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  • Author or Editor: Eithne J. Comerford x
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Objective—To assess different components of the extracellular matrix with regard to their thermal properties, composition, and turnover in ruptured cranial cruciate ligaments (CCLs) of dogs, compared with components of intact CCLs from a breed predisposed to CCL failure.

Sample Population—Ruptured CCLs obtained from 8 dogs of breeds predisposed to ruptured CCLs and intact CCLs from 12 cadaveric Labrador Retrievers.

Procedure—Ruptured and intact CCLs were analyzed for water content; collagen content and collagen cross-links were evaluated via hydroxyproline and amino-acid analyses, respectively. Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content was analyzed via dimethylmethylene blue and uronic acid assays. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)-2 and -9 and the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs)-1 and -2 were detected via gelatin SDS-PAGE zymography and reverse gelatin zymography. Thermal analysis of ligaments was performed by use of differential scanning calorimetry.

Results—Ruptured CCLs had significantly higher lamounts of immature cross-links, total and sulfated GAGs, and water content, compared with that of the intact ligaments. Compared with intact CCLs, concentration of pro–MMP-2 was significantly higher in ruptured CCLs; the maximum temperature of collagen denaturation was significantly lower in the ruptured CCLs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The extracellular matrix of ruptured CCLs had an increased matrix turnover indicated by increased collagen and GAG synthesis, compared with that of intact CCLs. Although the extracellular matrix changes may have occurred before ligament rupture, it is possible that these observed changes may be part of a reparative process after rupture. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1136–1141)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To quantify angular excursions; net joint moments; and powers across the stifle, tarsal, and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints in Labrador Retrievers and Greyhounds and investigate differences in joint mechanics between these 2 breeds of dogs.

Animals—12 clinically normal dogs (6 Greyhounds and 6 Labrador Retrievers) with no history of hind limb lameness.

Procedure—Small retroreflective markers were applied to the skin over the pelvic limb joints, and a 4- camera kinematic system captured data at 200 Hz in tandem with force platform data while the dogs trotted on a runway. Breed-specific morphometric data were combined with kinematic and force data in an inverse-dynamics solution for stance-phase net joint moments and powers at the stifle, tarsal, and MTP joints.

Results—There were gross differences in kinematic patterns between Greyhounds and Labradors. At the stifle and tarsal joints, moment and power patterns were similar in shape, but amplitudes were larger for the Greyhounds. The MTP joint was a net absorber of energy, and this was greater in the Greyhounds. Greyhounds had a positive phase across the stifle, tarsal, and MTP joints at the end of stance for an active push-off, whereas for the Labrador Retrievers, the only positive phase was across the tarsus, and this was small, compared with values for the Greyhounds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gross differences in pelvic limb mechanics are evident between Greyhounds and Labrador Retrievers. Joint kinetics in specific dogs should be compared against breed-specific patterns. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1563–1571)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare the attenuation of the medial coronoid process (MCP) in dogs with and without arthroscopically confirmed evidence of medial coronoid disease (MCD).


The database at our institution was searched for cases with thoracic limb lameness, diagnosed with MCD by arthroscopic examination that had CT as part of their investigation and compared with a control group of elbow joints from cadavers euthanized for reasons unrelated to MCD. A total of 84 elbow joints were included that met these criteria.


Following CT, a standardized measurement of the MCP was obtained from apex to base and the mean attenuation, SD, and total area were recorded. A comparative measurement was obtained from the proximal radial cortex at the level of the nutrient foramen. Elbow joint arthroscopy was carried out using standard portals, and the modified Outerbridge score was (MOS) used to score elbow joint cartilage. Descriptive and inferential statistics were carried out using MLwiN and R.


Attenuation of the MCP was reduced in dogs with MCD compared with those with no MCD (P < .002). No significant differences were observed in the attenuation between categories of severity (MOS). There was good inter- and intraobserver agreement between measurements (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.89 and 0.95, respectively).


MCP attenuation is reduced in dogs with MCD compared with dogs with no evidence of MCD. This finding may be a useful tool for early detection of MCD, but there is no relationship with arthroscopic lesion severity.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research