OBJECTIVE To compare suture placement time, tension at skin separation and suture line failure, and mode of failure among 4 suture patterns.
DESIGN Randomized trial.
SAMPLE 60 skin specimens from the pelvic limbs of 30 purpose-bred Beagles.
PROCEDURES Skin specimens were harvested within 2 hours after euthanasia and tested within 6 hours after harvest. An 8-cm incision was made in each specimen and sutured with 1 of 4 randomly assigned suture patterns (simple interrupted, cruciate, intradermal, or subdermal). Suture placement time and percentage of skin apposition were evaluated. Specimens were mounted in a calibrated material testing machine and distracted until suture line failure. Tensile strength at skin-edge separation and suture-line failure and mode of failure were compared among the 4 patterns.
RESULTS Mean suture placement time for the cruciate pattern was significantly less than that for other patterns. Percentage of skin apposition did not differ among the 4 patterns. Mean tensile strength at skin-edge separation and suture-line failure for the simple interrupted and cruciate patterns were significantly higher than those for the intradermal and subdermal patterns. Mean tensile strength at skin-edge separation and suture-line failure did not differ significantly between the intradermal and subdermal patterns or the simple interrupted and cruciate patterns. The primary mode of failure for the simple interrupted pattern was suture breakage, whereas that for the cruciate, intradermal, and subdermal patterns was tissue failure.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested external skin sutures may be preferred for closure of incisions under tension to reduce risk of dehiscence.
OBJECTIVE To investigate associations between recovery of locomotion and putative prognostic factors in dogs with loss of deep pain perception in the pelvic limbs caused by intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH).
DESIGN Prospective cohort study.
ANIMALS 78 client-owned dogs evaluated for IVDH that underwent spinal decompression surgery.
PROCEDURES Dogs with complete loss of deep pain perception in the pelvic limbs and tail underwent routine examinations, advanced imaging, and spinal decompression surgery in accordance with standards of practice and owner consent. For each dog, information was prospectively collected on duration of clinical signs prior to onset of paraplegia; delay between onset of paraplegia and initial referral evaluation; date of recovery of locomotion, death, or euthanasia (3-month follow-up period); and whether dogs had received corticosteroid drugs before surgery. Severity of spinal cord compression at the lesion epicenter was measured via CT or MRI.
RESULTS 45 of 78 (58%) of dogs recovered the ability to ambulate independently within 3 months after spinal decompression surgery. No evidence of prognostic value was identified for any of the investigated factors; importantly, a greater delay between onset of paraplegia and referral evaluation was not associated with a poorer prognosis.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this group of dogs with IVDH, immediacy of surgical treatment had no apparent association with outcome. The prognosis for recovery may instead be strongly influenced by the precise nature of the initiating injury.