Intraoperative and major postoperative complications and survival of dogs undergoing surgical management of epiglottic retroversion: 50 dogs (2003-2017)

Ronan A. Mullins, Bryden J. Stanley, James A. Flanders, Pablo Pérez López, Francesco Collivignarelli, Ronan S. Doyle, Riccarda Schuenemann, Gerhard Oechtering, Michele A Steffey, Victoria J. Lipscomb, Robert J. Hardie, Barbara M. Kirby, Aidan B. McAlinden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To report intraoperative and major postoperative complications in dogs treated surgically for epiglottic retroversion (ER), compare the incidence of major postoperative complications between procedures, and report survival of surgically treated dogs. Study design: Multi-institutional retrospective study. Sample population: Fifty dogs treated with 78 procedures. Methods: Medical records of dogs diagnosed and surgically treated for ER from 2003 to 2017 at 11 institutions were reviewed. Complications were divided into intraoperative and major postoperative complications. Results: Intraoperative complications occurred during 2 of 78 (2.6%) procedures. Thirty-six major postoperative complications were documented in 22 dogs after 36 of 74 (48.7%) procedures. Postoperative complications occurred after 7 of 12 (58.3%) nonincisional epiglottopexy, 23 of 43 (53.5%) incisional epiglottopexy, 2 of 4 (50%) partial epiglottectomy, 2 of 12 (16.7%) subtotal epiglottectomy, and 2 of 3 (66.7%) other surgical procedures. Epiglottopexy failure was the most common major postoperative complication. The incidence of major postoperative complications did not differ between procedures (P =.1239), although, when combined, epiglottopexy procedures (30/55) had a higher incidence of complications than epiglottectomy procedures (4/16; P =.048). Thirty (60%) dogs were alive at a median of 928 days (range, 114-2805), 8 (16%) were lost to follow-up after 411 days (range, 43-1158), and 12 (24%) were dead/euthanized after 301.5 days (range, 3-1212). Median survival time was not reached after a median of 716 days. Conclusion: Although intraoperative complications were uncommon, major postoperative complications were common, especially after epiglottopexy procedures. Clinical significance: Although surgical treatment of ER is associated with a high rate of major postoperative complications, especially epiglottopexy procedures, long-term survival can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVeterinary Surgery
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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