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To describe complications and outcomes of dogs undergoing unilateral thyroidectomy for the treatment of thyroid tumors.


156 dogs undergoing unilateral thyroidectomy for a naturally occurring thyroid tumor.


Dogs that underwent a unilateral thyroidectomy in 2003 through 2015 were included in a multi-institutional retrospective study. For each dog, information gathered through evaluation of electronic and paper records included perioperative complications, short-term outcome (survival to discharge from the hospital vs nonsurvival), and long-term outcome (survival time).


In the perioperative period, complications occurred in 31 of the 156 (19.9%) dogs; hemorrhage was the most common intraoperative complication (12 [7.7%] dogs). Five of 156 (3.2%) dogs received a blood transfusion; these 5 dogs were among the 12 dogs that had hemorrhage listed as an intraoperative complication. Immediately after surgery, the most common complication was aspiration pneumonia (5 [3.2%] dogs). One hundred fifty-three of 156 (98.1%) dogs that underwent unilateral thyroidectomy survived to discharge from the hospital. One hundred-thirteen dogs were lost to follow-up; from the available data, the median survival time was 911 days (95% confidence interval, 704 to 1,466 days).


Results indicated that unilateral thyroidectomy in dogs with a naturally occurring thyroid tumor was associated with a perioperative mortality rate of 1.9% and a complication rate of 19.9% and that hemorrhage and aspiration pneumonia were the most common complications. Long-term survival of dogs undergoing unilateral thyroidectomy for the treatment of thyroid tumors was not uncommon.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association