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  • Author or Editor: Riitta-Mari Tulamo x
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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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the effects of intra-articular (IA) injections of bufexamac in horses, focusing particularly on the effects of bufexamac on articular cartilage.

Animals—20 Standardbreds.

Procedure—Horses were randomly allocated into 4 groups consisting of 5 horses each, and 20, 60, or 100 mg of bufexamac or 1 ml of sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control) was injected into 1 intercarpal joint at weekly intervals for 6 treatments (days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35). Clinical signs and results of hematologic, serum biochemical, and synovial fluid (SF) analyses and radiography were used to evaluate treatment effects. On day 49, all horses were euthanatized; gross necropsy and histologic examinations of internal organs and articular tissues were performed. Glycosaminoglycan concentration of the articular cartilage was evaluated in safranin O-stained sections by use of a semiquantitative microspectrophotometric method.

Results—No systemic signs were observed. Temporary mild to moderate heat and effusion were the only clinical signs observed in a number of joints after IA injections and more often only in the 100 mg group, compared with controls. The 100 mg dose resulted in significant increases in SF WBC counts, with relative neutrophilia and SF total protein concentration 24 hours after injection (day 1). No lesions suggestive of toxic effects were detected at necropsy or on histologic examination. No changes in articular cartilage glycosaminoglycan concentration were detected.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Six injections of 20, 60, or 100 mg of bufexamac at weekly intervals did not cause any untoward systemic or local effects. These data suggest that bufexamac is a safe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for IA administration in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1629–1635)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To identify variables and evaluate methods for assessing chronic pain in dogs.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—41 dogs with canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and 24 apparently healthy dogs with no history of pain.

Procedure—2 veterinarians evaluated the dogs' locomotion and signs of pain. Owners of dogs with CHD and control dogs answered a questionnaire regarding their dogs' demeanor, behavior, and locomotion (descriptive scales) and assessed pain and locomotion (visual analog scales). Plasma concentrations of several stress-related hormones were determined, and 13 radiologic variables were assessed in affected hip joints.

Results—For many of the questions, answers provided by owners of dogs with CHD differed significantly from those of owners of control dogs. Stress hormone concentrations differed significantly between dogs with CHD and controls, but individual variation was too great for them to be of value in pain assessment. None of the radiologic variables examined correlated well with owner or veterinarian pain scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Chronic pain could be assessed in dogs with CHD through completion of the study questionnaire by a person familiar with the pet (eg, owner) after receiving appropriate education in its use. Eleven variables were identified as being potentially useful in assessment of chronic pain in dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222: 1552–1558)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association