Surgical and nonsurgical management of and selected risk factors for spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs: 64 cases (1986–1999)

David A. Puerto Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.

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Daniel J. Brockman Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.
Present address is the Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Ln, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA England.

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Christopher Lindquist Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.
Present address is Centreville Veterinary Hospital, 5804 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807.

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Kenneth Drobatz Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare results of surgical versus nonsurgical treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—64 dogs with pneumothorax without any history of antecedent trauma.

Procedure—Information on signalment, thoracic radiographic findings, treatment, histologic findings, and outcome was obtained from the medical records. Signalment of affected dogs was compared with signalment of a control population of 260 dogs examined by the emergency service for reasons other than pneumothorax during the study period.

Results—Siberian Huskies were overrepresented in the case population, compared with the control population of dogs examined by the emergency service for other reasons. Twenty-eight dogs were treated without surgery (ie, thoracocentesis or tube thoracostomy with or without cage rest), and 36 were treated with surgery. Information regarding final outcome was available for 33 dogs treated with surgery (median followup time, 485 days) and 15 dogs treated without surgery (median follow-up time, 366 days). Dogs that underwent surgery had significantly lower recurrence (1/30) and mortality (4/33) rates, compared with dogs treated without surgery (6/12 and 8/15, respectively). A definitive diagnosis was obtained for 38 dogs, including 34 of 36 dogs undergoing surgery; 26 had bullous emphysema and 4 had neoplasia. Two dogs developed spontaneous pneumothorax secondary to migration of plant foreign bodies.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that recurrence and mortality rates for dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax managed surgically were significantly lower than rates for dogs managed by nonsurgical means alone. Early surgical intervention is recommended for definitive diagnosis and treatment of dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1670–1674)

Abstract

Objective—To compare results of surgical versus nonsurgical treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax in dogs.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—64 dogs with pneumothorax without any history of antecedent trauma.

Procedure—Information on signalment, thoracic radiographic findings, treatment, histologic findings, and outcome was obtained from the medical records. Signalment of affected dogs was compared with signalment of a control population of 260 dogs examined by the emergency service for reasons other than pneumothorax during the study period.

Results—Siberian Huskies were overrepresented in the case population, compared with the control population of dogs examined by the emergency service for other reasons. Twenty-eight dogs were treated without surgery (ie, thoracocentesis or tube thoracostomy with or without cage rest), and 36 were treated with surgery. Information regarding final outcome was available for 33 dogs treated with surgery (median followup time, 485 days) and 15 dogs treated without surgery (median follow-up time, 366 days). Dogs that underwent surgery had significantly lower recurrence (1/30) and mortality (4/33) rates, compared with dogs treated without surgery (6/12 and 8/15, respectively). A definitive diagnosis was obtained for 38 dogs, including 34 of 36 dogs undergoing surgery; 26 had bullous emphysema and 4 had neoplasia. Two dogs developed spontaneous pneumothorax secondary to migration of plant foreign bodies.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that recurrence and mortality rates for dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax managed surgically were significantly lower than rates for dogs managed by nonsurgical means alone. Early surgical intervention is recommended for definitive diagnosis and treatment of dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1670–1674)

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