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Evaluation of a staged technique of immediate decompressive and delayed surgical treatment for gastric dilatation-volvulus in dogs

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  • 1 VCA Emergency Animal Hospital & Referral Center, San Diego, CA 92108.
  • | 2 VCA Clinical Studies, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate a staged technique of immediate decompressive and delayed surgical treatment for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in dogs.

ANIMALS

41 client-owned dogs with confirmed GDV from 2012 through 2016.

PROCEDURES

Medical record data were collected regarding patient signalment, diagnostic test results, gastric lavage findings, surgical findings, and short-term survival status. For all dogs, gastric decompression was performed by orogastric intubation and gastric lavage in the same anesthetic episode. If this stage was successful, subsequent corrective surgery (laparotomy and gastropexy) was delayed and performed in a second anesthetic episode.

RESULTS

6 dogs underwent corrective surgery in the same anesthetic session as for decompression and stabilization, 2 of which had gastric necrosis. Thirty-five dogs underwent corrective surgery in a second anesthetic episode a mean of 22.3 hours (range, 5.25 to 69.75 hours) after presentation, during which gastric necrosis was identified in 2 dogs. The mortality rate for delayed-surgery patients was 9% (3/35). Time from presentation to surgery was not associated with surgeon subjective assessment of gastric health status or mortality rate. Intraoperative identification of gastric necrosis was associated with nonsurvival. Single plasma lactate concentrations and percentage change in serial lactate concentrations were associated with intraoperative gastric health status and mortality rate.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The observed mortality rate for delayed-surgery patients was comparable to rates reported for other GDV treatment techniques. Results suggested that delaying corrective surgery is possible for certain dogs, but careful case selection would be important and no reliable preoperative case selection criteria were identified. Additional research is needed to further investigate the potential risks and benefits of staged versus immediate surgical treatment of GDV in dogs.

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate a staged technique of immediate decompressive and delayed surgical treatment for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in dogs.

ANIMALS

41 client-owned dogs with confirmed GDV from 2012 through 2016.

PROCEDURES

Medical record data were collected regarding patient signalment, diagnostic test results, gastric lavage findings, surgical findings, and short-term survival status. For all dogs, gastric decompression was performed by orogastric intubation and gastric lavage in the same anesthetic episode. If this stage was successful, subsequent corrective surgery (laparotomy and gastropexy) was delayed and performed in a second anesthetic episode.

RESULTS

6 dogs underwent corrective surgery in the same anesthetic session as for decompression and stabilization, 2 of which had gastric necrosis. Thirty-five dogs underwent corrective surgery in a second anesthetic episode a mean of 22.3 hours (range, 5.25 to 69.75 hours) after presentation, during which gastric necrosis was identified in 2 dogs. The mortality rate for delayed-surgery patients was 9% (3/35). Time from presentation to surgery was not associated with surgeon subjective assessment of gastric health status or mortality rate. Intraoperative identification of gastric necrosis was associated with nonsurvival. Single plasma lactate concentrations and percentage change in serial lactate concentrations were associated with intraoperative gastric health status and mortality rate.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The observed mortality rate for delayed-surgery patients was comparable to rates reported for other GDV treatment techniques. Results suggested that delaying corrective surgery is possible for certain dogs, but careful case selection would be important and no reliable preoperative case selection criteria were identified. Additional research is needed to further investigate the potential risks and benefits of staged versus immediate surgical treatment of GDV in dogs.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. White (rswhitedvm@gmail.com).

Dr. White's present address is IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital, Indianapolis, IN 46203.