Open Veterinary Journal

Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal 
ISSN 2218-6050 (Online), ISSN 2226-4485 (Print) 

"Original Research"

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

Mark Rishniw(1*) and Lori R. Kogan(2)

1- Veterinary Information Network, 777 W Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95615, USA

2- Clinical Sciences Department, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA


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, ceasarian section, 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 does not confer a uniformly poor outcome for the dog.

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

Cite this paper:

Rishniw, M. and Kogan, L.R. 2019. Post-surgical evisceration with or without autocannibalism in 333 dogs – a survey of veterinarians. Open Vet. J. 9(4), 327-330.