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Category: Degenerative

Hereditary Evaluation of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease in Toy and Miniature Breeds
November 3, 2008 (published)
Alison Starr
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Study Start Date: 10/01/2008
Study End Date: 10/01/2010

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) is a debilitating developmental orthopedic disease that affects toy and miniature breeds of dog. The only easily observable indications of this condition are pain, lameness, and muscle atrophy of the hip joint. These signs are not exclusive to LCPD, and are often attributed to minor trauma during the early stages of disease. Diagnosis of LCPD is made on the basis of physical examination and radiographs. Due to the developmental nature and the unknown etiology of the disease, LCPD is difficult to predict and prevent. Surgical intervention provides the best prognosis for the dog, but places significant financial obligation on the owner. A whole-genome screen using the recently characterized canine single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array is proposed using multiple breeds of dog, in an effort to identify a marker, or markers, in linkage disequilibrium with LCPD. Future studies will include fine mapping and examination of candidate genes in regions surrounding the linked marker(s).

Study Design:
Prospective, case-controlled

Sample Size:
200 dogs

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Affected dogs with LCPD, defined based on radiographic evaluation, clinical signs, and/or surgical confirmation of condition.
  • Breeds of particular interest include: West Highland White Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Welsh Terriers, and Fox Terriers, but other toy/miniature breeds are acceptable.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs under the age of 18 months without confirmed diagnosis of LCPD.
  • Unaffected dogs with immediate relatives that have been diagnosed with LCPD (i.e., littermates, parents, offspring).
  • Mixed-breed dogs.

Study Controls:
Clinically unaffected dogs, greater than 18 months of age. Unrelated dogs are desired.


We would like as much of the following information as possible:

  1. Pedigree for participating dog
  2. Blood sample for DNA extraction (3-5cc whole blood in LTT/EDTA tube, kept refrigerated)
  3. Consent form and DNA submission form
  4. Copy of diagnostic radiographs for affected dogs (digital photo images acceptable)

Files for Download:

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Full Disclosure Information:

  • The study is funded by an intramural grant.
  • The investigator does not have a conflict of interest.
  • The study will be published if results are negative
  • The study will be reported on VIN
  • The authors will acknowledge VIN if the study is published and VIN contributes substantially to case enrollment.

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