Introduction

We wanted to introduce a new survey as part of our ongoing research into canine osteosarcoma (malignant bone cancer). We are looking for owners to take part in this survey who have had a Great Dane who suffered from a problem in their leg which resulted in amputation being performed that was not related to cancer. With this planned survey, we are attempting to establish owner’s experience of amputation for conditions unrelated to osteosarcoma. This is very important, as it will help us understand how much the diagnosis of osteosarcoma influences owner’s decisions over amputation. The survey will also help us appreciate what treatment or treatments vets recommend to manage particular non-cancerous conditions of the limb in large dogs. Of paramount importance is how owners feel about the amputation and the impact of it on both their dogs and themselves in caring for them long-term. From this we will not only be able to review the various conditions for which large-breed dogs have had a limb amputated but also and importantly, how this impacted on their long-term quality of life. The opinions and experiences of the owners taking part will help us understand the impact of amputation outside of the context of osteosarcoma, which is extremely important. From these results we are aiming to understand how best to treat osteosarcoma from an owners’ point of view. A major outcome from this study is to help us understand whether the specific conditions that affect dogs impact differently on whether an owner decides on a particular treatment. By looking at the range of conditions for which dogs have had amputation, it will help us determine this as much as possible. Why is this important? Because we must ensure that any new or novel treatments for dogs with osteosarcoma are acceptable to owners and well tolerated by the dogs themselves. This approach focuses on quality of life rather than quantity. We cannot assume that any new treatment (or existing treatment for that matter) that we or any other group develops will be considered acceptable by the owners of those unfortunate affected dogs.


By completing this survey, you will greatly help us understand what drives decisions over why amputation is chosen. Equally importantly, you will provide us with information as to how the selected treatment proceeds and finally on reflection, whether the treatment provided the anticipated improved quality of life and survival. At present, there is very little reported about the optimal treatment for large breed dogs from an owner’s perspective. We are keen that we can begin to understand this further, in parallel with any developments regarding the genetics of osteosarcoma. Without this insight, new treatments - whilst potentially very good at improving lifespan, may not be well accepted by owners of the affected dogs and therefore have limited benefit to the dogs themselves.

 

We would therefore appreciate your support by consenting to be involved, on the basis of this being an anonymised study where the details of participants (both dog and owners) will not be revealed. Only the researchers at the University of Nottingham will know those people taking part. It is hoped that by maintaining a strictly anonymous project we will encourage all owners and breeders to get involved. Participation in this research is entirely voluntary and there is no obligation to take part. Your details and the information you provide will be anonymised. This study has been approved by the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science’s ethics committee. We would therefore appreciate your support by consenting to be involved on this basis. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. We would appreciate it if you could complete this for each dog you have had that has undergone amputation.

 

For any questions about this survey please contact Emily Holdsworth on svyeh4@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk or sv-dogs@nottingam.ac.uk

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* 1. 1.    This question is with regard to consent to use the information contained in this study anonymously for research purposes (please select all consent boxes)

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* 2. Please provide us with your details (these are confidential only known to the research team and never shared)

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* 3. Dogs details

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* 4. How many Great Danes do you/have you owned?

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* 5. How many dogs do you own which are not Great Danes? Which breed are they?

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* 6. Do you breed Great Danes or other breeds of dog?

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* 7. Do you show Great Danes or other breeds of dog?

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* 8. What is the gender of your Great Danes or other breeds of dog? Please assign a breed to the gender

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* 9. Is your Great Dane or other breed of dog that you are completing this survey for neutered?

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* 10. Is you dog insured?

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* 11. Was your dog insured at the time of its amputation?

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* 12. Do you regularly take your dog to the vets for routine health checks (e.g. for vaccinations)?

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* 13. How much do you agree with the following statement? I have a good relationship with my vet

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* 14. If you answered strongly disagree or disagree to the question above, Please give details as to why

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* 15. When you attend the vets do you try to always see the same vet?

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* 16. At what age was your dog when they had their limb amputated?

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* 17. Do you think the age of your dog, at the time of its amputation, had an effect on your decision on whether to choose amputation as a treatment option?

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* 18. What were the events leading up to and the decisions made resulting in the amputation of your dog’s leg?

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* 19. Did you seek a second opinion before opting to amputate? If so please give details to your answer

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* 20. Was your dog referred to a specialist veterinary hospital in order for amputation or any other treatment options to be carried out?

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* 21. How long after your dog developed the problem with its leg was amputation performed?

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* 22. What advice were you given by your vet regarding treatment of the condition which required your dogs to have an amputation?

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* 23. Was amputation recommended as the best/most appropriate first line of treatment?

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* 24. How long after the vet diagnosed your dog’s condition was your dog’s limb amputated?

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* 25. How do you think your dog tolerated the amputation procedure?

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* 26. Were there any complications/problems with the amputation procedure?

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* 27. Did your dog encounter any problems in the recovery period?

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* 28. Did your dog have post-operative physiotherapy or hydrotherapy?

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* 29. If you answered 'Yes' to question 28 please give details of the therapy plan

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* 30. What do you understand about the phrase ‘quality of life’?

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* 31. Do you feel your dog has the same quality of life following their limb amputation as before the limb was amputated?

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* 32. How long after your dog’s limb was amputated did their condition improve? Please give an explanation to your answer

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* 33. Based on your experience, would you recommend amputation as a treatment to owners whose dog has a disease which could result in amputation and why?

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* 34. Would you choose this same treatment for your dog if you could go back and choose again? If not what treatment would you have selected?

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* 35. Would you choose this same treatment again for another of your dogs if they were diagnosed with the same condition?

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* 36. 1.    Do you think you would feel the same if this was for a different bone condition for example Osteosarcoma? Please give as much detail as possible

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* 37. Please feel free to add any comments you think might be relevant to this survey and project:

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* 38. Date questionnaire was completed

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Many thanks for taking the time to complete this survey, it is very much appreciated. The results of this survey will help understand owner’s views on treatment for this unpleasant disease and help us determine the most appropriate ways to undertake research into conditions where dogs require amputation.

If you have any questions or queries regarding this survey please feel free to email Emily Holdsworth on svyeh4@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk


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