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.