Objective—To compare the duration of clinical signs in dogs prior to total hip replacement (THR) for 2 time periods and to determine whether a previous THR influenced the duration of clinical signs prior to THR of the contralateral hip joint.
Design—Retrospective cohort study.
Animals—833 dogs that underwent unilateral THR (334 dogs between 1992 and 2000 [group 1] and 499 dogs between 2001 and 2009 [group 2]; part 1) and 272 dogs that underwent staged bilateral THR between 1992 and 2009 (part 2).
Procedures—Duration of pelvic limb lameness prior to THR was recorded in an in-house data registry. Mean duration of clinical signs was determined for both groups of dogs in part 1. For part 2, duration of clinical signs prior to the first THR was compared with the interval between surgeries in dogs that underwent bilateral THR.
Results—In part 1, duration of clinical signs was significantly longer for group 2 dogs than for group 1 dogs. In part 2, the duration of clinical signs prior to the first THR was significantly longer than the interval between surgeries.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Between 1992 and 2009, the duration of clinical signs prior to THR in dogs increased significantly. In dogs that underwent bilateral THR, the interval between surgeries was shorter than the duration of clinical signs before the first THR. Developments in medical treatments of osteoarthritis, surgical preferences, and veterinarian recommendations may influence the interval between initial clinical signs and surgery.