Results of ligation of patent ductus arteriosus in dogs: 201 cases (1969-1988)

Stephen J. Birchard From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1935 Coffey Rd, Columbus, OH 43210.

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John D. Bonagura From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1935 Coffey Rd, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Roger B. Fingland From the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1935 Coffey Rd, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Summary

Surgical treatment of 201 dogs with patent ductus arteriosus at the College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University was evaluated retrospectively to determine risk factors for development of surgical complications. During surgery, 15 dogs (7%) died because of hemorrhage associated with ductus dissection (n = 8), pulmonary edema (n = 4), ventricular fibrillation (n = 1), hemorrhage not associated with ductus dissection (n = 1), and cardiac arrest immediately after ductus ligation (n = 1). An additional 8 dogs (4%) died <1 month after surgery (total mortality before, during, and immediately after surgery, 11%). Nineteen dogs (9.5%) developed hemorrhage during surgery. Sixteen dogs developed complications other than hemorrhage (pulmonary edema [n = 4], cardiac arrest [n = 4], iatrogenic lung trauma [n = 3], ventricular fibrillation [n = 2], septicemia [n = 2], and recanalized ductus [n = 2]). Correlation was not found between age, sex, body weight, surgical technique (Jackson method vs standard method of dissection), or surgeon level of training and development of hemorrhage during surgery, other complications, or survival <5 days. Positive correlation (P < 0.05) was found between hemorrhage and death within 5 days after surgery. Positive correlation (P < 0.05) was also found between other complications and death within 5 days after surgery. Nineteen dogs survived surgery, but later died of unrelated causes (mean life span, 57 months); 63 of the dogs were still alive and doing well as of January 1990 (mean life span, 47 months after surgery).

Contrary to previous reports, age, body weight, and surgical technique did not affect results. Surgical complications were uncommon, but frequently resulted in death. Long-term survival was likely if surgical complications did not develop.

Summary

Surgical treatment of 201 dogs with patent ductus arteriosus at the College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University was evaluated retrospectively to determine risk factors for development of surgical complications. During surgery, 15 dogs (7%) died because of hemorrhage associated with ductus dissection (n = 8), pulmonary edema (n = 4), ventricular fibrillation (n = 1), hemorrhage not associated with ductus dissection (n = 1), and cardiac arrest immediately after ductus ligation (n = 1). An additional 8 dogs (4%) died <1 month after surgery (total mortality before, during, and immediately after surgery, 11%). Nineteen dogs (9.5%) developed hemorrhage during surgery. Sixteen dogs developed complications other than hemorrhage (pulmonary edema [n = 4], cardiac arrest [n = 4], iatrogenic lung trauma [n = 3], ventricular fibrillation [n = 2], septicemia [n = 2], and recanalized ductus [n = 2]). Correlation was not found between age, sex, body weight, surgical technique (Jackson method vs standard method of dissection), or surgeon level of training and development of hemorrhage during surgery, other complications, or survival <5 days. Positive correlation (P < 0.05) was found between hemorrhage and death within 5 days after surgery. Positive correlation (P < 0.05) was also found between other complications and death within 5 days after surgery. Nineteen dogs survived surgery, but later died of unrelated causes (mean life span, 57 months); 63 of the dogs were still alive and doing well as of January 1990 (mean life span, 47 months after surgery).

Contrary to previous reports, age, body weight, and surgical technique did not affect results. Surgical complications were uncommon, but frequently resulted in death. Long-term survival was likely if surgical complications did not develop.

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