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Investigation into clients’ perception of postoperative physiotherapy for dogs undergoing cranial cruciate ligament disease surgery
  1. Pilar Lafuente1,2,
  2. João Alves3,4 and
  3. Lau Man Chun1
  1. 1 Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield, UK
  2. 2 Animal Medicine and Surgery, Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera, Valencia, Spain
  3. 3 Guarda Nacional Republicana (Portuguese Gendarmerie), Lisbon, Portugal
  4. 4 Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrâneas (ICAAM), Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal
  1. E-mail for correspondenceAnimal Medicine ; pilar.lafuente{at}


Aim To evaluate clients’ understanding, perception and experience of postoperative physiotherapy after undergoing an osteotomy technique for cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD).

Method A retrospective questionnaire was sent to 202 owners of dogs that underwent CCLD surgery at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2017, with 63 responses obtained.

Results Significant differences were found in choice of physiotherapy between clients recommended or not by their vets (p<0.01), and between those offered additional information and those who were not (p<0.01). Of those who chose physiotherapy, 85% had a satisfactory experience. No difference was found in choice of physiotherapy between clients aware of its availability and those who were not (p=0.069). No association was found between cost of the service and clients’ perception of cost-worthiness (p=0.169) or between cost-worthiness and recovery outcome (p=0.420). A correlation was found between clients' perception of cost-worthiness and satisfaction level (p=0.03). Clients’ knowledge was related to the choice of physiotherapy (p=0.01), but not to other investigated factors. A significant relationship was found between clients' age and choice of physiotherapy (p=0.01), with younger clients choosing physiotherapy more often.

Conclusion Veterinarians recommending physiotherapy and providing accurate information affect clients' decision to choose, and perception of, physiotherapy, in addition to clients’ own knowledge.

  • dog
  • cranial cruciate ligament disease
  • client’s perception
  • questionnaire
  • physiotherapy
  • tibial plateau level osteotomy
  • cranial closing wedge osteotomy
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was obtained from the Royal Veterinary College Research Ethical Review Board on February 13, 2018 (Ref. URN SR2017-1323).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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