Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Cryotherapy Improves Limb Use But Delays Normothermia Early After Stifle Joint Surgery in Dogs


Objective: To evaluate the short-term efficacy and safety of cold compression therapy (CCT) relative to a soft padded bandage (SPB) in dogs undergoing surgery to manage cranial cruciate ligament injury. Methods:Dogs were randomized into groups that received CCT or SPB after surgery. Weight bearing was measured using a weight distribution platform before and the day after surgery. Stifle joint flexion and extension were measured using a goniometer before and the day after surgery. Rectal temperatures were measured every 15 min for 2 h after surgery and the morning after surgery. Mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNT) were measured using an algometer the day after surgery. Findings in both groups were compared using a mixed model ANOVA. Results:20 dogs were enrolled: 10 in the CCT and 10 in the SPB group. Dogs undergoing CCT had more stifle joint flexion (P = 0.008) and weight bearing (P < 0.001) after surgery than dogs with SPB. MNT after surgery correlated statistically with stifle joint flexion after surgery (r = -0.315, P = 0.014), extension after surgery (r = 0.310, P = 0.016), and weight bearing after surgery (r = 0.314, P = 0.003). Return to normothermia was delayed in the CCT group, with temperatures ~0.5°C (1.0°F) lower 105 (P = 0.018) and 120 min (P = 0.013) after surgery. Conclusion:Relative to bandaging, CCT had a positive short-term impact on stifle flexion and weight bearing. CCT delayed warming after surgery but dogs were only mildly hypothermic [0.5°C [1.0°F]].

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View