Intra-articular botulinum toxin A in treatment of osteoarthritic joint pain in dogs: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial

Helka Maaria Heikkilä, Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, Kaj Mikael Morelius, Stig Larsen, John F. Innes, Outi Maria Inkeri Vapaavuori

Research output: Conference materialsPosterpeer-review


Treatment of advanced osteoarthritis (OA) poses a challenge to veterinarians. Recently, intra-articular botulinum neurotoxin A
(IA BoNT A) has been proven effective in relieving joint pain in human patients. Our objective was to investigate the efficacy of IA BoNT A in osteoarthritic pain in dogs. The hypothesis was that IA BoNT A would provide significant pain relief compared to placebo.
Material and methods
The study was a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial with parallel group design and 12-week follow-up. Thirty-six dogs with chronic lameness due to stifle, hip or elbow OA
were randomized to receive an IA injection of 30IU of BoNT A (Botox®; Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland) or placebo (sterile 0.9% saline). The primary outcome variables were vertical impulse (VI) and peak
vertical force (PVF) measured with a force platform, and Helsinki Chronic Pain Index (HCPI). Subjective lameness score was a secondary variable. The treatment response was assessed as the change from baseline
to each control appointment (2,4,8 and
12 weeks after treatment). The variables were analyzed by ANOVA with repeated measurements. The statistical significance was set at P≤0.05.
The improvement from baseline to the end of study was statistically significant
in VI, PVF and HCPI within the treatment group (P=0.001, P=0.05 and P=0.05, respectively). The difference between
the groups in the improvement in VI was statistically significant (P=0.005). There was no significant change in the subjective lameness score in either group.
These results suggest that IA BoNT A has efficacy in reducing osteoarthritic pain in dogs. Therefore, IA BoNT A might have a role in the treatment of canine OA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventECVS 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting -
Duration: 4 Jul 20136 Jul 2013


OtherECVS 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting

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