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Conservative nonsurgical treatment for cranial cruciate ligament disease can be an effective management strategy in cats based on validated owner-based subjective assessment in some cases

Regan M. Stoneburner DVM1, James Howard DVM, MS, DACVS1, Eva M. Gurian BS2, Stephen C. Jones MVB, MS, DACVS, DECVS1, William M. Karlin DVM, MS, DACVS2, and Nina R. Kieves DVM, DACVS-SA, DACVSMR, CCRT1
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, Columbus, OH
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe long-term outcomes of cats managed medically for cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD) via a validated owner-based questionnaire.

ANIMALS

18 client-owned cats.

PROCEDURES

Retrospective review of medical records at 2 tertiary referral hospitals was conducted for records of cats diagnosed with CCLD for which medical management was pursued. History, physical examination findings, and medical management strategies were recorded. Owner follow-up was obtained via phone call or an email correspondence interview using a 2-part questionnaire. Part 1 consisted of 5 multiple-choice questions evaluating short-term outcomes following initiation of medical management. Part 2 assessed long-term outcomes via the validated Feline Musculoskeletal Pain Index—short form metrology instrument.

RESULTS

Mean follow-up time was 66.5 ± 46.7 months (range, 7 to 154 months). Medical management included oral analgesics, activity restriction, and joint supplements. Of the 18 cats, 13 (72%) were always able to bear weight or became weight bearing within a week following initiation of medical management, and 15 (83%) were reportedly clinically normal within 3 months of initiating medical management, with complete resolution of lameness occurring in less than 2 months in 12 of those cats. Long term, 17 of the 18 (94%) owners reported they felt that their cat had a good to excellent outcome with medical management. The mean Feline Musculoskeletal Pain Index—short form score of all cats was 0.29 ± 0.53 (range, 0 to 2.13).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Based on owner follow-up, conservative, nonsurgical management of CCLD can be an effective and appropriate management strategy for some cats; however, some may be best treated with surgical stabilization.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 153 KB)

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Kieves (kieves.1@osu.edu)