Clinical assessments of increased sensory sensitivity in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture

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Dogs with chronic pain have a compromised quality of life. Repeatable and accurate sensory assessments form a means by which the hypersensitivity likely to reflect chronic pain may be quantified. These assessments can be applied to individuals to identify those that may benefit from improved analgesic relief. In this study four sensory assessments were evaluated in dogs presenting with a naturally occurring chronic painful condition (cranial cruciate ligament rupture, CCLR) and were compared with healthy control animals of similar age and weight.

Inter-digital von Frey filament and thermal sensitivity tests revealed that the affected hind limb of dogs with CCLR was significantly more sensitive than the opposing limb. Static weight bearing and gait parameter scores were also reduced in the affected hind limb compared to the opposing hind limb of dogs with CCLR; no such differences were found between the hind limbs of healthy (control) dogs. The quantitative sensory tests permitted the differentiation of limbs affected by CCLR from healthy limbs. Dogs presenting with CCLR demonstrate objectively quantitative sensory sensitivities, which may require additional consideration in case management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalThe Veterinary Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Cranial cruciate ligament rupture
  • Canine
  • Chronic pain
  • Quantitative assessment
  • Sensory tests


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