Rate of return to agility competition for dogs with cranial cruciate ligament tears treated with tibial plateau leveling osteotomy

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2018 Dec 1;253(11):1439-1444. doi: 10.2460/javma.253.11.1439.


OBJECTIVE To determine rate of and factors associated with return to agility competition for dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) rupture treated with tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). DESIGN Retrospective case series with nested case-control study. ANIMALS 31 dogs involved in agility competition with CrCL tears treated by TPLO at a private veterinary clinic from 2007 through 2013. PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to collect information on dog signalment, lesion characteristics, and surgical data. Owners completed a survey regarding whether and when their dog returned to agility competition after TPLO and, if so, how the dog performed. Performance data before and after TPLO were compared. RESULTS 20 of 31 (65%) dogs returned to agility competition after TPLO, 16 (80%) of which returned within 9 months after TPLO. The mean convalescent period for returning dogs was 7.5 months (range, 3 to 12 months). No dog that returned to competition sustained an injury to the affected limb during the follow-up period. No significant difference was identified between dogs that returned or did not return to agility competition regarding severity of osteoarthritis or proportions with meniscal injury or partial (vs complete) CrCL tears. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE These data suggested that the prognosis for returning to agility competition was good for dogs undergoing TPLO. None of the evaluated lesion characteristics were associated with return to competition. Rate of return to competition and duration of the convalescent period may be useful outcome variables for future investigations involving orthopedic procedures in dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries / veterinary*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dogs / injuries*
  • Dogs / surgery
  • Female
  • Male
  • Osteotomy / veterinary
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal*
  • Records / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Return to Sport
  • Tibia / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome