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Postoperative survival and early complications after intracranial surgery in dogs

Forward, A K; Volk, H A; De Decker, S


A K Forward

H A Volk

S De Decker


To describe survival and early postoperative outcome after intracranial surgery in dogs.

Study design
Retrospective case series.

Fifty client-owned dogs that underwent intracranial surgery.

Records were searched and analyzed for dogs that underwent intracranial surgery between 2005 and 2015. Signalment, clinical presentation, neurological deficits, concurrent medical conditions, laboratory data, diagnosis, administration of perioperative glucocorticoids or antiepileptic drugs, and specific imaging, surgical, and anesthetic variables were recorded. Risk factors for survival, occurrence of postoperative complications, and hospitalization times were identified with univariate linear and logistic regression, followed by multivariable regression models.

All dogs were recovered with a specific protocol in an intensive care unit. Forty-nine of 50 (98%) dogs survived the immediate postoperative period, and 46 of 50 (92%) survived to discharge. Early postoperative neurological deterioration was seen in 45% (22/49) of dogs, and a postoperative complication was diagnosed in 23 of 49 (47%). Nonneurological postoperative complications were seen in 9 of 49 (18%) dogs; the most common consisted of aspiration pneumonia (6/49, 12%). Among variables associated with outcomes, higher postoperative natremia (P?=?.023) and prolonged hospitalization (P?=?.024) were associated with the occurrence of postoperative, nonneurological complications.

The short-term survival rate of this population was excellent. About half of the dogs experienced neurologic deterioration and postoperative complications, and most resolved with treatment.

Clinical significance
In our clinical setting, intracranial surgery in dogs was associated with a high rate of survival and a low rate of severe postoperative complications.


Forward, A. K., Volk, H. A., & De Decker, S. (2018). Postoperative survival and early complications after intracranial surgery in dogs. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 47(4), 549-554.

Journal Article Type Other
Publication Date May 1, 2018
Deposit Date Apr 6, 2018
Print ISSN 1530-3667
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Volume 47
Issue 4
Pages 549-554
Public URL