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OBJECTIVE To compare owner satisfaction between custom-made stifle joint orthoses and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) for the management of medium- and large-breed dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD).

DESIGN Owner survey.

SAMPLE 819 and 203 owners of dogs with CCLD that were managed with a custom-made stifle joint orthosis or TPLO, respectively.

PROCEDURES Client databases of an orthosis provider and veterinary teaching hospital were reviewed to identify potential survey respondents. An online survey was developed to evaluate owner-reported outcomes, complications, and satisfaction associated with the nonsurgical (orthosis group) and surgical (TPLO group) interventions. Survey responses were compared between groups.

RESULTS The response rate was 25% (203/819) and 37% (76/203) for the orthosis and TPLO groups, respectively. The proportion of owners who reported that their dogs had mild or no lameness and rated the intervention as excellent, very good, or good was significantly greater for the TPLO group than for the orthosis group. However, ≥ 85% of respondents in both groups reported that they would choose the selected treatment again. Of 151 respondents from the orthosis group, 70 (46%) reported skin lesions associated with the device, 16 (11%) reported that the dog subsequently underwent surgery, and 10 (7%) reported that the dog never tolerated the device.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated high owner satisfaction rates for both interventions. Owners considering nonsurgical management with an orthosis should be advised about potential complications such as persistent lameness, skin lesions, patient intolerance of the device, and the need for subsequent surgery.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To estimate sensitivity and accuracy of subjective evaluation of mild lameness in horses during treadmill locomotion and to correlate subjective evaluation with kinematic analysis.


19 lame and 5 clinically normal horses.


Lameness was evaluated by subjective score and kinematic analysis before and after palmar digital nerve block (PDNB). Evaluations were made by 6 clinicians and 7 interns or residents. Within- and between-observer agreement analyses (κ values) were calculated and compared, using a Student’s t-test. Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated between clinician’s change in score and the change in kinematic variables after PDNB.


Within-observer agreement was within the range expected for conditions of moderate diagnostic difficulty. Within-observer agreement was higher for clinicians than for interns or residents. Between-observer agreement was acceptable for scores within 1 value of each other. Between-observer agreement of change in lameness score after PDNB was poor. When kinematic variables were ranked with each clinician’s subjective change in score, only 2 were among the top 3 for the majority of clinicians. Asymmetry of vertical head movement between contralateral forelimb stance phases and the point of maximum hoof height during swing decreased as lameness subjectively improved.


Mild lameness may be difficult to evaluate during treadmill locomotion. Although clinicians were more repeatable in their subjective evaluation of lameness than interns or residents, they were not more reliable at detecting the true state of lameness.

Clinical Relevance

Lack of agreement between clinician scoring of mild lameness emphasizes the need to use more objective measures for quantifying lameness. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1370–1377)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research