OBJECTIVE: To determine whether use of electrostimuluated acupuncture (ESA) would result in significant improvements in ground reaction forces and lameness scores in dogs with chronic elbow joint osteoarthritis secondary to elbow joint dysplasia. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled, crossover clinical trial. ANIMALS: 9 dogs with chronic forelimb lameness and radiographic evidence of elbow joint osteoarthritis. PROCEDURES: All dogs had a 3-week control acclimation period during which gait analysis was performed weekly. Dogs then received ESA once weekly for 3 weeks followed by a sham treatment once weekly for 3 weeks or received the sham treatment followed by ESA. Gait analysis was repeated prior to each treatment, and owners were asked to provide pain scores by use of a visual analog scale method. RESULTS: Treatment (control, acupuncture, or sham) did not have a significant effect on ground reaction forces for any limb. Owners of 8 of the 9 dogs were able to correctly guess the time period when ESA was delivered. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggested that ESA did not have any significant effects on severity of lameness, as determined by measurement of ground reaction forces, or severity of pain, as determined by visual analog scale pain scores, in dogs with chronic elbow joint osteoarthritis secondary to elbow joint dysplasia.
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