Cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR) is a leading orthopedic problem in Labrador retrievers. Michael Conzemius, DVM, PhD, DACVS, professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Molly McCue, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVIM, associate dean of research at the College of Veterinary Medicine and professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, recently collaborated on a study to determine the extent to which CCLR is associated with genetics in this breed.
The methodology of this study has proven effective in horses, and this was the first study to use these techniques to estimate heritability in dogs with CCLR. The scientists found that genetics contribute substantially to the disease’s prevalence in Labrador retrievers. These findings help clinicians get one step closer to a genetic test for earlier diagnosis and treatment.
However, determining a disease’s ties to genetics does not pinpoint the specific genes involved, so the scientists say future studies should focus on determining which genetic mutations increase the risk for CCLR in this breed.
This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Veterinary Orthopedic Society, Tata Group Endowment at the University of Minnesota, and the Bernice Barbour Foundation. It was published in Animal Genetics.