Veterinary Surgical Associates has been providing total hip replacements in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 15 years and currently performs both the cemented and cementless THR for your patients. Now VSA, in conjunction with the Center for Canine Health and Performance is currently conducting a genetic research study to help determine the causative genetic risk factors for canine hip dysplasia in the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever breeds. The opportunity to tackle canine hip dysplasia has been catalyzed by an N.I.H. funded initiative to study canine hereditary cancer susceptibility. The “Grand Opportunity” (GO) grant that was received by the research institute is enabling a ‘re-focus’ of an established world class human genetics and genomics platform towards the unique biology of the dog.

hipstudyVSA is currently collecting the raw material (blood and saliva samples) from previous patients for the genetic discovery process. This will include robotic DNA extraction, genome-wide mapping with high density gene chips (querying 175,000 DNA markers), and next-gen sequencing of the entire genome of an affected dog (interrogating every letter of the 2.4 billion letter genetic code). If we can obtain the necessary samples from extremely affected dogs, we can achieve a successful genome mapping of hip dysplasia. The minimum guideline for recruiting DNA from affected dogs is patients with radio graphically diagnosed advanced hip arthrosis or those that have undergone total hip replacement. This ensures that the dogs we collect DNA samples from will indeed have suffered from an extreme form of the disease.

As we know, hip dysplasia is multifactor, resulting not only from genetic susceptibility, but also environmental influences. By emphasizing extreme cases (advanced hip arthrosis), we can bias our cohort intelligently and increase the probability that the enlisted dogs will carry multiple genetic risk factors for the disease. We are currently engaging former clients who have had a total hip replacement performed on their pet in the past four years as well as those patients diagnosed with advanced hip arthrosis. If you have a patient diagnosed or suspected to have advanced hip arthrosis and feel the client/patient would like to participate in the study, please have them call one of our offices to set up an appointment for evaluation and possible participation in this landmark study.