with death or the need for revision surgery in dogs with permanent tracheostomies (PTs).

DESIGN

Retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS

69 client-owned dogs that received a PT between January 2002 and June 2016 at 1 of 4 veterinary teaching hospitals.

PROCEDURES

Medical records were reviewed, and data extracted included signalment, history, clinical signs, radiographic and laryngeal examination findings, presence of esophageal abnormalities, date and reason for receiving a PT, postoperative complications, cause of death, and survival time. Dogs surviving < 2 weeks after receiving a PT were excluded.

RESULTS

Major complications occurred in 42 of 69 (61%) dogs, with aspiration pneumonia (13 [19%]), skinfold occlusion (13 [19%]), and stoma stenosis (12 [17%]) being most common. Revision surgery was performed in 24 of 69 (35%) dogs, most commonly because of stoma stenosis or skinfold occlusion (9/24 [38%] each). Brachycephalic dogs were more likely (OR, 3.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 10.2) to require revision surgery than were nonbrachycephalic dogs. The overall median survival time was 1,825 days, and dogs that received corticosteroids before receiving a PT, had tracheal collapse, or were older had shorter survival times.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of the present study indicated that creation of a PT was a viable treatment option for obstructive upper airway diseases in dogs and that long-term survival after receiving a PT was possible; however, a PT may not reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia in dogs.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Davis' present address is the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Address correspondence to Dr. Grimes (jgrimes@uga.edu).