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Effects of electrostimulated acupuncture on ground reaction forces and pain scores in dogs with chronic elbow joint arthritis

Amy S. Kapatkin DVM, DACVS1, Michael Tomasic VMD, DACVA2, Jill Beech VMD, DACVIM3, Cheyney Meadows VMD, PhD4, Raymond C. Boston PhD5, Philipp D. Mayhew BVM&S, DACVS6, Michelle Y. Powers DVM7, and Gail K. Smith VMD, PhD8
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies–New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies–New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Studies–New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.
  • | 8 Department of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether use of electrostimuluated acupuncture (ESA) would result in significant improvements in ground reaction forces and lameness scores in dogs with chronic elbow joint osteoarthritis secondary to elbow joint dysplasia.

Design—Randomized, controlled, crossover clinical trial.

Animals—9 dogs with chronic forelimb lameness and radiographic evidence of elbow joint osteoarthritis.

Procedures—All dogs had a 3-week control acclimation period during which gait analysis was performed weekly. Dogs then received ESA once weekly for 3 weeks followed by a sham treatment once weekly for 3 weeks or received the sham treatment followed by ESA. Gait analysis was repeated prior to each treatment, and owners were asked to provide pain scores by use of a visual analog scale method.

Results—Treatment (control, acupuncture, or sham) did not have a significant effect on ground reaction forces for any limb. Owners of 8 of the 9 dogs were able to correctly guess the time period when ESA was delivered.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that ESA did not have any significant effects on severity of lameness, as determined by measurement of ground reaction forces, or severity of pain, as determined by visual analog scale pain scores, in dogs with chronic elbow joint osteoarthritis secondary to elbow joint dysplasia.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Kapatkin's present address is the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Dr. Powers' present address is the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164.

Dr. Tomasic's present address is 91 Encantado Loop, Santa Fe, NM 87505.

Dr. Meadows' present address is Schering Plough Animal Health, 556 Morris Ave, Summit, NJ 07901.

Supported by Ms. Kindy French, Washington, DC.

Presented in part at the 29th Annual Conference of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, The Canyons, Utah, March 2002.

Address correspondence to Dr. Kapatkin.