A restrospective study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of and complications among Jackson-Pratt (JP) drains placed as thoracostomy drains, traditional trocar type (TRO) thoracostomy drains, and guidewire (GW)-inserted thoracostomy drains that were placed in open fashion during thoracotomy. Medical records of 65 canine and feline patients who underwent thoracic surgery were evaluated. Dogs and cats who underwent thoracotomy and had a chest drain placed intraoperatively were included. Data retrieved from medical records included signalment, body weight, diagnosis, surgical approach, surgical procedure, type of thoracostomy drain, postoperative analgesia, duration of thoracostomy drain, and postoperative complications. The incidence of complications and number of medications used in pain protocols were compared among types of thoracostomy drains. JP (n = 31), TRO (n = 25), and GW (n = 9) thoracostomy drains were placed in 65 patients. Ten minor (15.3%) and four major (6.2%) complications occurred. Cases with JP thoracostomy drains were significantly less likely to have complications (2 minor, 1 major) than cases with TRO thoracostomy drains (8 minor, 3 major, P = .009). There were no differences in the number of major complications when comparing all three drains individually (P = .350). JP drains and GW drains can be considered as an alternative to traditional TRO thoracostomy drains.