The records of 23 dogs and cats diagnosed with spontaneous gastroduodenal perforation (GDP) were retrospectively reviewed. Survival was 63% in dogs and 14% in cats. Rottweilers <5 years of age were overrepresented. Clinical evidence of gastrointestinal bleeding was common in dogs but not in cats. Shock was an uncommon presenting condition in dogs and was not closely linked to outcome. In fact, progression of an ulcerating lesion to GDP was not associated with marked changes in symptoms exhibited by many patients in this study. Most GDPs were associated with histopathological evidence of subacute or chronic peritoneal reaction at the time of diagnosis. This suggests that diagnostic methods employed lacked sensitivity in identifying early perforating lesions, and that dramatic signs of acute abdomen following gastroduodenal perforation may not be as common as was previously thought.

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