Postoperative Respiratory Function and Survival After Pneumonectomy in Dogs and Cats

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To describe indications for, and outcomes after, pneumonectomy in dogs and cats, including assessment of immediate postoperative respiratory function in comparison to dogs undergoing single lung lobectomy.

Study Design:

Retrospective case series.


Dogs (n=16) and cats (n=7) with naturally occurring pulmonary disease.


Medical records (1990–2014) of dogs and cats undergoing right or left pneumonectomy were reviewed. Data retrieved included signalment, history, preoperative diagnostics, operative descriptions, postoperative data including respiratory function, and postdischarge outcomes. For respiratory function comparisons, medical records of dogs having undergone a single lung lobectomy via median sternotomy (n=15) or intercostal thoracotomy (n=15) were reviewed.


Twenty-three cases (16 dogs, 7 cats) were included. Pneumonectomy was performed for congenital (1 dog, 1 cat), neoplastic (8 dogs, 1 cat), and infectious (7 dogs, 5 cats) disease. Postoperative aspiration pneumonia occurred in 2 dogs; 15 of 16 dogs (94%) and 6/7 cats (86%) survived to hospital discharge. After pneumonectomy, dogs had a significantly higher postoperative PaO2 on 21% oxygen (P=.033) and lower postoperative A-a gradient (P=.004) compared to dogs undergoing single lung lobectomy. Survival times (right-censored at last follow-up) for dogs ranged from 2 days to 7 years (estimated median=1,868 days) and for cats from 1–585 days.


Dogs and cats have acceptable respiratory function immediately postoperatively and most have protracted long-term survival after pneumonectomy for a variety of pulmonary diseases.

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