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Objective—To determine whether carprofen, a commercially available NSAID, would decrease perceived exertion and signs of pain in dogs and therefore increase muscle mass and hind limb function without decreasing range of motion after lateral fabellar suture stabilization.
Design—Randomized, blinded, controlled clinical trial.
Animals—35 dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture and lateral fabellar suture stabilization followed by rehabilitation.
Procedures—All dogs underwent surgical stabilization of cranial cruciate ligament rupture by placement of a lateral fabellar suture. Dogs received carprofen (2.2 mg/kg [1 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) for the first 7 days after surgery and underwent concentrated rehabilitation exercises during weeks 3, 5, and 7 after surgery. Eighteen dogs also received carprofen (2.2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) during the weeks of concentrated rehabilitation. Outcomes were measured by a single investigator, who was blinded to group assignments, using pressure platform gait analysis, goniometry, thigh circumference, and mean workout speed at a consistent level of exertion.
Results—There were no differences between the 2 groups in ground reaction forces, thigh circumference, or exertion (mean workout speed) over time or at any individual time point. However, both groups improved significantly over time for all outcome measures.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Providing carprofen to dogs during concentrated rehabilitation after lateral fabellar suture stabilization did not improve hind limb function, range of motion, or thigh circumference, nor did it decrease perceived exertion, compared with control dogs. Carprofen was not a compulsory component of a physical therapy regimen after lateral fabellar suture stabilization.