Effects of short - and long - term administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on osteotomy healing in dogs

Authors: 
Gallaher HM, Butler JR, Wills RW, Priddy LB, Elder SH, Heller SM, Brinkman E, Baumgartner W.
Vet Surg. 2019 Jul 10. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13282.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of short-term administration of carprofen on bone healing in dogs.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled experimental study.

ANIMALS: Eighteen purpose-bred sexually mature hound dogs.

METHODS: Tibial osteotomies were performed, and dogs were divided into three groups: no carprofen (n = 6), 2-week administration of carprofen at 2.2 mg/kg twice daily (n = 6), and 8-week administration of carprofen at 2.2 mg/kg twice daily (n = 5). Bone healing was evaluated radiographically at 4 and 8 weeks postoperatively. Postmortem, fracture healing was assessed via biomechanical testing (three-point bending), histological cartilage:callus ratio, and bone mineral density (BMD) with quantitative computed tomography.

RESULTS: No biomechanical difference was detected between dogs that received no carprofen and those that received 2 weeks of carprofen or between those that received 2 weeks vs 8 weeks of carprofen. Stiffness (P = .035) and maximum stress (P = .042) were higher in dogs that received no carprofen than in those that received 8 weeks of carprofen. Radiographic healing did not differ between dogs without carprofen and those with 2-week administration of carprofen (P = .9923). However, tibias of dogs without carprofen and those with 2-week administration of carprofen were more healed compared with those in the 8-week-carprofen group at 4 and 8 weeks after surgery (P = .0011). No treatment effect was detected by cartilage:callus ratio or BMD.

CONCLUSION: Long-term administration of carprofen had a negative effect on bone healing compared with short-term or no administration of carprofen.

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be used cautiously in dogs at risk for delayed bone healing, and administration should be discontinued beyond the perioperative period in dogs with fractures or osteotomies.

Small animal: