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Management of ccld in dogs: owner feedback

18 March 2019 – News

Cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD) is a condition that affects mostly medium- and large-breed dogs and for which management is still controversial.

This retrospective study compared owner satisfaction between stifle joint orthoses and tibial plateau osteotomy (TPLO), using online surveys of an orthotic provider (orthosis group) and Colorado State University Teaching Hospital (TPLO group). 76 responses from the TPLO group and 203 from the owners whose dogs experimented stifle joint orthoses were considered.

The majority of respondents admitted that they would elect the same treatment if given that opportunity. Nevertheless, better treatment feedback was given by the TPLO group, classifying it from excellent to good.

The potential complications of orthosis devices are skin lesions, persistent lameness and equipment intolerance. Sixteen of the dogs experiencing this approach went to surgery afterwards (TPLO in seven of the cases) so this possible outcome should always be clearly stated by the veterinarian. The complications reported by the TPLO group were lower (5%) but this procedure may not be the first option if there are comorbidities, financial constraints, advanced age or inability to provide the proper postoperative care.

Caution is needed when interpreting this study as there are inherent retrospective study limitations, possible response bias and varied veterinary experience among practices. The authors reported some weaknesses and listed recommendations useful in future studies. Regardless, this research may be an important tool for veterinarians who want to correctly advise owners whose dogs were diagnosed with CCLD.

Hart, J., May, K. et al. Comparison of owner satisfaction between stifle joint orthoses and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy for the management of cranial cruciate ligament disease in dogs. JAVMA, Vol 249, No. 4, August 15, 2016.