Post-surgical evisceration with or without autocannibalism in 333 dogs—a survey of veterinarians

  • Mark Rishniw
  • Lori R. Kogan
Keywords: Dehiscence, Eventration, Ovariohysterectomy, Surgery, Trauma.


Background: Few reports of post-surgical evisceration, with or without autocannibalism, in dogs exist.
Aims: To collect a large case series of dogs experiencing post-surgical evisceration, with or without autocannibalism.
Methods: We surveyed practicing veterinarians who were members of the Veterinary Information Network about their experiences with post-surgical evisceration in dogs, variably accompanied by autocannibalism (ingestion of eviscerated organs or tissues). Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: We identified 333 cases with sufficient information for analysis: 221 with evisceration and autocannibalism, and 112 with just evisceration. Most cases occurred following surgery for reproductive reasons (desexing, cesarean section, and pyometra). Most occurred in young adult or adult dogs. Most dogs received analgesia perioperatively had routine closure (simple interrupted or simple continuous muscle layer closure) and most did not wear an E-collar post-surgically. Most dogs eviscerated within 3 days of the initial surgery. Approximately 64% underwent surgical repair and survived long-term without complications, more frequently if the  evisceration was not accompanied by autocannibalism.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that post-surgical evisceration and autocannibalism can generally be successfully managed by practitioners and do not confer a uniformly poor outcome for the dog.

Keywords: Dehiscence, Eventration, Ovariohysterectomy, Surgery, Trauma.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2218-6050
print ISSN: 2226-4485