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Genetic Screening Test for Arthritis

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    December 20, 2022 2:45 PM EST

    Question submitted during Session I of The Arthritis Summit:

    "Is there a genetic screening test for osteoarthritis (OA) or any tool that you typically use or recommend for predicting risk of OA in dogs?"

    - Answer provided by Dr. Marie Bartling:

    Great question! While there isn't a specific test for arthritis, there is a genetic test for Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) disease - which predisposes to arthritis of the stifle (knee). We should also, for screening purposes, be offering Penn hip radiography at 16 weeks and lateral elbow radiographs for our dogs under two years of age. If we get ahead of this disease early in life / as youngsters, we can make a huge difference in the rest of their lives.

    Regarding other genetic tests, I think Embark may be most comprehensive but it’s not specific to arthritis.

    But it's most important, I think, to remember that each pet is an individual. And I can't tell you how many people come to me and say "the parents of my dog were tested and they have good hips." But as we discussed tonight, not all arthritis is caused by bad genetics. Sometimes it can be attributed to an injury or their chronic daily activities that leads to arthritis. OA or osteoarthritis may actually develop in spite of their 'genetics.' So, it's important to remember to look at each pet as an individual.