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Characteristics and outcomes in surgical management of severe acute pancreatitis: 37 dogs (2001–2007)


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Lisa J. Thompson, Advanced Critical Care and Internal Medicine, 3021 Edinger Ave, Tustin, CA 92780, USA.


Objective – Describe clinical characteristics and outcomes associated with canine patients undergoing surgical intervention for treatment of acute pancreatitis.

Design – Retrospective outcome study from 2001 to 2007.

Animals – Thirty-seven dogs.

Interventions – None.

Measurements and Main Results – The following data were collected for dogs who underwent surgical intervention in the course of treatment for severe acute pancreatitis: preoperative clinicopathologic and physical data, ultrasonographic findings, surgical procedure detail, histopathologic findings, and transfusion requirements. The survival rate was 80.8% in dogs with extrahepatic biliary obstruction, 64.3% in dogs undergoing necrosectomy, and 40.6% with pancreatic abscess. Overall survival was 63.6%. Surgical complications included intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage in 12 dogs, postoperative development of diabetes mellitus in 3 dogs, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in 1 dog, and bacterial peritonitis in 2 dogs.

Conclusion – Surgical intervention and aggressive postoperative care may be pursued in select dogs with severe acute pancreatitis. In dogs with extrahepatic biliary obstruction secondary to acute pancreatitis, surgical intervention may be associated with a good prognosis whereas dogs with pancreatic abscess formation may have a more guarded prognosis.