Outcome of and postoperative complications in dogs undergoing surgical treatment of laryngeal paralysis: 140 cases (1985–1998)

Catriona M. MacPhail Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Eric Monnet Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare outcomes of various surgical techniques for treatment of laryngeal paralysis in dogs and determine incidence and risk factors for development of postoperative complications.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—140 dogs undergoing surgical treatment for laryngeal paralysis at a veterinary teaching hospital between 1985 and 1998.

Procedure—Data were analyzed to determine outcome and factors influencing outcome and development of complications. Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed for survival analysis.

Results—Postoperative complications were documented in 48 (34.3%) dogs; 20 (14.3%) dogs died of related causes. Aspiration pneumonia was the most common complication (33; 23.6%). Seven dogs died of aspiration pneumonia > 1 year after surgery. Dogs that underwent bilateral arytenoid lateralization were significantly more likely to develop complications and significantly less likely to survive than were dogs that underwent unilateral arytenoid lateralization or partial laryngectomy. Factors that were significantly associated with a higher risk of dying or of developing complications included age, temporary tracheostomy placement, concurrent respiratory tract abnormalities, concurrent esophageal disease, postoperative megaesophagus, concurrent neoplastic disease, and concurrent neurologic disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that surgical repair of laryngeal paralysis may be associated with high postoperative complication and mortality rates. Surgical technique and concurrent problems or diseases increased the risk of complications. Dogs appeared to have a life-long risk of developing respiratory tract complications following surgical correction. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1949–1956)

Abstract

Objective—To compare outcomes of various surgical techniques for treatment of laryngeal paralysis in dogs and determine incidence and risk factors for development of postoperative complications.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—140 dogs undergoing surgical treatment for laryngeal paralysis at a veterinary teaching hospital between 1985 and 1998.

Procedure—Data were analyzed to determine outcome and factors influencing outcome and development of complications. Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed for survival analysis.

Results—Postoperative complications were documented in 48 (34.3%) dogs; 20 (14.3%) dogs died of related causes. Aspiration pneumonia was the most common complication (33; 23.6%). Seven dogs died of aspiration pneumonia > 1 year after surgery. Dogs that underwent bilateral arytenoid lateralization were significantly more likely to develop complications and significantly less likely to survive than were dogs that underwent unilateral arytenoid lateralization or partial laryngectomy. Factors that were significantly associated with a higher risk of dying or of developing complications included age, temporary tracheostomy placement, concurrent respiratory tract abnormalities, concurrent esophageal disease, postoperative megaesophagus, concurrent neoplastic disease, and concurrent neurologic disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that surgical repair of laryngeal paralysis may be associated with high postoperative complication and mortality rates. Surgical technique and concurrent problems or diseases increased the risk of complications. Dogs appeared to have a life-long risk of developing respiratory tract complications following surgical correction. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1949–1956)

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