The effect of body condition on postoperative recovery of dachshunds with intervertebral disc disease treated with postoperative physical rehabilitation

Authors: 
Gordon-Evans WJ, Johnson AL, Knap KE, Griffon DJ
Vet Surg. 2018 Dec 13. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13142. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of obesity on postoperative recovery from thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy in dachshunds treated with rehabilitation.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective observational trial.

ANIMALS: Thirty-two dachshunds with thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease and pain perception.

METHODS: Dachshunds were entered into the study after unilateral thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy. Lean muscle and fat contents were measured with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) at the beginning and at week 12 of the study. Aggressive rehabilitation was performed 1, 2, 4, and 6 weeks after surgery. Logistic regressions were used to determine the odds ratios between potential risk factors (age, duration of clinical signs, weight, body condition score, percentage body fat, percentage lean muscle mass, and disability index [DI] score at presentation) and return benchmarks of recovery.

RESULTS: Body condition score, percentage body fat, percentage lean muscle mass, weight, and age did not influence the odds ratio for recovery. An increase in preoperative DI score was associated with increased risk of a slow postoperative recovery (P < .05). The odds ratios were 2.5, 4.8, and 1.8 for >7 days until standing, > 30 days until strong ambulation, and failure to return to normal within the study period, respectively. On average, dogs lost weight (2.2 kg) and body fat (2.4%) but gained muscle mass (3.0%) over the study period (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Preoperative disability but not body condition was a risk factor for a slow recovery after thoracolumbar hemilaminectomy in dachshunds with rehabilitation.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: A slower recovery is likely with increased preoperative disability, but body condition does not seem to affect the postoperative prognosis of dachshunds treated with rehabilitation.

Small animal: