Objective— To determine survival rates in dogs and cats with septic peritonitis treated with open peritoneal drainage (OPD) versus primary closure (PC) after laparotomy.
Study design— Retrospective analysis of medical records from Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital from 1993 to 1999.
Sample population— Thirty-six dogs and 6 cats with septic peritonitis documented by cytological examination or microbiological culture of abdominal fluid.
Methods— Medical records of dogs and cats with septic peritonitis treated by OPD or PC were reviewed. Age, weight, species, white blood cell (WBC) count, band neutrophil count, platelet count, serum glucose concentration, heart rate, body temperature, duration of hospitalization, and clinical outcome were recorded for each animal. Differences in treatments administered between the OPD and PC groups as well as the underlying cause of septic peritonitis were determined.
Results— There was no significant difference in survival between animals in the OPD versus PC groups (P= .26) with an overall survival rate of 71%. White blood cell count, band neutrophil count, platelet count, serum glucose and total bilirubin concentrations, heart rate, age, and weight were not significantly different between groups (P > .05). A significantly greater number of animals in the OPD group received plasma (P= .009), blood (P= .037), and a jejunostomy tube (P= .02) than animals in the PC group. There was a significant difference in the number of days spent in critical care unit with a mean of 6.0 ± 4.1 days for the OPD group and 3.5 ± 2.3 days for the PC group (P= .02).
Conclusions— Open peritoneal drainage for the management of septic peritonitis in dogs and cats is an acceptable alternative to PC.