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The aims of this prospective study were to investigate the associations and correlations between individual clinical features of osteoarthritis of the cruciate deficient stifle joint and to document the temporal changes in these features over a 13-month period following surgical treatment. Fifty-eight dogs with osteoarthritis of the stifle joint, secondary to cranial cruciate ligament deficiency, were examined before surgical treatment for cruciate deficiency and at one and a half, seven and 13 months after surgery. At each visit, clinical features were graded using four-point, discontinuous, ordinal grading (Likert) scales and intra-articular pathology was also scored in a similar fashion at arthrotomy. No attempt was made to construct an aggregate score because the relative importance of different disease features and the relationships between them were not understood at the time of writing. At entry, the relationships between background and disease variables and clinical parameters were investigated as well as the relationships between clinical parameters and intra-articular pathology scores. Longitudinal analysis was performed to test for those features which showed significant change over the 13-month follow-up period. At entry, periarticular thickening and degree of crepitus were significantly correlated with disease duration. Several features showed significant change over the study period. Notably, the degree of quadriceps atrophy showed significant decrease from baseline scores at seven and 13 months while remaining different from normal, suggesting that a measure of quadriceps atrophy may be a useful measure of long-term outcome in this disease.