The aim of this questionnaire-based retrospective study was to ascertain veterinary practitioners in the British Isles' approaches to osteoarthritis in dogs. The Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis test and multiple ordinal logistic regression were used to compare demographic data with treatment options. Questionnaires were returned by 228 practitioners (a response rate of 22.8 per cent). The majority of responses were from males (70 per cent). Eighty-six per cent (188 of 220) of the respondents had graduated from veterinary schools in the UK and Ireland. Veterinarians who had graduated less recently used exercise modulation less frequently (P<0.004, odds ratio [OR]=1.06) and ranked exercise modulation as less important (P=0.008, OR=1.04). Veterinarians who had graduated outside the UK or Ireland were less likely (P=0.033, OR=0.46) to use exercise modulation than those who had graduated in the UK or Ireland. Veterinarians who had graduated more recently were less likely (P=0.008, OR=0.95) to use medications. Female veterinary surgeons were less likely to rank medications as important (P<0.0001, OR=0.29) and less likely to rank corticosteroids as important (P=0.046, OR=0.42) than male veterinary surgeons. Practitioners who had graduated outside the UK or Ireland were less likely (P=0.01, OR=0.30) to rank corticosteroids as important. There was a significant mild negative correlation between the frequency of use of structure-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (SMOADs) and practitioners' opinions on rank importance (−0.32, P<0.0001). Medications such as SMOADs and nutraceuticals were ranked as not important but were used frequently. Overall, age, sex, the university of graduation and the number of canine consultations per day had an impact on the practitioners' treatment protocols.
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