Gaining insight into the incidence and prevalence of canine osteoarthritis (OA) is the driving force behind a newly announced partnership.
Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study questionnaires for owners and veterinarians will now feature an OA-focused section, sponsored by Elanco Animal Health.
The new additions include the Canine Osteoarthritis Staging Tool (COAST) and Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs Index (LOAD), two tools that help in the diagnosis of the disease. The questions cover topics such as a dog’s walking gait, sitting posture, and interest in exercise.
Additionally, veterinarians will be asked to assess each study dog’s range of motion and palpate joints, and take radiographs as needed.
“Though the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study was designed primarily as a cancer study, its rich data set gives us the opportunity to investigate many other canine health problems,” says Morris Animal Foundation’s president and CEO, Tiffany Grunert. “Partnerships such as these help us take advantage of those opportunities and expand the impact of the study.”
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain in canines, affecting approximately 14 million adult dogs in the U.S. alone, Morris Animal Foundation reports. Most dogs are in their senior years before they are diagnosed with OA, but problems likely start much earlier.
“We know the best outcomes for osteoarthritis are associated with early intervention, but early detection can be difficult,” says Ken Kwochka, DVM, DACVD, director of Elanco’s U.S. pet health veterinary group. “We are excited for this opportunity to work with Morris Animal Foundation to help us build the tools necessary to improve our ability to diagnose and monitor dogs with the condition.”
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is among the largest, most comprehensive prospective canine health studies in the U.S., with more than 3,000 dogs enrolled. For more information on the study, click here.