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Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, Statistics, Veterinary Clinical Sciences

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Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association





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Objective—To evaluate the effect of cold compression therapy (CCT) on postoperative pain, lameness, range of motion of the stifle joint, and swelling following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO) in dogs.

Design—Randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Animals—34 client-owned dogs with unilateral deficiency of a cranial cruciate ligament undergoing TPLO.

Procedures—Dogs were assigned to 2 groups. Group 1 (n = 17 dogs) received CCT in the 24-hour period following TPLO. Group 2 (n = 17 dogs) received no CCT. Degree of lameness, range of motion, and circumference of the stifle joint were measured before surgery and 1,14, and 28 days after surgery. A modified composite Glasgow pain scale, visual analogue scale, and pain threshold score were used to evaluate signs of pain before surgery and 1,14, and 28 days after surgery. Logistic regression and linear regression analysis were used to compare the measured variables.

Results—No complications were observed, and all dogs tolerated CCT. Use of CCT resulted in lower values for the visual analogue scale and Glasgow pain scale and lower pain threshold scores; lower lameness scores; less swelling; and an increased range of motion 24 hours after surgery. At 14 days after surgery, there were no significant differences between groups. At 28 days after surgery, too few data sets were available for comparison.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CCT decreased signs of pain, swelling, and lameness and increased stifle joint range of motion in dogs during the first 24 hours after TPLO.


This article is from Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 238 (2011): 1284, doi: 10.2460/javma.238.10.1284. Posted with permission.

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American Veterinary Medical Association



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