247: The Study of the Genetics of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease in the Dog

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $96,392
Max F. Rothschild, PhD; Iowa State University
April 1, 2004 - March 31, 2006


Breed(s): Newfoundland
Research Program Area: Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disease
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Cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD) is the cause of limping in nearly 20 percent of all dogs that are taken by their owners to veterinarians for lameness. CCLD causes instability in the knee, swelling and pain. Surgery to stabilize a torn CCL costs individual dog owners thousands of dollars and the dog owning public tens of millions of dollars each year and even with surgery, debilitating arthritis occurs and progresses. CCLD commonly occurs in particular breeds of dogs (e.g. Labrador Retreiver, Rottweiler, and Newfoundland) while other breeds (e.g. Greyhound, German Shepherd) rarely develop this problem. When a disease is seen with increased frequency in particular breeds of dogs, this supports the probability that a disease, in this case CCLD, is hereditary. Using this information we have already collected pedigrees and genetic material (DNA) from normal and CCLD affected Newfoundlands. The pedigrees will be used to determine a pattern of inheritance (i.e. simple recessive, sex-linked) for CCLD. The DNA will be used to search for genetic markers that differ between normal and affected dogs and may serve as disease predictors. These markers will then allow identification of carriers of CCLD, and potentially reduction or elimination of CCLD from the dog population.


Wilke, V. L., Conzemius, M. C., & Rothschild, M. F. (2005). SNP detection and association analyses of candidate genes for rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament in the dog: Brief note. Animal Genetics, 36(6), 519–521. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2052.2005.01355.x

Wilke, Vicki L., Conzemius, M. G., Kinghorn, B. P., Macrossan, P. E., Cai, W., & Rothschild, M. F. (2006). Inheritance of rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament in Newfoundlands. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 228(1), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.228.1.61

Wilke, Vicki L., Zhang, S., Evans, R. B., Conzemius, M. G., & Rothschild, M. F. (2009). Identification of chromosomal regions associated with cranial cruciate ligament rupture in a population of Newfoundlands. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 70(8), 1013–1017. https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.70.8.1013

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