Epidemiologic Evaluation of Postoperative Wound Infection in Clean-Contaminated Wounds: A Retrospective Study of 239 Dogs and Cats

Vet Surg. Nov-Dec 2002;31(6):577-81. doi: 10.1053/jvet.2002.34661.


Objective: To evaluate risk factors for development of postoperative wound infections in clean-contaminated wounds.

Study design: Retrospective clinical study.

Sample population: Two hundred thirty-nine dogs and cats that had clean-contaminated surgical procedures.

Methods: Records of animals that had a clean-contaminated surgical procedure and were prospectively monitored for development of postoperative wound infection were reviewed. Prospective data included signalment, nutritional status, body weight, duration of surgery, surgical procedures, wound classification, surgical site clip time before surgery, hypotension during surgery, the presence of an active distant infection, endocrinopathy, administration of an immunosuppressive agent, administration of antibiotics, and the type of antibiotic used. Additional retrieved data included total anesthesia time, temperature variables, blood loss, and suture material used.

Results: Intact males (P =.008) and animals with concurrent endocrinopathy (P =.008) were at a higher risk of development of postoperative wound infection. Total surgery time (P =.02) and total anesthesia time (P =.04) were longer in animals that developed postoperative wound infection. No other factors were statistically significant.

Conclusions: Intact males and animals with a concurrent endocrinopathy were at higher risk of postoperative wound infection after clean-contaminated surgical procedures.

Clinical relevance: Time under anesthesia and duration of surgery should be minimized to reduce the risk of wound infection in clean-contaminated surgical procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / veterinary
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cat Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cats / surgery
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dog Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dogs / surgery
  • Female
  • Intraoperative Care / veterinary
  • Male
  • Philadelphia / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Records / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Surgical Wound Infection / veterinary*
  • Time Factors