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Summary: Records of 146 dogs and 41 cats that underwent thoracic surgery at The University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital were reviewed for age, sex, breed, disease, operation date, periods of pre- and post-operative hospitalisation, use of surgical drains and outcome. Animals were assigned to 16 disease categories, the most common being patent ductus arteriosus, traumatic diaphragmatic hernia and oesophageal foreign body in dogs and traumatic diaphragmatic hernia in cats. Differences were observed between disease categories in all the criteria examined. There were almost equal numbers of male (72) and female (74) dogs, the median (range) age was 2.0 (0.2 to 14.0) years, the median pre-operative stay was 1 (0 to 14) days, the median post-operative stay was 4 (0 to 28) days and the overall survival to discharge rate was 78%.

There were 24 male and 15 female cats (sex not recorded in 2 cats). The median (range) age was 3 (0.1 to 12) years, pre-operative stay 1 (0 to 6) days, post-operative stay 5 (0 to 15) days and the overall survival to discharge rate was 85%. Causes of post-operative deaths among animals in the most common categories are recorded and discussed.