Evaluation of the clinical effects of diet and physical rehabilitation in dogs following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

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Evaluation of the clinical effects of diet and physical rehabilitation in dogs following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

  • October 4 2023
  • Companion Studies

Published: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. March 15, 2018, Vol. 252, No. 6, Pages 686-700

Author(s): "Wendy I. Baltzer DVM, PhD; Sarah Smith-Ostrin; Jennifer J. Warnock DVM, PhD; Craig G. Ruaux BVSc, PhD"

Forty-eight dogs with unilateral cranial cruciate ligament disease received tibial plateau leveling osteotomies as treatment.  After surgery, the dogs were randomly assigned to four groups:  1) Test food only group (TF) that received dry omega-3 fatty acids and protein-enriched dog food formulated to support joint health; 2) Control food only group (CF) that received dry food formulated for adult canine maintenance; 3) TF plus physical rehabilitation (TF-R); or 4) CF plus physical rehabilitation (CF-R).  During the six-month post-operative period these elements were assessed for each dog: body weight, body condition score, ground reactive forces, tibial plateau angle, limb circumference, pain and lameness scores by surgeons and dog owners and daily activity by accelerometry.

  • Peak vertical force and vertical impulse was greater in the TF group compared to the CF group
  • Peak vertical force was greater in dogs that had physical rehabilitation versus no rehabilitation
  • Owner impressions of lameness and pain were lowered in some activities for the TF group compared to other groups, and in the TF-R and CF-R groups versus the CF group
  • Light and moderate activity was associated with rehabilitation

Clinical improvements were shown in groups fed the TF diet and who received physical rehabilitation in the first 6 months after TPLO.