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  • Author or Editor: Wanda J. Gordon x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether carprofen, a commercially available NSAID, would decrease perceived exertion and signs of pain in dogs and therefore increase muscle mass and hind limb function without decreasing range of motion after lateral fabellar suture stabilization.

Design—Randomized, blinded, controlled clinical trial.

Animals—35 dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture and lateral fabellar suture stabilization followed by rehabilitation.

Procedures—All dogs underwent surgical stabilization of cranial cruciate ligament rupture by placement of a lateral fabellar suture. Dogs received carprofen (2.2 mg/kg [1 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) for the first 7 days after surgery and underwent concentrated rehabilitation exercises during weeks 3, 5, and 7 after surgery. Eighteen dogs also received carprofen (2.2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) during the weeks of concentrated rehabilitation. Outcomes were measured by a single investigator, who was blinded to group assignments, using pressure platform gait analysis, goniometry, thigh circumference, and mean workout speed at a consistent level of exertion.

Results—There were no differences between the 2 groups in ground reaction forces, thigh circumference, or exertion (mean workout speed) over time or at any individual time point. However, both groups improved significantly over time for all outcome measures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Providing carprofen to dogs during concentrated rehabilitation after lateral fabellar suture stabilization did not improve hind limb function, range of motion, or thigh circumference, nor did it decrease perceived exertion, compared with control dogs. Carprofen was not a compulsory component of a physical therapy regimen after lateral fabellar suture stabilization.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the spatiotemporal gait characteristics and associated covariates of clinically normal dogs and dogs with spinal cord disease.

Animals—42 clinically normal dogs and 24 dogs with myelopathy at spinal cord segment T3-L3.

Procedures—Gait was analyzed for velocity, stride length, stride time, stance time, and swing time and compared between groups with consideration of covariates, including height, weight, velocity, sex, and age.

Results—By use of multivariate regression, dogs with neurologic signs, compared with clinically normal dogs, had decreased stride time, stance time, and stride length in the forelimbs and increased swing time in the hind limbs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of spatiotemporal gait characteristics appears to have potential for use as an outcome measure for dogs with neurologic disease.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare 1-year outcomes after lateral fabellar suture stabilization (LFS) and tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) for the treatment of dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease.

Design—Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial.

Animals—80 dogs with naturally occurring unilateral cranial cruciate ligament disease.

Procedures—All dogs were randomly assigned to undergo LFS (n = 40) or TPLO (40). Clinical data collected included age, weight, body condition score, history information, stifle joint instability, radiographic findings, surgical findings, and complications. Outcome measures were determined prior to surgery and at 6 and 12 weeks and 6 and 12 months after surgery, including values of pressure platform gait analysis variables, Canine Brief Pain Inventory scores, owner satisfaction ratings, thigh circumference, and stifle joint goniometry values.

Results—Signalment and data for possible confounding variables were similar between groups. Peak vertical force of affected hind limbs at a walk and trot was 5% to 11% higher for dogs in the TPLO group versus those in the LFS group during the 12 months after surgery. Canine Brief Pain Inventory, goniometry, and thigh circumference results indicated dogs in both groups improved after surgery, but significant differences between groups were not detected. Owner satisfaction ratings at 12 months after surgery were significantly different between groups; 93% and 75% of owners of dogs in the TPLO and LFS groups indicated a satisfaction score ≥ 9 (scale, 1 to 10), respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Kinematic and owner satisfaction results indicated dogs that underwent TPLO had better outcomes than those that underwent LFS.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To measure the mitral annulus in dogs. Our hypothesis was that mitral measurement would be possible and consistent among observers using CT.


Thoracic CT scans of dogs without known heart disease.


Five trained investigators measured 4 aspects of the mitral valve and the fourth thoracic vertebrae (T4) length using multiplanar reformatting tools. Ten randomly chosen animals were measured by all investigators to determine interobserver reliability.


There were 233 CT scans eligible for inclusion. Dogs weighed 2 to 96 kg (mean, 28.1 kg), with a variety of breeds represented. Golden Retrievers (n = 28) and Labrador Retrievers (n = 37) were overrepresented. The intraclass correlations were all greater than 0.9, showing excellent agreement between observers. The means and SDs of each measurement were as follows: trigone-to-trigone distance, 17.2 ± 4.7 mm; the remaining circumference, 79.0 ± 17.5 mm; commissure-to-commissure distance, 30.8 ± 6.5 mm; septal leaflet-to-lateral leaflet distance, 26.3 ± 6.0 mm; T4 length, 16.9 ± 3.1 mm; and the total circumference normalized by T4, 5.7 ± 0.7 mm.


This study provides information that may help in the development of future treatment for mitral valve dysfunction and subsequent annular enlargement.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine peak vertical force (PVF) and vertical impulse (VI) in cats that had or had not undergone bilateral forelimb onychectomy.

Animals—26 healthy adult cats.

Procedure—Onychectomized cats (n = 13) had undergone surgery more than 6 months prior to the study. The PVF and VI were collected from all limbs of each cat with a 2-m pressure platform walkway. Cats were allowed to walk at a comfortable velocity, and acceleration was restricted to ± 0.5 m/s2. Five valid trials were recorded for each cat with all trials collected in a single 1-hour session. All forces were normalized to and expressed as a percentage of the cat's body weight.

Results—Gait data were successfully collected in all cats. No significant difference was found for PVF or VI between cats that had or had not had onychectomy. Limb loads were greater in forelimbs than hind limbs for all trials. Mean PVF and VI in the forelimbs of cats in the nononychectomy group were 56.41% and 18.85%, respectively. Mean PVF and VI in the hind limbs of cats in the nononychectomy group were 50.22% and 14.56%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gait analysis was successfully performed in cats with a pressure platform walkway. The absence of differences in PVF and VI between the 2 groups of cats suggests that bilateral forelimb onychectomy did not result in altered vertical forces measured more than 6 months after surgery in cats. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1276–1278)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the analgesic effects of topical administration of bupivacaine, IM administration of butorphanol, and transdermal administration of fentanyl in cats undergoing onychectomy.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—27 healthy adult cats.

Procedure—Cats were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups, and unilateral (left forefoot) onychectomy was performed. Gait analysis was performed before and 1, 2, 3, and 12 days after surgery. All forces were expressed as a percentage of the cat's body weight.

Results—On day 2, peak vertical force (PVF) was significantly decreased in cats treated with bupivacaine, compared with cats treated with butorphanol or fentanyl. The ratio of left forelimb PVF to PVF of the other 3 limbs was significantly lower on day 2 in cats treated with bupivacaine than in cats treated with fentanyl. No significant differences in vertical impulse (VI) were found between groups on any day. Values for PVF, VI, and the PVF ratio increased progressively following surgery. However, for all 3 groups, values were still significantly decreased, compared with baseline values, 12 days after surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that limb function following onychectomy is significantly better in cats treated with fentanyl transdermally or butorphanol IM than in cats treated with bupivacaine topically. Regardless of the analgesic regimen, limb function was still significantly reduced 12 days after surgery, suggesting that long-term analgesic treatment should be considered for cats undergoing onychectomy. Irrigation of the surgical incisions with bupivacaine prior to wound closure cannot be recommended as the sole method for providing postoperative analgesia in cats undergoing onychectomy. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:89–93)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate short-term postoperative forelimb function after scalpel and laser onychectomy in cats.

Design—Randomized, prospective study.

Animals—20 healthy adult cats.

Procedures—Cats were randomly assigned to the laser (n = 10) or scalpel (10) onychectomy group. Unilateral left forelimb onychectomy was performed. In the scalpel group, a tourniquet was used during surgery and a bandage was applied after surgery. Pressure platform gait analysis was performed prior to and 1, 2, 3, and 12 days after onychectomy. Peak vertical force (PVF), vertical impulse, and the ratio of the PVF of the left forelimb to the sum of the remaining limbs (PVF ratio) were used as outcome measures.

Results—The laser onychectomy group had significantly higher ground reaction forces on days 1 and 2 and significantly higher PVF ratio on day 12, compared with the scalpel group. Similarly, significant differences were found in change in ground reaction forces on days 1 and 2 and the PVF ratio on day 12, compared with day −1. No cats required rescue analgesia during the course of the study. One cat in the laser group had signs of depression and was reluctant to walk on day 2 after surgery, had physical examination findings consistent with cardiac insufficiency, and was euthanized.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats had improved limb function immediately after unilateral laser onychectomy, compared with onychectomy with a scalpel, tourniquet, and bandage. This improved limb function may result from decreased pain during the 48 hours following unilateral laser onychectomy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the outcome and effect of surgical technique on limb function after surgery for rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (RCCL) and injury to the medial meniscus in Labrador Retrievers.

Study Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—131 Labrador Retrievers with unilateral RCCL and injury to the medial meniscus and 17 clinically normal Labrador Retrievers.

Procedure—Affected dogs had partial or complete medial meniscectomy and lateral suture stabilization (LSS), intracapsular stabilization (ICS), or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). Limb function was measured before surgery and 2 and 6 months after surgery. Treated dogs were evaluated to determine the probability that they could be differentiated from clinically normal dogs and tested to determine the likelihood that they achieved improvement.

Results—No difference was found between LSS or TPLO groups, but dogs treated with ICS had significantly lower ground reaction forces at 2 and 6 months. Compared with clinically normal dogs only, 14.9% of LSS-, 15% of ICS-, and 10.9% of TPLO-treated dogs had normal limb function. Improvement was seen in only 15% of dogs treated via ICS, 34% treated via TPLO, and 40% treated via LSS.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Surgical technique can influence limb function after surgery. Labrador Retrievers treated via LSS, ICS, or TPLO for repair for of RCCL and medial meniscal injury managed with partial or complete meniscectomy infrequently achieve normal function. Results of LSS and TPLO are similar and superior to ICS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:232–236)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association