Objective—To determine prevalence of radiographic
evidence of osteoarthritis in 4 diarthrodial joints of
dogs with restricted feed intake, compared with dogs
without restricted feed intake.
Design—Paired feeding study.
Animals—48 Labrador Retrievers.
Procedure—Dogs in litters from 7 dams and 2 sires
were paired by sex and weight within litters and randomly
assigned to a control-fed group or a limit-fed
group that received 25% less food than the controlfed
group. Radiographic evaluation of prevalence and
severity of osteoarthritis in the hip, shoulder, elbow,
and stifle joints was performed when dogs were 8
years of age.
Results—Radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis that
affected multiple joints was significantly more common
in the control-fed group than in the limit-fed
group. Prevalence of lesions in the hip joint was 15/22
in the control-fed group and 3/21 in the limit-fed
group. Prevalence of lesions in the shoulder joint was
19/22 in the control-fed group and 12/21 in the limitfed
group; lesions in this joint were generally mild.
Severity, but not prevalence, of osteoarthritis in the
elbow joint was greater in the control-fed group than
in the limit-fed group.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prevalence
and severity of osteoarthritis in several joints was less
in dogs with long-term reduced food intake, compared
with control dogs. Food intake is an environmental
factor that may have a profound effect on
development of osteoarthritis in dogs. (J Am Vet Med