OBJECTIVE To evaluate the feasibility of laparoscopy versus exploratory laparotomy for the diagnosis of specific lesions in dogs with suspected gastrointestinal obstruction.
DESIGN Controlled trial.
ANIMALS 16 client-owned dogs with physical and radiographic findings consistent with gastrointestinal obstruction.
PROCEDURES Single-incision laparoscopy with intracorporeal and extracorporeal examination of the gastrointestinal tract was performed by 1 surgeon. Immediately afterward, exploratory laparotomy was performed by a second surgeon. Accessibility and gross appearance of organs, surgical diagnoses, incision lengths, procedure duration, and complications were compared between diagnostic techniques.
RESULTS Mean (95% confidence interval) incision length was 4.9 cm (3.9 to 5.9 cm) for laparoscopy and 16.4 cm (14.0 to 18.7 cm) for exploratory laparotomy. Mean (95% confidence interval) procedure duration was 36.8 minutes (31.6 to 41.2 minutes) and 12.8 minutes (11.4 to 14.3 minutes), respectively. Diagnoses of the cause of obstruction were the same with both methods. In 13 dogs, the laparoscopic examination was successfully completed, and in the other 3, it was incomplete. In 4 dogs in which laparoscopy was successful, conversion to exploratory laparotomy or considerable extension of the laparoscopic incision would have been required to allow subsequent surgical treatment of identified lesions. No dogs developed major complications, and minor complication rates were similar between procedures.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Laparoscopy was feasible and clinically applicable in dogs with suspected gastrointestinal obstruction. Careful patient selection and liberal criteria for conversion to an open surgical approach are recommended when laparoscopy is considered for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal lesions in dogs.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the usefulness of noncontrast abdominal CT and abdominal ultrasonography for the detection of mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction in dogs and compare intestinal diameter ratios between dogs with and without obstruction.
DESIGN Controlled trial.
ANIMALS 16 client-owned dogs with physical and radiographic findings consistent with mechanical gastrointestinal obstruction.
PROCEDURES Abdominal ultrasonography and CT were performed for all dogs, followed by laparoscopy and exploratory laparotomy. Time required for image acquisition and presence and location of gastrointestinal obstruction were assessed with both imaging modalities. Findings were compared with those of exploratory surgery. Maximum and minimum intestinal diameters were recorded on CT scans; values were converted to a ratio and compared between dogs with and without obstruction.
RESULTS Results of abdominal CT and exploratory surgery for the diagnosis of mechanical obstruction agreed for all 16 dogs; 10 dogs had complete obstruction, 3 had partial obstruction, and 3 had no obstruction. In 1 dog with functional ileus, abdominal ultrasonography resulted in an incorrect diagnosis of mechanical obstruction. Median (interquartile range) image acquisition time for abdominal CT (2.5 minutes [2.0 to 3.8 minutes]) was markedly and significantly shorter than that for ultrasonography (26.0 minutes [22.0 to 35.8 minutes]). In both dorsal and transverse CT planes, dogs with gastrointestinal obstruction (partial or complete) had significantly larger intestinal diameter ratios than dogs without obstruction.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Abdominal CT was feasible, rapid, and accurate for the diagnosis of mechanical obstruction in dogs with clinical signs and physical examination findings consistent with partial or complete gastrointestinal obstruction.