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Evaluation of the effect of limited food consumption on radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis in dogs

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  • 1 Pet Nutrition Research Department, Ralston Purina Company, Checkerboard Sq, St Louis, MO 63164.
  • | 2 Pet Nutrition Research Department, Ralston Purina Company, Checkerboard Sq, St Louis, MO 63164.
  • | 3 Statistical Services Department, Ralston Purina Company, Checkerboard Sq, St Louis, MO 63164.
  • | 4 James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 6 Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 7 Pet Nutrition Research Department, Ralston Purina Company, Checkerboard Sq, St Louis, MO 63164.

Abstract

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 Assoc 2000;217:1678–1680)