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Menchetti, Marika; Gandini, Gualtiero; Gallucci, Antonella; Della Rocca, Giorgia; Matiasek, Lara; Matiasek, Kaspar; Gentilini, Fabio; Rosati, Marco (2017): Approaching phantom complex after limb amputation in the canine species. In: Journal of Veterinary Behavior-Clinical Applications and Research, Vol. 22: pp. 24-28
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The objective of this study was to describe the presence, prevalence, clinical manifestations, and risk factors of phantom complex and its effect on the quality of life for dogs that underwent amputation of a limb. An online questionnaire was developed containing 3 sections with a total of 69 questions. Clinical cases were recruited from a web site for 3-legged dog owners. Data were acquired from February to March 2015. Descriptive statistics and frequency distribution analyses were performed on the collected data. Chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test were used for assessment of the associations between categorical variables. One hundred seven questionnaires were completed by owners of dogs with limb amputation. The most frequent reason for amputation was related to neoplasia (54%). Pain after limb amputation was commonly experienced by dogs, and the time of onset and clinical manifestations of pain after limb amputation were found to resemble those of phantom complex. The duration of pre-amputation pain and time between diagnosis and amputation were identified as risk factors for a higher frequency of post-amputation pain episodes. This pilot study introduces previously unreported signs that may be interpreted as expressions of pain in amputee dogs.