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  • Author or Editor: Vicki L. Wilke x
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Objective—To determine the relationship between serum cortisol concentration and pain severity as measured by force platform gait analysis in dogs with experimentally induced synovitis of the stifle joint.

Animals—10 healthy hound-type dogs.

Procedures—Dogs underwent 2 study phases. In the first phase, serum cortisol concentration, systolic arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and gait data were obtained at 0 (first sample), 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10 hours. In the second phase, the same data were gathered immediately before (0 hours) and 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10 hours after induction of acute urate synovitis in the left stifle joint. Data were statistically evaluated to compare changes in variable values over time and to determine the accuracy of serum cortisol measurements for diagnosis of acute orthopedic pain.

Results—Following induction of synovitis, ground reaction forces were significantly decreased relative to preinduction values at 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, and 10.0 hours and serum cortisol concentration was significantly increased at 2.5 hours. A cortisol concentration of ≥ 1.6 μg/dL indicated pain with a 91% sensitivity and 35% specificity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this model, cortisol concentration may be useful for diagnosing pain in dogs. Although, with a cutoff of ≥ 1.6 μg/dL, pain would be detected in most dogs with pain, some pain-free dogs would also be identified as having pain. Conversely, dogs with a serum cortisol of < 1.6 μg/dL would be unlikely to have pain. Validation of this diagnostic test in a large, heterogeneous group of clinical patients is necessary.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To identify chromosomal regions associated with cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR) in a population of Newfoundlands.

Animals—90 client-owned Newfoundlands.

Procedures—A pedigree was constructed for dogs that did or did not have CCLR (determined on the basis of physical examination and radiographic findings). From this pedigree, affected and unaffected dogs were selected for genotyping on the basis of their predicted statistical likelihood of being homozygous CCLR-unaffected (n = 53) or homozygous CCLR-affected (37) dogs. Genotyping was performed for 532 microsatellite markers (MSATs). Comparisons of genotypes and allele frequencies were made between CCLR-affected and CCLR-unaffected dogs.

Results—In the selected population, 495 MSATs were informative with a mean interval between markers of 5.5 centimorgans. Eighty-six MSATs were significantly associated with the CCLR trait, whereas 4 markers (located on 4 chromosomes) were significantly associated with the trait when false discovery rate (q value) was controlled at the 0.05 level. Subsequent initial validation confirmed significant trait association for 3 of the 4 MSATs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In the population of Newfoundlands, 4 MSATs that were located on 4 chromosomes were significantly associated with the CCLR trait. Three of those markers were validated in part via genotyping additional closely located markers. The MSATs that were associated with the CCLR trait were identified in all regions (except for those on chromosome 24). Newfoundlands with CCLR could be used to study the disease process associated with anterior cruciate ligament injuries that occur in young female human athletes.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize mucosal gene expression in dogs with chronic enteropathy (CE).

Animals—18 dogs with CE and 6 healthy control dogs.

Procedures—Small intestinal mucosal biopsy specimens were endoscopically obtained from dogs. Disease severity in dogs with CE was determined via inflammatory bowel index scores and histologic grading of biopsy specimens. Total RNA was extracted from biopsy specimens and microchip array analysis (approx 43,000 probe sets) and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR assays were performed.

Results—1,875 genes were differentially expressed between dogs with CE and healthy control dogs; 1,582 (85%) genes were downregulated in dogs with CE, including neurotensin, fatty acid–binding protein 6, fatty acid synthase, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family member B1, metallothionein, and claudin 8, whereas few genes were upregulated in dogs with CE, including genes encoding products involved in extracellular matrix degradation (matrix metallopeptidases 1, 3, and 13), inflammation (tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-8, peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ, and S100 calcium-binding protein G), iron transport (solute carrier family 40 member 1), and immunity (CD96 and carcinoembryonic antigen–related cell adhesion molecule [CEACAM] 18). Dogs with CE and protein-losing enteropathy had the greatest number of differentially expressed genes. Results of quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR assay for select genes were similar to those for microchip array analysis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Expression of genes encoding products regulating mucosal inflammation was altered in dogs with CE and varied with disease severity.

Impact for Human Medicine—Molecular pathogenesis of CE in dogs may be similar to that in humans with inflammatory bowel disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research