OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence rates and severity of acquired urinary incontinence (AUI) between dogs spayed with laparoscopic and open laparotomy approaches.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective matched-pair cohort study.
ANIMALS: In total, 1285 privately owned dogs spayed >5 years previously were included in the study.
METHODS: Laparoscopically spayed dogs were matched with dogs spayed by traditional laparotomy. Matching variables were breed, bodyweight, age at spaying, time of spaying in relation to the onset of puberty, time interval since spaying, and age. In 400 matched-paired dogs, the outcome of AUI was assessed by using an owner questionnaire. A conditional logistic regression for matched pairs was performed on the data of 308 dogs.
RESULTS: Among 308 dogs, 30 and 29 dogs spayed by laparotomy and laparoscopy, respectively, were affected by AUI. The identified risk factors for AUI were age and time interval since spaying. The surgical approach (laparoscopy or laparotomy) was neither revealed as a risk factor nor did it influence the severity of AUI.
CONCLUSION: The risk of AUI after spaying is not influenced by the surgical approach, (laparoscopy or laparotomy). Nearly every fifth dog spayed by laparotomy or by laparoscopy was affected by AUI. A relatively longer time interval since spaying and increased age of the dog increased the risk for AUI.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Owners of dogs with a predisposition for AUI must be counseled about this risk when they present their dogs for spaying, regardless of surgical approach chosen.