Objective—To assess validity and reliability for a visual analogue scale (VAS) used by owners to measure chronic pain in their osteoarthritic dogs.
Sample—68, 61, and 34 owners who completed a questionnaire.
Procedures—Owners answered questionnaires at 5 time points. Criterion validity of the VAS was evaluated for all dogs in the intended-to-treat population by correlating scores for the VAS with scores for the validated Helsinki Chronic Pain Index (HCPI) and a relative quality-of-life scale. Intraclass correlation was used to assess repeatability of the pain VAS at 2 baseline evaluations. To determine sensitivity to change and face validity of the VAS, 2 blinded, randomized control groups (17 dogs receiving carprofen and 17 receiving a placebo) were analyzed over time.
Results—Significant correlations existed between the VAS score and the quality-of-life scale and HCPI scores. Intraclass coefficient (r = 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.57 to 0.82) for the VAS indicated good repeatability. In the carprofen and placebo groups, there was poor correlation between the 2 pain evaluation methods (VAS and HCPI items) at the baseline evaluation, but the correlation improved in the carprofen group over time. No correlation was detected for the placebo group over time.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although valid and reliable, the pain VAS was a poor tool for untrained owners because of poor face validity (ie, owners could not recognize their dogs' behavior as signs of pain). Only after owners had seen pain diminish and then return (after starting and discontinuing NSAID use) did the VAS have face validity.
Objective—To determine the validity, reliability, and sensitivity of a published chronic pain index by completion of a questionnaire in Finnish by owners of dogs with chronic signs of pain caused by osteoarthritis.
Animals—61 client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis.
Procedures—Validity, internal consistency, and repeatability testing of the questionnaire were evaluated by completion of questions in Finnish by owners of 61 dogs; the questionnaire was named the Helsinki chronic pain index (HCPI). Sensitivity testing of the questionnaire was determined from data of 2 smaller groups of dogs treated with carprofen (n = 17) or placebo (17). Owners completed the questionnaire 5 times during a 16-week period. Psychometric properties of the HCPI were evaluated.
Results—Principal component analysis yielded only a single stable component, indicating that the HCPI was best explained as an 11-item single construct index of chronic pain. Changes in the HCPI correlated well with change in quality of life and with change in the mobility visual analogue scale (r = 0.72 and r = 0.67, respectively), indicating a high predictive validity. Internal consistency (Cronbach A value = 0.82) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.84 for items and 0.92 for the HCPI) were high. Changes in scores (from baseline to treatment and back to no treatment) between the carprofen treatment group and placebo control group were significant, indicating high sensitivity.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The Finnish version of the HCPI provided a valid, reliable, and responsive tool for assessment of response to treatment in dogs with osteoarthritis.
Objective—To compare recovery of epithelial lining fluid (ELF) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) by use of weight-adjusted or fixed-amount volumes of lavage fluid in dogs.
Animals—13 healthy Beagles.
Procedures—Dogs were allocated to 2 groups. In 1 group, the right caudal lung lobe was lavaged on the basis of each dog's weight (2 mL/kg, divided into 2 aliquots) and the left caudal lung lobe was lavaged with a fixed amount of fluid (50 mL/dog, divided into 2 aliquots). In the second group, the right and left caudal lung lobes were lavaged by use of the fixed-amount and weight-adjusted techniques, respectively. The BALF was collected by use of bronchoscopy. A recovery percentage ≥ 40% was required. The proportion of ELF was calculated by use of the following equation: (concentration of urea in BALF/concentration of urea in serum) × 100.
Results—Mean ± SD proportion of ELF in BALF was 2.28 ± 0.39% for the weight-adjusted technique and 2.89 ± 0.89% for the fixed-amount technique. The SDs between these 2 techniques differed significantly (calculated by comparing 2 covariance structures [unstructured and compound symmetry] in a repeated-measures mixed ANOVA).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The findings strongly suggested that use of a weight-adjusted bronchoalveolar lavage technique provided a more uniform ELF recovery, compared with that for a fixed-amount bronchoalveolar lavage technique, when urea was used as a marker of dilution. A constant ELF fraction can facilitate more accurate comparisons of cellular and noncellular constituents in BALF among patients of various sizes.