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Enteroplication in dogs is a surgical technique in which the adjoining intestinal segments are laid out, side-by-side in an accordion-type fashion. The gentle loops are then sutured together, creating a permanent serosal adhesion. Enteroplication surgery is often recommended for a dog that suffers from intussusception, described as the sliding of intestine within itself. A veterinarian will perform this type of surgery on a canine patient if intussusception is a continuous problem for the dog.
Diagnostic imaging will be taken before the surgery begins in addition to routine blood work. The veterinarian will manually resection the telescoped intestine and perform anastomosis if necessary before engaging the enteroplication technique. The surgeon will open the abdominal cavity, making an incisions just long enough for the intestine to pass through. The intestine will be pull through and laid out for the vet to lay loops of intestine side-by-side in an accordion-like pattern. One the segments are laid out properly, the adjacent loops will be sutured to one another using an absorbable or non-absorbable suture material. The sutures will just penetrate the submucosal layer of the intestinal loops, midway between the antimesenteric and mesenteric borders. The adhered intestines will be gently pushed back into the dog’s abdominal cavity and the opening will be sutured closed.
The overall goal the veterinarian wishes to achieve by performing an enteroplication surgery in a dog is to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of an intestinal intussusception. The efficacy an enteroplication procedure has on preventing intestinal intussusception is controversial and varies from case to case.
A dog that has undergone an enteroplication surgery will be hospitalized one to three days post-operatively. Intravenous fluids infused with a glucose supplement will be administered to the canine as part of the recovery process and a veterinary nurse will constantly monitor the patient for signs of intestinal leakage. As soon as the dog is able to eat and drink on his own, the administration of intravenous fluids will not be needed. However, the patient may remain in the hospital for a week or longer, depending on the patient’s condition and the veterinarian’s preference.
Enteroplication surgery can be expensive, costing dog owners between $1,500 to $10,000 to perform. However, on average, most pet owners will pay approximately $3,500 for this type of corrective surgery for their dogs.
Complications due to the direct result of a canine enteroplication include possible intestinal obstruction or intestinal strangulation. The surgical bend that was created may pose a problem when material from inside the intestine attempts to pass through, creating a block in the intestine that prevents any other waste product from passing through. In rare incidences, an incorrect suture placement causes entrapment of the bowel and the blood supply circulating to that section of intestine is cut off, leading to tissue necrosis.
The need for an enteroplication procedure is believed to be prevented through good routine health practices. Treating any evidence of internal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, will prevent the possible need for this type of surgery. Also, discouraging your dog from consuming any non-edible objects (rocks, sticks, and toys) will prevent an intestinal obstruction, which could also cause intussusception of the intestine.
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