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Surgical treatment of septic peritonitis with or without drainage in dogs?
Septic peritonitis is one of the emergencies which requires intensive treatment, but despite of this still the mortality rate remains high. Often discussions are made if it is better to close the abdomen or to drain it. One of the interesting results of this study: Surgery plus intensive peritoneal lavage without drainage gave the best results!

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surgical outcomes of 28 dogs with generalized septic peritonitis treated without postoperative abdominal drainage.

The overall mortality rate was 46%, with most cases of peritonitis being caused by leakage of the gastrointestinal tract (75%).

Etiology of peritonitis, abdominal cytopathology, total white blood cell count, packed cell volume, total protein, and results of serum biochemistries were not statistically different between survivors and nonsurvivors.

The mortality rate of 46% is similar to other studies in which the abdomen was left open postoperatively for the management of septic peritonitis, although more advanced medical treatment than that used in earlier studies may have positively affected the outcome.

The results of this study show that closure of the abdomen after the source of contamination has been successfully corrected, in combination with thorough intraoperative peritoneal lavage and appropriate postoperative medical management, may be an acceptable alternative method for the management of septic peritonitis.


Source: OI Lanz, GW Ellison, Bellah JR, G Weichman, and J VanGilder (2001): Surgical treatment of septic peritonitis without abdominal drainage in 28 dogs. In: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, Vol 37, Issue 1, 87-92




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