Retrospective study of bacterial infective arthritis in 31 dogs

D N Clements, M R Owen, J R Mosley, S Carmichael, D J Taylor, D Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To characterise the presenting signs and pathological changes of canine bacterial infective arthritis in 31 dogs, and to document the response to different treatment regimens. Risk factors that may predispose joints to bacterial infective arthritis and influence the success of treatment were also investigated.

METHODS: A retrospective review of cases of bacterial infective arthritis that were presented to three university veterinary referral hospitals over a five-year period (January 1997 to January 2002) was performed.

RESULTS: The elbow joint (38 per cent) and stifle joint (44 per cent) were most commonly affected. Radiographic changes consistent with pre-existing osteoarthritis were identified in 14 joints, which had no history of previous surgery (articular or periarticular) or penetrating wound. No significant difference (P = 0.78) was identified between the outcome of combined surgical and medical management, and medical management alone. There were trends comes with increased bodyweight of the dog, longer for poorer duration of lameness and a higher nucleated cell count of the affected joint fluid at presentation. The overall infection rate for articular surgical procedures at one institution was 1.3 per cent.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Medical and/or surgical management were usually successful in resolving infection (94 per cent). However, they were frequently unsuccessful in restoring full joint function; this may in part have been due to the nature of the underlying joint disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005




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