AKCCHF Grant #01584 Abstract

Conformation in Cranial Cruciate Ligament Deficiency in Dogs 
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Dominique J. Griffon, DVM PhD 
Institution:  Western University of Health Sciences 
Total Grant Amount:  \$34,000.  SCARF contributed \$2500.

Update:  Research Progress Report Final Summary 10/9/2015

Project Abstract: 

A torn ligament in the knee, known as cranial cruciate ligament deficiency (CCLD), is the leading cause of lameness affecting the knees of large breed dogs. The focus of Dr. Griffon’s research is to establish a way to identify individual dogs that are susceptible to this problem and, ultimately, prevent CCLD. This research group previously developed a \“CCLD conformation score\” to differentiate limbs of Labradors with or without CCLD based on their characteristics. They later found that sound Labradors with a high \“CCLD conformation score\” displayed stride and body mechanics that could predispose them to CCLD. They now intend to evaluate the ability of this score to predict CCLD and explore the genetic origin of the disease in a large pet population.

Purebred Labradors with CCLD and those at low risk for the disease will be recruited from several practices. Radiographs will be conducted to calculate the \“CCLD conformation score\” of each limb and and blood will be collected to compare genes between dogs. We will evaluate the ability of the \“conformation score\” to correctly identify the status of each limb and will refine our discriminating ability through the use of genetic information.  This project will, for the first time, combine clinical and genetic diagnostic tools to investigate CCLD in a large population of dogs. These results will help us understand the relationship between genetics, body characteristics, and CCLD in Labradors. Ultimately, successful identification of dogs predisposed to CCLD is the first and crucial step in developing strategies to reduce the risk or delay the onset of CCLD.