Review Article | Published:

Spontaneous dog osteoarthritis — a One Medicine vision

Nature Reviews Rheumatologyvolume 15pages273287 (2019) | Download Citation

Abstract

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a global disease that, despite extensive research, has limited treatment options. Pet dogs share both an environment and lifestyle attributes with their owners, and a growing awareness is developing in the public and among researchers that One Medicine, the mutual co-study of animals and humans, could be beneficial for both humans and dogs. To that end, this Review highlights research opportunities afforded by studying dogs with spontaneous OA, with a view to sharing this active area of veterinary research with new audiences. Similarities and differences between dog and human OA are examined, and the proposition is made that suitably aligned studies of spontaneous OA in dogs and humans, in particular hip and knee OA, could highlight new avenues of discovery. Developing cross-species collaborations will provide a wealth of research material and knowledge that is relevant to human OA and that cannot currently be obtained from rodent models or experimentally induced dog models of OA. Ultimately, this Review aims to raise awareness of spontaneous dog OA and to stimulate discussion regarding its exploration under the One Medicine initiative to improve the health and well-being of both species.

Key points

  • Dogs have many analogous spontaneous diseases that result in end-stage osteoarthritis (OA).

  • Inbreeding and the predisposition of certain dog breeds for OA enable easier identification of candidate genetic associations than in outbred humans.

  • Dog OA subtypes offer a potential stratification rationale for aetiological differences and alignment to analogous human OA phenotypes.

  • The relatively compressed time course of spontaneous dog OA offers longitudinal research opportunities.

  • Collaboration with veterinary researchers can provide tissue samples from early-stage OA and opportunities to evaluate new therapeutics in a spontaneous disease model.

  • Awareness of the limitations and benefits of using clinical veterinary patients in research is important.

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Additional information

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Canine Comparative Oncology Genomics Consortium: http://ccogc.net/

Cornell Veterinary Biobank: https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments/centers/cornell-veterinary-biobank

UK National Veterinary Canine Hip Replacement Registry: http://www.caninehipreplacement.org

Vetmeduni Vienna VetBiobank: https://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/de/vetcore/research-units/research-units/vetbiobank/

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Nature Reviews Rheumatology thanks A. Mobasheri and the other anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Affiliations

  1. Skeletal Biology Group, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, London, UK

    • Richard L. Meeson
    •  & Andrew A. Pitsillides
  2. Department of Clinical Services and Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, London, UK

    • Richard L. Meeson
  3. Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, University College London, London, UK

    • Richard L. Meeson
    •  & Gordon Blunn
  4. Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

    • Rory J. Todhunter
  5. Cornell Veterinary Biobank, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

    • Rory J. Todhunter
  6. School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

    • Gordon Blunn
  7. Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

    • George Nuki

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Contributions

R.L.M. researched data for the article. R.L.M., R.J.T. and A.A.P. contributed substantially to discussions of content. All authors wrote the article and reviewed or edited the manuscript before submission.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andrew A. Pitsillides.

Glossary

Stifle joints

An analogous term for the knee joints in quadrupedal animals.

Pond-Nuki model

An experimental model of knee instability-driven osteoarthritis in dogs involving surgical cranial cruciate ligament transection.

Ortolani test

Physical examination test performed in dogs and infants to assess for excessive laxity in the hip joint that allows dislocation.

Norberg angle

An angle based upon a radiographic measure of a line that connects the centres of both femoral heads and the craniodorsal rim of the acetabulum on the same side; used as a surrogate measure of hip laxity and femoral head coverage by the acetabulum.

Force plate analysis

Instruments that measure ground reaction forces as they are walked over by a human or an animal; used to provide parameters of gait and limb function.

Telemetric accelerometry

A device that measures and records proper acceleration; used to determine activity and gait parameters.

Quantitative Sensory Testing

A non-invasive test of nerve function and/or pain that uses temperature or skin vibration.

Peak vertical force

A biomechanics term that identifies a component of locomotor ground reaction force.

‘Three Rs’ agenda

An initiative to improve the use of or reduce the numbers of animals used in scientific research through three key initiatives — replacement, reduction and refinement.

Vertical impulse

An index of limb function generated from force plate analysis and derived from the vertical vector force applied and the duration that it is imparted for.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41584-019-0202-1