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J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2001 Jan-Feb;37(1):87-92.

Surgical treatment of septic peritonitis without abdominal drainage in 28 dogs.

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg 24061, USA.


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.

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