Long-term outcome and risk factors associated with death or the need for revision surgery in dogs with permanent tracheostomies.
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate long-term outcomes and identify factors associated with death or the need for revision surgery in dogs with permanent tracheostomies (PTs). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. ANIMALS: 69 client-owned dogs that received a PT between January 2002 and June 2016 at 1 of 4 veterinary teaching hospitals. PROCEDURES: Medical records were reviewed, and data extracted included signalment, history, clinical signs, radiographic and laryngeal examination findings, presence of esophageal abnormalities, date and reason for receiving a PT, postoperative complications, cause of death, and survival time. Dogs surviving < 2 weeks after receiving a PT were excluded. RESULTS: Major complications occurred in 42 of 69 (61%) dogs, with aspiration pneumonia (13 [19%]), skinfold occlusion (13 [19%]), and stoma stenosis (12 [17%]) being most common. Revision surgery was performed in 24 of 69 (35%) dogs, most commonly because of stoma stenosis or skinfold occlusion (9/24 [38%] each). Brachycephalic dogs were more likely (OR, 3.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 10.2) to require revision surgery than were nonbrachycephalic dogs. The overall median survival time was 1,825 days, and dogs that received corticosteroids before receiving a PT, had tracheal collapse, or were older had shorter survival times. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results of the present study indicated that creation of a PT was a viable treatment option for obstructive upper airway diseases in dogs and that long-term survival after receiving a PT was possible; however, a PT may not reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia in dogs.