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 of large-breed dogs that have never had to have one of their dog’s legs amputated as a result of any particular disease process. This survey will gather the opinions of those owners that have never been through it, whilst this may seem an unusual survey to run, it is very important. Of particular importance is what amputation would mean to them (hypothetically) if it was necessary for one of their dogs as a result of a particular condition of their limbs. The results of this survey will help us understand more about what influences an owner’s decision to put their dogs through an amputation procedure. Understanding what owners that have never experienced amputation think about it is very important for our research programme. This will help us understand more about the general motivations for amputation and will help us appreciate what we should consider the ‘optimal’ treatment for the majority of clients with large-breed dogs that are affected by osteosarcoma. By optimal, we mean that which gives the dog the best quality of life for as long as possible, this is distinct from a treatment that focuses on length of life, which may not always be associated with perceived ‘good quality’. As treatment advice can vary, finding the best one for your dog can be confusing when faced with the news that your dog has a disease which could result in limb loss, for example cancers such as osteosarcoma. The survey proposes to help us tailor advice to the owners requirements and to what they best see fit for their large-breed dog.

 
It is important we do this, as whilst we are investigating the genetics of conditions which could lead to disease which may require amputation, we also need to understand what owner’s perceptions are towards such treatments. At present, we have very little understanding of how owners feel about the treatments for such diseases and which they feel is optimal. We are keen to expand on this, in parallel to developments in the genetics of the conditions and subsequently new treatments. Without this insight, new treatments whilst potentially very good at improving lifespan, may not be well accepted by owners of the affected dogs.

 

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.


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

 



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* 1. 1.    This question is with regard to consent to use the information contain 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. How long have you been a dog owner for?

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* 4. How many dogs have you owned/ do you own?

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* 5. Have you ever owned a large-breed dog before?

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* 6. If you answered no to the above please give details of the previous breeds you have owned?

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* 7. Do you rehome/ rescue dogs?

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* 8. Do you breed dogs?

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* 9. Do you show dogs?

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* 10. Do you work dogs or does your dog have a working purpose? If so please specify

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* 11. Do you insure your dogs?

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* 12. Gender of your current dog/s? Please give the gender of your dog/s and of which breed they are.

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* 13. Is your dog neutered? Please give the neuter status of your dog/s and of what breed they are.

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* 14. If you answered yes to the above please give the age at which the dog/s were neutered

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

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

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

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

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* 19. Do you or does your vet recommend the use of any complimentary/holistic/homeopathic therapies?

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* 20. If you answered yes to question 19, please specify which products are recommended?

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* 21. Have you ever owned a dog who has suffered a lifelong condition before?

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* 22. If you answered 'Yes' to question 21, Please specify what the condition was

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* 23. Have you ever owned a dog that developed cancer?

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* 24. If you answered 'Yes' to question 23, please give details of the type of cancer and the treatment involved

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* 25. If you answered yes to question 23, did your dog eventually die from the cancer or were they euthanised due to the cancer being present?

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* 26. Please only answer this question if you answered 'Yes' to question 23. If your dog died from the cancer please give details as to the circumstances around the death (we realise this is a very difficult question to answer given the emotional context but we would really appreciate your help with understanding this).

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* 27. What do you understand by the terms

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* 28. If your dog developed bone cancer would you consider chemotherapy?

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* 29. If your dog developed bone cancer would you consider radiotherapy?

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* 30. If you replied ‘yes’ to above questions, would you consider amputation for your dog as part of your dogs treatment, as well as chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy?

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* 31. Please rank the following in preferred choice of treatment if your dog were to develop malignant bone cancer. Please use 1 as the most preferable and 5 as the least preferable

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* 32. Would you consider euthanasia without any other treatment if your dog was diagnosed with cancer?

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* 33. Would you consider palliative care as the only treatment for your dog’s cancer, if they developed it (keeping your dog pain and symptom free without undergoing extensive treatment for the cancer) ?

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* 34. Would the age of your dog at the time their cancer was diagnosed alter the treatment plan you would consider?

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* 35. Do you know of any dogs that have had a limb amputated?

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* 36. Hypothetically, if one of your dogs sustained a non-cancerous problem with its limb, necessitating amputation, would you have this performed?

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* 37. Would the age of your dog change your decision of whether to choose amputation?

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* 38. Hypothetically, if one of your dogs developed bone cancer would you have amputation performed (this is part of the treatment approach that is associated with the best long-term survival)?

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* 39.  If your dog needed to have one of its limbs amputated would you come to the decision easily?

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* 40. If your dog required a limb amputation for a condition which isn’t bone cancer, would you select euthanasia instead of opting for amputation?

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* 41. If your dog developed a disease which meant they had to have their limb amputated, would which limb was affected alter your decision (e.g. front or back, left or right)? If so why?

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

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* 43. Do you think a dog that has had their limb amputated lives the same quality of life than a dog with all four limbs?

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

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* 45. 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 owners’ 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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