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Complications in boxer dogs and Staffordshire bull terriers undergoing cranial cruciate ligament surgery

A. S. Levien, D. C. Brodbelt, G. I. Arthurs

CRANIAL cruciate ligament (CCL) disease is the most common cause of pelvic lameness in dogs. Surgical strategies to stabilise a CCL-deficient stifle include placement of a lateral fabello-tibial suture (LFS) and tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO). This study aimed to determine whether, as suggested anecdotally, boxer dogs and Staffordshire bull terriers have a higher incidence of complications after CCL surgery compared with other breeds.

The medical records of dogs that had undergone surgery for CCL repair at the Royal Veterinary College from June 2003 to August 2009 were reviewed. Records were categorised into three groups: Staffordshire bull terriers, boxers and controls. All dogs had been treated using either LFS or TPLO techniques. All complications were recorded and defined as any undesirable consequences associated with the surgery. To evaluate outcomes, an owner survey was conducted by telephone.

Thirty-three boxers, 47 Staffordshire bull terriers and 130 controls were identified for inclusion in the study. Nineteen of 130 controls (14.6 per cent), 11 of 47 Staffordshire bull terriers (23.4 per cent) and 13 of 33 boxers (39.4 per cent) developed complications following surgery. Boxers had a statistically significant increased risk of complications compared …

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