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  • Author or Editor: Tiffany S. Healey x
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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 compare clinical outcome, healing, and effect of tracheostomy in conventional incisional and carbon dioxide (CO2) laser techniques for resection of soft palates in brachycephalic dogs.

Design—Prospective randomized trial.

Animals—20 adult brachycephalic dogs.

Methods—Dogs were randomly allocated into 4 groups, and 1 of the following was performed: palate resection by use of a CO2 laser; incisional palate resection and closure with suture; and palate resection by use of a CO2 laser or incision with tracheostomy. A clinical score for respiratory function was assigned to each dog at 0, 2, 8, 16, and 24 hours. Biopsy specimens of incision sites obtained at days 0, 3, 7, and 14 were examined. Data were analyzed to determine the effects of technique on clinical and histologic outcome.

Results—Mean surgical time for laser (309 seconds) was significantly shorter than for sharp dissection (744 seconds). Surgical technique significantly affected clinical scores at 3 of the 5 postoperative time points, but differences were not clinically apparent. Tracheostomy significantly affected clinical scores at 3 of 5 postoperative time points. After tracheostomy tube removal, clinical scores were similar to those of dogs without tracheostomies. Inflammation, necrosis, and ulceration were evident in all groups at day 3; these lesions had almost resolved by day 14. Most complications were associated with tracheostomy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinical outcomes appear to be similar with the laser and incisional techniques. Regarding surgical time and ease, laser resection of the soft palate appears advantageous. Tracheostomy is not warranted in dogs that have uncomplicated surgeries and recoveries. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:776–781)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association