Axial Pattern Flap Based on the Lateral Caudal Arteries of the Tail in the Dog: An Experimental Study


  • Funded by the Research Council of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Presented at the 3rd convention of Iranian Veterinary Clinicians, Mashhad, Iran, October 29–31, 2002.

Address reprint request to S. Saifzadeh, DVM, PhD, College of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, PO Box 57155/1177, Urmia, Iran. E-mail:


Objective— To determine applicability and size limits of an axial pattern flap based on the lateral caudal arteries in dogs to reconstruct caudodorsal trunk skin defects.

Study Design— Experimental study.

Animals— Ten mature, mixed breed dogs.

Methods— The lateral caudal vessels of the tail were incorporated in the flaps of the treatment group (n=5) and were ligated in the control group (n=5). Flaps were rotated and placed into experimentally created caudodorsal skin defects on the trunk. The length and area of tissue that remained viable in each flap were determined.

Results— Mean (±SD) survival area (222.8±32.9 cm2) and length (25.1±4.5 cm) of vascularized flaps were significantly greater (P<.05) compared with control flaps (94.9±13.4 cm2 and 14.61±4.7 cm). Necrosis occurred in all control flaps, resulting in lower percentage flap area (48.8%) and length (47.1%) survival compared with vascularized flaps (78.1%, 77.5%).

Conclusions— Axial pattern flap based on lateral caudal arteries of the tail was successfully elevated and transferred in a single procedure, with 78% survival for closure of large experimentally created caudodorsal trunk defects in dogs.

Clinical Relevance— Large cutaneous defects of the caudodorsal trunk area in dog could be reconstructed with tail axial pattern flap. Limitations in terms of size and changes in animal appearance have to be considered before flap elevation.