Partial Medial Meniscectomy-Induced Arthritis in Beagle Dog
The use of the beagle dog for OA model conduct, as with the rat, offers the opportunity to generate efficacious data in a species commonly used for toxicology testing. When using this model, it is important to house the animals in large runs or enclosures that allow abundant opportunity for exercise. Individual housing in stainless steel cages with intermittent exercise will result in much milder and highly variable pathological alterations. Additionally, surgical proficiency resulting in induction of minimal trauma is important in that it will result in faster recovery to weight bearing time. Closure of the joint capsule followed by subcutis and then buried subcuticular absorbable sutures result in a small surgical wound that draws little attention from the animal and hence no post-surgical complications. Dogs, unlike rodents, alter their gait/load-bearing patterns post-surgically and in general, the more instability that occurs as a result of the procedure, the more/prolonged the alterations will be.
In our studies, we routinely treat animals for 3 days with an analgesic and expect them to resume weight bearing in a reasonably clinically normal pattern the morning after surgery is performed. Mature (2 years old or greater) female beagles (7-11 kg) in which approximately 1/2 of the anterior portion of the medial meniscus is removed (with no transection of the medial collateral ligament) consistently (over a 1-3 month period) develop moderate degenerative changes in the tibial and femoral cartilage. Despite the fact that the animal makes serious attempts to regenerate the meniscus in the area of removal by proliferation of fibrous tissue, lesions are reasonably consistent with respect to location and severity.
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