Sunday, August 3, 2014

Agility Toe Injury Study

A team of researchers from Washington State University, North Carolina State University, and Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital are conducting a study designed to 1) gather data about common toe problems in agility dogs and identify potential risk factors for injuries, and 2) analyze the return to athletic performance in agility dogs who had one or more toes amputated for any reason.

Toe injuries are very common in agility dogs but there is minimal information available to help understand why these injuries occur or how they may impact performance. In many cases, a veterinarian may recommend amputation all or part of the toe. When faced with these surgical options, owners of agility dogs often want to know what effect toe amputation might have on subsequent agility performance. There is almost no scientifically valid information on which a veterinarian can answer that question. The goal of this research project is to provide agility enthusiasts with information about toe problems in the sport, and veterinarians and dog owners with information to assist with decision-making in amputation situations.


The retrospective study will examine owner-supplied information about the cause and treatment of toe problems, as well as dogs’ return to performance after recovery from amputation (if applicable).  All agility dogs are eligible, regardless of whether the injury occurred during agility training/competing or whether the dog returned to agility after recovery.  All types of toe problems (injury, disease, tumor, etc.) are included in the study.


For additional information about this study, visit their webpage here:


If you think your dog may be eligible to participate, the online survey can be found here:  The questionnaire takes approximately 3-5 minutes to complete for dogs that were not treated with a toe amputation, and 10-15 minutes to complete for dogs who had one or more toes amputated.