OBJECTIVE: To compare the use of stainless steel staples with absorbable staples for closure of skin incisions in dogs undergoing tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO).
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective study.
SAMPLE POPULATION: Client-owned dogs (n = 80).
METHODS: With client consent, dogs were randomly assigned a staple type (stainless steel or absorbable) immediately prior to closure of a TPLO skin incision. Incisions were compared for length, staple type and number, and an inflammation-infection score 2 weeks after surgery.
RESULTS: Overall, 18.8% of incisions were diagnosed with inflammation or infection. No difference was found between inflammation-infection scores, incision length, number of staples used, or general anesthetic time between the 2 staple groups. However, wound closure was faster with stainless steel staples (22.50 seconds; range, 11-180) by approximately 30 seconds compared with absorbable staples (56.50 seconds; range, 18-190; P < .001). Time taken to close the incision correlated negatively with the number of occasions that absorbable staples were used (P = .01).
CONCLUSION: Absorbable skin staples were successfully used to close skin incisions after TPLO and were not associated with an increased level of inflammation or infection in our clinical setting.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Absorbable staples may be considered to close surgical wounds when subsequent suture removal would be impractical, without specific concerns over inflammation or infection of the wound.