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


18 client-owned cats.


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.


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).


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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association