A new study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP), has demonstrated that placement of temporary tracheostomy tubes following multi-level airway surgery for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is helpful in managing postoperative airway obstruction and has a low mortality rate.

Outcome of temporary tracheostomy tube-placement following surgery for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in 42 dogs1 was undertaken at Dick White Referrals, UK. A retrospective case series of dogs that had a temporary tracheostomy tube placed in the post-operative period following surgery for BOAS was obtained from the referral hospital.

Of the 42 dogs, 11 had a tracheotomy tube placed electively and 31 had one placed as an emergency. The overall postoperative complication rate in the study was 95%. The minor complication rate – defined as resulting in no observable compromise of the clinical status and/or self-limiting, such as a cough - was 71%. The major complication rate – defined as resulting in discernible harm to the patient, such as cyanosis and dyspnoea - was 83%. 41/42 dogs were classified as having successful tracheostomy tube management.

Marius Stordalen, lead author of the paper said: "Contrary to what had been previously thought, this manuscript shows that in an appropriate clinical setting, temporary tracheostomy tube placement following multi-level airway surgery for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome carries a good prognosis for the majority of patients."

Nick Jeffery, editor of JSAP added: "Whilst overall mortality rate was low following placement of a tracheostomy tube in the postoperative period, there was a high overall complication rate. This finding demonstrates the need for continuous monitoring and intensive care for patients following placement of tracheostomy tube.”

The full article can be found in the May issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice which is free for BSAVA members. It can also be read online here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsap.13127 


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