Retrospective evaluation of vacuum-assisted peritoneal drainage for the treatment of septic peritonitis in dogs and cats: 8 cases (2003–2010)

Authors

  • Krista M. Cioffi DVM,

    1. From the Department of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Athens, GA
    Current affiliation:
    1. School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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  • Chad W. Schmiedt DVM, DACVS,

    1. From the Department of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Athens, GA
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  • Karen K. Cornell DVM, PhD, DACVS,

    1. From the Department of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Athens, GA
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  • MaryAnn G. Radlinsky DVM, MS, DACVS

    Corresponding author
    • From the Department of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Athens, GA
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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to

Dr. MaryAnn G. Radlinsky, Department of Small Animal Medicine & Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30605, USA. E-mail: radlinsk@uga.edu

Abstract

Objective

To describe the use of vacuum-assisted peritoneal drainage (VAPD) in dogs and cats with septic peritonitis.

Design

Retrospective descriptive study.

Setting

University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Animals

Six dogs and 2 cats with septic peritonitis.

Interventions

Application of VAPD after abdominal exploration.

Measurements

Pre- and post-operative physical and clinicopathologic data, surgical findings, treatment, VAPD fluid production, outcome, and survival are reported.

Main results

Eight nonconsecutive cases of septic peritonitis, consisting of 6 dogs and 2 cats, were treated surgically and had VAPD applied post-operatively. The mean duration of clinical signs prior to surgical intervention was 4 ± 3 days. VAPD therapy was applied for a mean of 2 ± 1.1 days and collected a median of 27 mL/kg/d of abdominal effusate. The median time in hospital was 5 days and abdominal closure was completed in 5 of the 8 patients. All specimens collected at surgery cultured positive for bacteria, most commonly Enterococcus spp. The peritoneum of 4 animals was cultured at the time of abdominal closure; 1 was negative and 3 were positive for Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp. or gram-positive cocci. Cultures before and after surgery differed in 2 patients. Hypoproteinemia was present in all patients postoperatively. Three patients were considered survivors, all of which were dogs. Five patients died or were euthanized due to cardiopulmonary arrest (n = 3), pyothorax (n = 1), and acute, severe, septic peritonitis (n = 1).

Conclusions

VAPD is available for maintaining abdominal drainage for the treatment of septic peritonitis after surgical intervention; however, similar to open abdominal drainage and closed suction drainage, nosocomial infection and hypoproteinemia remain challenges in the treatment of septic peritonitis.

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