Specialist reports ‘great success’ from new approach to canine spinal surgery

Animal Health

A new approach to canine spinal surgery is believed to reduce complications for patients. Guillaume Leblond used a technique called dorsal atlantoaxial stabilisation (DAAS) and succeeded.

The DAAS technique requires insertion through the top of the neck instead of the bottom, where such operations are usually performed.

“A new approach to canine spinal surgery is believed to reduce complications for patients.“

The Life paper studied the medical records of animals that were treated with the dorsal technique. In each case, the operation was reported to have been successful, and their progress was monitored.

Despite all owners being satisfied with the outcome and reporting improvements at the initial and second examinations, issues such as stiffness, paroxysmal episodes and seizures were reported in individual cases.

Some cases showed occasional signs of weakness and pain in the pelvic limbs or collapse in the thoracic limbs; the paper additionally found one of the dogs, following a sudden deterioration in condition, had to have a neck brace fitted for eight weeks.

But the researchers identified that in all but one of the cases, the technique and materials used were appropriate and maintained through the examination period.

Dr Leblond has stated: “We have had great success with this approach so far. The normal mortality rate is between five to ten per cent; however, we have now done twenty of these procedures together with colleagues, all of which have been successful. The main advantage of the technique is it likely reduces the risk of complications, which is why I prefer it. With the ventral approach, you go through the soft tissue and nerves in the neck, which brings the risk of vomiting, regurgitation, megaoesophagus, swelling and even tracheal injury.”

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