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Identification of risk factors for postoperative pyothorax in dogs

L. B. Meakin, L. K. Salonen, S. J. Baines, D. J. Brockman, S. P. Gregory, Z. J. Halfacree and others

SURGICAL site infections (SSIs) are an important concern in veterinary practice. Pyothorax, an SSI, may result in significant morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, outcome and risk factors for postoperative pyothorax in dogs undergoing thoracic surgery.

The medical records of dogs that had underwent thoracic surgery at a veterinary hospital in the UK between 1998 and 2007 were reviewed retrospectively to identify cases of postoperative pyothorax.

Of 232 dogs that underwent thoracic surgery, 15 developed pyothorax. Bacteria cultured from cases included meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multi-resistant Escherichia coli. Analysis of the variables identified idiopathic chylothorax, preoperative intrathoracic biopsy and preoperative thoracocentesis as independent risk factors for development of postoperative pyothorax. The authors suggest that preoperative thoracocentesis and intrathoracid biopsy may be risk factors due to the direct introduction of bacteria into the thoracic cavity during these procedures.

Treatment of pyothorax consisted of antibiotic administration and thoracic drainage in all dogs and thoracic lavage in two dogs. Of the dogs …

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