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  • Author or Editor: Lisa M. Stacy x
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Objective—To determine the mRNA expression of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-6 and -2 and a BMP antagonist (Noggin) in horses with osteochondrosis.

Sample Population—Samples of articular cartilage from affected stifle or shoulder joints of 10 immature horses with naturally acquired osteochondrosis and corresponding joints of 9 clinically normal horses of similar age; additionally, samples of distal femoral growth plate cartilage and distal femoral articular cartilage were obtained from a normal equine fetus.

Procedure—Cartilage specimens were snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen, and total RNA was isolated. Adjacent specimens were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for histologic examination. Expression of BMP-6, BMP-2, and Noggin mRNA was evaluated by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Spatial tissue mRNA expression of BMP-6 was determined by in situ hybridization.

Results—Nucleotide sequences were obtained for portions of the BMP-6 propeptide and mature peptide region, as well as the signal and mature peptide region of Noggin. Expression of BMP-6, BMP-2, and Noggin mRNA was found to be similar in cartilage from normal and osteochondrosis-affected horses. Spatial expression of BMP-6 correlated with the middle and deep layers of articular cartilage; no differences were observed in overall expression between cartilage specimens from the 2 groups of horses. No expression of BMP-6 was found in the superficial layer, subchondral bone, or osteochondrosis-affected cleft fibrous tissue.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although these signaling peptides may play important roles in cartilage differentiation, results did not provide evidence to suggest that they are involved in the disease process of osteochondrosis. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:110–115)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine owner impressions of 3 premium canine diets when factors such as price and retail source were removed; to compare body condition scores (BCSs) assigned by owners versus a veterinarian; and to determine consistency of owner impressions of diets when owners were not informed that they were feeding the same diet during 2 consecutive periods.

Design—Randomized controlled trial.

Animals—44 healthy adult dogs.

Procedure—During the initial 12 months of the study, dogs were each fed 3 premium diets for 4 months in random order. After feeding each diet for 1 and 4 months, owners completed questionnaires regarding palatability of the diet; the dog's attitude, energy level, fecal consistency, frequency of defecation, hair coat quality, and BCS; and whether they would feed the diet if available commercially. During the last 4 months of the study, owners fed the same diet they had been feeding during the previous 4 months.

Results—Scores for most variables did not differ among diets. However, mean BCS assigned by owners was significantly lower than mean BCS assigned by an investigator, with a moderate correlation between scores. When asked at the end of the third and fourth study periods whether they would consider feeding the diet long-term, 12 of the 44 (27%) owners gave inconsistent responses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that when unaware of retail price and source, owners have similar impressions of 3 premium diets fed to healthy adult dogs, suggesting that factors other than the diets themselves may affect owner impressions. Owners also underestimate their dog's BCS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1931–1936)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association