Short-term wound complications and predictive variables for complication after limb amputation in dogs and cats

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To identify short-term wound complications and associated predictive factors following amputation in dogs and cats.

Materials and Methods:

Retrospective review of case records of dogs and cats undergoing thoracic or pelvic limb amputation. Preoperative data on signalment, body weight, limb amputated, reason for amputation and laboratory parameters were collected. Details regarding surgical procedures and use of anaesthesia such as total surgical and anaesthesia times, incidences of intraoperative hypotension or hypothermia, method of muscle excision and type of skin closure utilized were recorded. Postoperative data on duration of hospital stay, use of postoperative antibiotics, use of a wound soaker catheter, wound complications noted both during hospitalization and at recheck and treatments if applicable were collected.


In total, 67 records were identified including 39 dogs and 28 cats. Wound infection/inflammation complications occurred in 20.9% of cases and wound infection complications in 9%; 12.8% in dogs and 3.6% in cats. One (1.5%) complication was classified as major, which occurred immediately postoperatively. Nine (13.4%) minor complications occurred immediately after surgery and four (6.0%) were identified at recheck. Age was the only significant predictor of postoperative infection/inflammation following pelvic or thoracic limb amputation.

Clinical Significance:

Short-term wound complications following pelvic or thoracic limb amputation in cats and dogs were typically minor and resolved after treatment.

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