Objective—To evaluate the incidence of and factors associated with complications following rectal pull-through (RPT) surgery and the outcome for dogs with rectal tumors.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—74 dogs with rectal masses.
Procedures—Information regarding signalment, history, diagnostic testing, type of rectal disease, surgical details, and postoperative complications, treatments, and outcomes was obtained from medical records and follow-up communications. Survival times were calculated. Descriptive statistics were generated. Regression analyses were used to evaluate the effect of various variables on the development of postsurgical complications and survival time.
Results—58 (78.4%) dogs developed postsurgical complications, the most common of which was fecal incontinence with 42 (56.8%) dogs affected, of which 23 (54.8%) developed permanent incontinence. Other complications included diarrhea (n = 32), tenesmus (23), stricture formation (16), rectal bleeding (8), constipation (7), dehiscence (6), and infection (4). The rectal tumor recurred in 10 dogs. The median survival time was 1,150 days for all dogs and 726 days for dogs with malignant tumors. The 2 most common rectal masses were rectal carcinoma and rectal carcinoma in situ, and the dogs with these tumors had median survival times of 696 and 1,006 days, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dogs with rectal diseases that underwent RPT surgery had a high incidence of complications; however, those dogs had good local tumor control and survival times. The risk and impact of postsurgical complications on the quality of life and oncological outcomes should be discussed with owners before RPT surgery is performed in dogs with rectal masses.