Acta Vet. Brno 2008, 77: 269-276

Complications Related to Surgical Treatment of Intervertebral Disc Disease in Dogs

L. Lexmaulová, R. Novotná, P. Raušer, A. Nečas

Department of Surgery and Orthopaedics, Small Animal Clinic, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic

Received July 9, 2007
Accepted February 14, 2008

After intervertebral disk surgery we often have to deal with various complications (seizures, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) ulcerations, cystitis, and surgical wound healing problems). These complications may lead to the death of the patient. We performed clinical and laboratory investigations in 161 dogs with an intervertebral disc disease. After that, we performed a cranial (n = 31), caudal (n = 125) or both (n = 5) types of myelography at the same time, and surgery - ventral slot decompression (SLOT) (n = 18) or hemilaminectomy (n = 143). During the postsurgical period we observed seizures, GIT complications, cystitis, and surgical wound healing problems or even death of the patients. These complications appeared to be related to the lesion site, the degree of clinical signs and the type of surgical procedure. In our study we found a higher incidence of seizures after cranial myelography, higher incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) complications particularly in paraplegic dogs, and a higher risk of death in patients after the SLOT surgery. The occurrence of cystitis was not significant (p = 0.5524, p = 0.1655, respectively). We consider seizures, GI ulcerations, and death the most frequent complications after intervertebral disc surgery. Their incidence depends on the lesion site and the degree of neurologic symptoms.