To describe perioperative characteristics and outcomes of dogs surgically treated for intestinal intussusception.
Multi‐institutional, retrospective study.
One hundred fifty‐three client‐owned dogs with intestinal intussusception.
Dogs were included when they had undergone surgical treatment of a confirmed intestinal intussusception. Medical records were reviewed for demographics and clinical data, including surgical complications (graded 1‐4). Follow‐up was obtained via telephone interview with owners and referring veterinarians.
Dogs had a median age of 10 months (range, 2‐156), and the most common location for intussusception was ileocolic (66/153 [43%]). Most cases had no identifiable cause (104/155 [67%]). Intestinal resection and anastomosis (IRA) was performed in 129 of 153 (84%) dogs; enteroplication was performed in 28 of 153 (18%) dogs, including 13 with and 15 without IRA. Intraoperative complications occurred in 10 of 153 (7%) dogs, all involving intestinal damage during attempted manual reduction. The median duration of follow‐up after discharge was 334 days (interquartile range, 15‐990; range, 1‐3302). Postoperative complications occurred in 53 of 153 (35%) dogs, including 22 of 153 (14%) with severe (grade 3 or 4) events. Diarrhea, regurgitation, and septic peritonitis were the most common postoperative complications; intussusception recurred in four of 153 (3%) dogs, all within 72 hours postoperatively. Fourteen‐day postoperative mortality rate was 6%.
Surgical treatment of intestinal intussusception was curative in most dogs, even when an underlying cause was not identified. Surgical complications were common, including a 14% risk of life‐threatening short‐term complications.
Surgical treatment of intestinal intussusception offers an excellent prognosis, but the potential life‐threatening complications should be considered.