New Genetic Test Finds The Risk of CrCL Rupture in Dogs

Published on Oct 10, 2022 12:00 AM
New Genetic Test Finds The Risk of CrCL Rupture in Dogs

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine's Comparative Genetics and Orthopedic Research Laboratory has developed a method to identify a dog's susceptibility to cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) ruptures. The new genetic testing has an accuracy of roughly 98% in predicting whether Labrador Retrievers would have a cruciate ligament rupture based on the reference population.

CrCL rupture is one of the most common orthopedic issues in dogs, but new genetic testing has made it possible to prevent the crippling condition. The test needs a little blood sample or a cheek swab that can be taken at home.

According to the lab's results, about 5% to 10% of Labrador Retrievers have the chance of having CrCL rupturing throughout their life. In addition, the researchers discovered that around 62% of the risk of cruciate ligament rupture in Labrador Retrievers is hereditary. So, the new genetic test can assist breeders in lowering the prevalence of the illness in Labrador Retrievers over time by improving the breed's genetic health.

Dr. Peter Muir, professor and lab co-director at the Dept. of Surgical Sciences at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine explained about the possibility of knee joint instaility in dogs.

"In dogs, ligament degeneration and progressive rupture of collagen fibers in the ligament tissue lead to the development of knee joint instability over time," says Dr. Muir.

He further explained that CCL ruptures have more complicated genetic markers than genetic indicators for other traits. In addition, most genetic tests seek a specific DNA mutation to ensure the prevalence of a certain disease. However, the propensity for cruciate ligament rupture is caused by numerous gene variations throughout the dog's genome.

The new genetic test can assist breeders in gradually lowering the prevalence of complications in Labrador Retrievers, enabling pet owners to take preventative measures against this crippling disease. The test costs $250, and it can take six weeks for the final evaluation.