Subscribe to RSS
A review of osteoarthritis and obesity: current understanding of the relationship and benefit of obesity treatment and prevention in the dog
02 August 2008
Accepted: 23 February 2009
18 December 2017 (online)
Obesity is an increasingly important health problem for both man and dog. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a significant cause of pain and disability in both species. A link between obesity and OA has been established in man, though the exact mechanism of the relationship remains to be fully elucidated – current research supports both biomechanical and biochemical theories. There is good evidence (class I[*]) to support weight loss as an effective treatment for human knee OA. In the dog, the relationship is just beginning to be investigated. The results of one study in dogs (class IV evidence[*]) suggest that preventing the development of overweightness and obesity reduces the prevalence of hip dysplasia and OA of the hip and other joints. Three other studies (class III and IV evidence[*]) support weight loss as an effective treatment for OA in affected over-weight and obese dogs. Further research could yield greater understanding of the pathophysiology of this relationship, perhaps identifying novel therapeutic targets. Confirmation and better understanding of the positive effect of treating and preventing obesity on symptoms and prevalence of OA is likely to be valuable in the campaign against canine obesity.
* Classes of evidence detailed in Table 1.
- 1 Speakman JR. Obesity: The integrated roles of environment and genetics. J Nutr 2004; 134: 2090S-2105S.
- 2 Ogden CL, Yanovski SZ, Carroll D. et al. The epidemiology of obesity. Gastroenterology 2007; 132: 2087-2102.
- 3 Edney ATB, Smith PM. Study of obesity in dogs visiting veterinary practices in the United Kingdom. Vet Rec 1986; 118: 391-396.
- 4 McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Pride C. et al. Prevalence of obesity in dogs examined by Australian veterinary practices and the risk factors involved. Vet Rec 2005; 156: 695-702.
- 5 Burkholder WJ, Toll PW. Obesity. In: Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remil-lard RL, Roudebush P (eds). Missouri: Mark Morris Institute. 2000 -404.
- 6 Juni P, Reichenbach S, Dieppe P. Osteoarthritis: rational approach to treating the individual. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 2006; 20: 721-740.
- 7 Johnston SA. Osteoarthritis: joint anatomy, physiology and pathobiology. Vet Clin N Am Sm Anim Pract 1997; 27: 699
- 8 Woolf AD, Breedveld F, Kvien TK. Controlling the obesity epidemic is important for musculoskeletal health. Ann Rheum Dis 2006; 65: 1401-1402.
- 9 Grotle M, Hagen KB, Natvig B. et al. Obesity and osteoarthritis in knee, hip and/or hand: an epidemiological study in the general population with 10 years follow-up. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2008: 132 doi: 10.1186/1471–2474–9–132
- 10 Reijman M, Pols HAP, Bergink AP. et al. Body mass index associated with onset and progression of osteoarthritis of the knee but not of the hip: The Rotterdam Study. Ann Rheum Dis 2007; 66: 158-162.
- 11 Dahaghin S, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, Koes BW. et al. Do metabolic factors add to the effect of overweight on hand osteoarthritis? The Rotterdam Study. Ann Rheum Dis 2007; 66: 916-920.
- 12 Lievense AM, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, Verhagen AP. et al. Influence of obesity on the development of osteoarthritis of the hip: a systematic review. Rheumatology 2002; 41: 1155-1162.
- 13 Andriacchi TP, Mundermann A, Smith RL. et al. A framework for the in vivo pathomechanics of osteoarthritis at the knee. Ann Biomed Eng 2004; 32: 447-457.
- 14 Andriacchi TP, Mundermann A. The role of ambulatory mechanics in the initiation and progression of knee osteoarthritis. Curr Opin Rheumatol 2006; 18: 514-518.
- 15 Sharma L, Lou C, Cahue S. et al. The mechanism of the effect of obesity in knee osteoarthritis – the mediating role of malalignment. Arthritis Rheum 2000; 43: 568-575.
- 16 Felson DT, Goggins J, Niu J. et al. The effect of body weight on progression of knee osteoarthritis is dependent on alignment. Arthritis Rheum 2004; 50: 3904-3909.
- 17 Ehling A, Schaffler A, Herfarth H. et al. The potential of adiponectin in driving arthritis. J Immunol 2006; 176: 4468-4478.
- 18 Lago R, Gomez R, Lago F. et al. Leptin beyond body weight regulation – current concepts concerning its role in immune function and inflammation. Cell Immunol 2007 doi:10.1016/j.cellimm.2007.09.004.
- 19 Gualillo O. Editorial – Further evidence for leptin involvement in cartilage homeostases. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2007; 15: 857-860.
- 20 Simopoulou T, Malizos KN, Iliopoulos D. et al. Differential expression of leptin and leptin’s receptor isoform (Ob-Rb) mRNA between advanced and minimally affected osteoarthritic cartilage; effect on cartilage metabolism. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2007; 15: 872-883.
- 21 Lago R, Gomez R, Otero M. et al. A new player in cartilage homeostasis: adiponectin induces nitric oxide synthase type II and pro-inflammatory cytokines in chondrocytes. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2008; 16: 1101-1109.
- 22 Conahgan PG, Vanharanta H, Dieppe PA. Is progressive osteoarthritis an atheromatous vascular disease?. Ann Rheum Dis 2005; 64: 1539-1541.
- 23 DeGroot J. The AGE of the matrix: chemistry, consequence and cure. Curr Opin Pharmacol 2004; 4: 301-305.
- 24 Loeser RF, Yammani RR, Carlson CS. et al. Articular chondrocytes express the receptor for advanced glycation end products: potential role in osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum 2005; 52: 2376-2385.
- 25 Steenvoorden MM, Huzingo TW, Verzijl N. et al. Activation of receptor for advanced glycation end products in osteoarthritis leads to increased stimulation of chondrocytes and synoviocytes. Arthritis Rheum 2006; 54: 253-263.
- 26 Christensen R, Bartels EM, Astrup A. et al. Effect of weight reduction in obese patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Rheum Dis 2007; 66: 433-439.
- 27 Aragon CL, Budsberg SC. Applications of evidence-based medicine: Cranial cruciate ligament injury repair in the dog. Vet Surg 2005; 34: 93-98.
- 28 Innes JF. Outcomes-based medicine in veterinary surgery: Levels of evidence. Vet Surg 2007; 36: 610-612.
- 29 Kealy RD, Olson SE, Monti KL. et al. Effects of limited food consumption on the incidence of hip dysplasia in growing dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1992; 201: 857-863.
- 30 Kealy RD, Lawler DF, Ballam JM. et al. Five-year longitudinal study on limited food consumption and development of osteoarthritis in coxofemoral joints of dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997; 210: 222-225.
- 31 Kealy RD, Lawler DF, Ballam JM. et al. Evaluation of the effect of limited food consumption on radio-graphic evidence of osteoarthritis in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000; 217: 1678-1680.
- 32 Smith GK, Paster ER, Powers MY. et al. Lifelong diet restriction and radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis of the hip joint in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006; 229: 690-693.
- 33 Huck JL, Biery DN, Lawler DF. et al. A longitudinal study on the influence of lifetime calorie restriction on the development of osteoarthritis in the canine elbow. In Proceedings 35th Annual Conference Veterinary Orthopedic Society 2008: 5
- 34 Runge JJ, Biery DN, Lawler DF. et al. The effects of lifetime food restriction on the development of osteoarthritis in the canine shoulder. Vet Surg 2008; 37: 102-107.
- 35 Kealy RD, Lawler DF, Ballam JM. et al. Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; 220: 1315-1320.
- 36 Lawler DF, Evans RH, Larson BT. et al. Influence of lifetime food restriction on causes, time and predictors of death in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005; 226: 225-228.
- 37 Burkholder WJ, Hulse DA. Weight loss to optimal body condition increases ground reactive forces in dogs with osteoarthritis. In Proceedings Purina Nutrition Forum 2000: 74
- 38 Impellizeri JA, Tetrick MA, Muir P. Effect of weight reduction on clinical signs of lameness in dogs with hip osteoarthritis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000; 216: 1089-1091.
- 39 Mlacnick E, Bockstahler BA, Muller M. et al. Effects of caloric restriction and a moderate or intense physiotherapy program for treatment of lameness in overweight dogs with osteoarthritis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006; 229: 1756-1760.
- 40 Lopez MJ, Quinn MM, Markel MD. Associations between canine juvenile weight gain and coxofemoral joint laxity at 16 weeks of age. Vet Surg 2006; 35: 214-218.
- 41 Bockstahler BA, Henninger W, Müller M. et al. Influence of borderline hip dysplasia on joint kinematics of clinically sound Belgian Shepherd dogs. Am J Vet Res 2007; 68: 271-276.
- 42 Sagawa MM, Nakadomo F, Honjoh T. et al. Correlation between plasma leptin concentration and body fat content in dogs. Am J Vet Res 2002; 63: 7-10.
- 43 German AJ. The growing problem of obesity in dogs and cats. J Nutr 2006; 136: 1940S-1946S.