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Supplemental reflective blankets and wool socks help maintain body temperature in dogs undergoing celiotomy procedures: a prospective randomized controlled clinical trial

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  • 1 Department of Emergency and Critical Care, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, Glendale, WI

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare results for body (esophageal) temperature measurements obtained during celiotomy in normothermic (presurgical) canine patients receiving routine heat support versus routine heat support plus supplemental support (consisting of covering the thorax in a reflective blanket and placing reflective blankets plus wool socks on 3 limbs) in a prospective randomized controlled clinical trial.

ANIMALS

44 dogs requiring celiotomy that were presented sequentially to an emergency and specialty referral veterinary hospital.

PROCEDURES

The 44 dogs undergoing celiotomy were randomly assigned to 2 groups. The control group received routine intraoperative heat support consisting of a circulating warm water blanket and either a towel or blanket. The supplemental group received the same routine heat support plus a reflective blanket covering the cervical and thoracic regions and reflective blankets wrapped around 3 limbs and covered with wool socks from the digits to the axillary or inguinal region.

RESULTS

Mean esophageal temperature for both the control and supplemental groups dropped throughout celiotomy. Esophageal temperature measurements at several time points were significantly higher for the supplemental group than for the control group. The lowest temperature measurement for the supplemental group, adjusted for initial esophageal temperature and procedure duration, was significantly higher by 0.8 °C than that for the control group.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Covering the cervical and thoracic regions with a reflective blanket and wrapping limbs in reflective blankets and wool socks is an affordable adjunctive method to provide passive heat support and minimize perioperative hypothermia in canine patients undergoing celiotomy.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. O’Neil (bridget.oneil@bluepearlvet.com)