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Objective—To determine outcome of and complications associated with prophylactic percutaneous laser disk ablation in dogs with thoracolumbar disk disease.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—277 dogs.

Procedure—Medical records of dogs with a history of thoracolumbar disk disease in which the 7 intervertebral disks from T10-11 through L3-4 were ablated with a holmium-yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser inserted through percutaneously placed needles were reviewed. Complications and episodes of a recurrence of neurologic signs (eg, paresis or paralysis) were recorded. Owners were contacted by telephone for follow-up information.

Results—Nine of 262 (3.4%) dogs for which followup information was available had a recurrence of paresis or paralysis. Follow-up time ranged from 1 to 85 months (mean, 15 months); signs recurred between 3 and 52 months (mean, 15.1 months) after laser disk ablation. Acute complications occurred in 5 dogs and included mild pneumothorax in 1 dog, an abscess at a needle insertion site in 1 dog, and proprioceptive deficits in 3 dogs, 1 of which required hemilaminectomy within 1 week because of progression and severity of neurologic signs. One dog developed diskospondylitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that prophylactic percutaneous laser disk ablation is associated with few complications and may reduce the risk of recurrence of signs of intervertebral disk disease in dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222: 1733–1739)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine incidence of and risk factors for major complications occurring in dogs within 30 days after cytoreductive surgery performed by a single pair of surgeons for treatment of suspected primary intracranial masses.

DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS 160 client-owned dogs that underwent cytoreductive surgery for treatment of suspected primary intracranial masses between January 2009 and December 2015 at a veterinary teaching hospital.

PROCEDURES Medical records were retrospectively reviewed for complications occurring within 30 days after surgery. Data (eg, signalment, clinical signs, previous treatments, preoperative neurologic examination findings, neuroanatomical location, time from onset of clinical signs to surgery, surgical approach, and histopathologic diagnosis) were analyzed for associations with death and with development of major complications other than death.

RESULTS 21 (13.1%) dogs died (11 during hospitalization and 10 after discharge) and 30 (18.8%) developed major complications other than death during the first 30 days after surgery. Dogs with abnormal preoperative neurologic examination findings were more likely to develop complications or die. Dogs undergoing a suboccipital approach were more likely to die. The most common postoperative complications other than death were seizures (n = 18 [11.3%]), worsening of neurologic status (6 [3.8%]), and aspiration pneumonia (6 [3.8%]).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of the present study provided valuable information on predisposing factors, odds of major complications or death, and incidences of major complications or death in dogs during the first 30 days after undergoing cytoreductive surgery for treatment of suspected primary intracranial masses. Careful case selection may help improve outcomes and minimize complications.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association