Saturday, July 7, 2018
Unraveling the genetics of disc disease in dogs.Since the early 1900s, veterinarians have observed intervertebral disc disease -- a common cause of back pain, rear limb paralysis and inability to walk -- more frequently in dogs with short legs (dachshund, French bulldog, and Pekingese to name a few.) But they couldn't pinpoint why? until now. Why short-legged dogs more likely to develop painful disease. University of California, Davis, researchers reveal the discovery of a genetic mutation across breeds that is responsible for chondrodystrophy (the skeletal disorder leading to shorter legs and abnormal intervertebral discs) in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Dogs with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) are 50 times more likely to have this mutation; that's an incredibly strong correlation with disc disease," said Danika Brannasch, a veterinary geneticist and the paper's senior author. "Being able to identify the cause of this painful condition is the first step to alleviating pain and suffering for dogs at greatest risk."