Key similarities between OA in dogs and humans identified for first time

Similarities are partly due to the shared lifestyles and environments of dogs and humans, researchers say.

An international team of researchers, led by the RVC, has for the first time identified key similarities between OA in dogs and humans.

The findings, published in Nature Reviews Rheumatology, suggest the similarities are partly due to the shared lifestyles and environments of dogs and humans. However, their similar anatomies and disease physiology also contribute.

One medicine

For the first time, different forms of human and canine OA have been comprehensively aligned, with the one medicine aim to pinpoint shared mechanisms and new treatment options to help dogs and humans alike.

The researchers, who crossed various human and animal medicine disciplines, made their discoveries by conducting a comprehensive review of literature related to OA.

From the scrutiny of more than 230 peer-reviewed academic studies, the team was able to amalgamate the research into one single source of knowledge, the “Spontaneous dog osteoarthritis — a one medicine vision”.

Development of OA

It was found both dogs and humans share the most common areas for the development of OA – the knee, hip, shoulder and elbows. The pain experienced by both dogs and humans with OA also has a common basis, leading the researchers to believe the neurophysiology of dogs and humans is also linked.

By compiling this knowledge into one paper, the researchers hope the review will lead to future collaborative research of OA by human and animal health experts. The one medicine approach could unlock new treatments to improve the welfare of both animals and humans.

The review was headed by leading clinicians and researchers Richard Meeson and Andrew Pitsillides from the RVC, working in conjunction with bioengineers, human rheumatologists and veterinary research clinicians from University College London, the universities of Portsmouth and Edinburgh, and Cornell University, US.