• Boxers;
  • dogs;
  • cranial cruciate ligament;
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers;
  • surgical complications


The aim of this study was to determine whether Boxers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers (SBT) have a higher incidence of complications or a worse outcome after cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) surgery compared with control breeds.


The design was a retrospective cohort study with data reviewed from medical records and outcome assessed by owner questionnaire.


The cohort included 210 canine stifles comprising 33 Boxers, 47 SBTs and 130 controls. For Boxers, the overall complication rate (39.4%), major complication rate (30.3%) and revision surgery rates (18.2%) were significantly higher than those of the control groups (14.6%, 10.8% and 4.6%, respectively). Overall, SBTs were no more likely to suffer complications or repeat surgery than the control group. Considering only lateral fabello-tibial suture (LFS) stabilisation, both Boxers (32.0%) and SBTs (23.3%) had higher complication rates than the control group (6.3%). There were no significant differences in outcome among the Boxer, SBT and control groups; median follow-up time was 2 years (range 0.5–7 years).


The overall complication rate for Boxers undergoing CCL surgery was higher compared with other breeds of dog. When surgical techniques were analysed separately, the LFS was associated with a higher complication rate in Boxers and SBTs. Further investigation into breed-specific surgical techniques is indicated.