Content continues after advertisement

Effect of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Treatment on Canine Life Expectancy

Christian Latimer, DVM, CCRP, DACVS-SA, Carolina Veterinary Specialists, Huntersville, North Carolina

Orthopedics

|January/February 2021

Sign in to Print/View PDF

In the literature

Boge GS, Engdahl K, Bergström A, et al. Disease-related and overall survival in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament disease, a historical cohort study. Prev Vet Med. 2020;181:105057.


FROM THE PAGE …

Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease is one of the most common orthopedic conditions in dogs and the leading cause of canine pelvic limb lameness.1

Surgical management of CCL disease has been shown to be the most effective treatment for returning the affected leg to function and limiting progression of stifle osteoarthritis. There are several procedures to treat this disorder, with osteotomy and extracapsular techniques being commonly used. Conservative management, which can include any combination of rest, NSAIDs, physical therapy, nutraceuticals, and intra-articular stifle injections, is an alternative option.

This historical cohort study evaluated the effect of treatment method (ie, conservative vs surgical management) and multiple risk factors (eg, body weight) on the survival of dogs with CCL disease (n = 333). Most veterinary studies on orthopedic conditions in dogs focus outcome measures on degree of lameness, return to function, and complication rate; this study, however, specifically evaluated the effect of treatment on life expectancy.

Models in this study revealed improved survival in surgically treated dogs as compared with dogs managed conservatively. In addition, factors shown to negatively affect survival included increasing age, increasing body weight, and having other orthopedic conditions.

Some important factors were not accounted for. Meniscal tears occur in a large portion of dogs with CCL disease and can be a source of pain and lameness. In this study, many patients treated surgically most likely had a meniscal injury treated at the time of surgery; however, joint exploration was rarely performed in dogs managed conservatively, so meniscal injury could be considered a confounding factor. In addition, increasing body weight was found to negatively affect survival, although smaller dogs generally tend to have a longer lifespan than larger dogs.

Findings regarding how CCL disease can affect survival rate in dogs can help clinicians make decisions regarding treatment recommendations for these patients.


… TO YOUR PATIENTS

Key pearls to put into practice:

1

CCL disease may affect life expectancy in dogs.

 

2

Patient factors (eg, age, body weight, presence of orthopedic and nonorthopedic comorbidities) should be considered when selecting a treatment method for CCL disease in dogs.

3

Surgical treatment often results in the most favorable long-term outcome for dogs with CCL disease.

References

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

All Clinician's Brief content is reviewed for accuracy at the time of publication. Previously published content may not reflect recent developments in research and practice.

Material from Clinician's Brief may not be reproduced, distributed, or used in whole or in part without prior permission of Educational Concepts, LLC. For questions or inquiries please contact us.

Podcasts

Clinician's Brief:
The Podcast

Listen as host Beckie Mossor, RVT, talks with the authors of your favorite Clinician’s Brief articles. Dig deeper and explore the conversations behind the content here.
Clinician's Brief provides relevant diagnostic and treatment information for small animal practitioners. It has been ranked the #1 most essential publication by small animal veterinarians for 9 years.*

*2007-2017 PERQ and Essential Media Studies

© Educational Concepts, L.L.C. dba Brief Media ™ All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy (Updated 05/08/2018) Terms of Use (Updated 05/08/2018)