, Volume 12, Issue 12, pp 1073-1083
Date: 28 Oct 2005

Improved Survival Associated With Postoperative Wound Infection in Dogs Treated With Limb-Salvage Surgery for Osteosarcoma

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Limb-salvage surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy are performed as a treatment of appendicular osteosarcoma in dogs. Approximately 50% of dogs that undergo limb-salvage surgery develop postoperative surgical wound infections. Postoperative surgical infections may affect survival in cancer patients. The purposes of this study were to examine the effect of surgical wound infection on survival, local recurrence, and metastasis in relation to other prognostic factors for dogs with spontaneous osteosarcoma treated with limb-salvage surgery.


Forty-seven client-owned dogs with osteosarcoma of the distal radius were treated with limb-salvage surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy—either carboplatin or carboplatin and doxorubicin. Hazard ratios were estimated by using the Cox proportional hazard model, and survival functions were estimated by using the Kaplan-Meier product-limit life-table method.


Of the 47 dogs in this study, 32 (68%) developed a postoperative wound infection. Infection, dog weight, and extent of the primary tumor (percentage of length) significantly affected survival, and infection and percentage of length significantly affected time to metastasis. None of the variables considered in this study affected local recurrence. Dogs that were diagnosed with an infection were less likely to die (hazard ratio, .446), and dogs with greater body weight and greater percentage length involvement were more likely to die (hazard ratios of 3.37 and 3.66, respectively).


In dogs with osteosarcoma treated with limb-salvage surgery, infection has a positive influence on survival, as does a smaller initial length of radius involved and lower body weight.