Objective: To examine the effects of limited food intake on frequency and severity of osteoarthritis in coxofemoral joints of labrador Retrievers.
Design: Dogs were paired according to gender and body weight, within each litter at 8 weeks of age. One dog of each pair was fed ad libitum. The limit-fed pairmate was fed 75% of the amount eaten the previous day by the ad libitum-fed counterpart.
Animals: 48 Labrador Retrievers.
Procedure: All dogs received the same diet. Radiographic evaluation of coxofemoral joints for frequency and severity of osteoarthritis were made when dogs were 4 and 6 months and 1, 2, 3, and 5 years old.
Results: Radiographic evaluation for osteoarthritis indicated greater frequency and more severity of osteoarthritis in the ad libitum-fed group of dogs.
Clinical implications: Analysis of data suggested that limit feeding of dogs over a 5-year period minimizes development of osteoarthritis in the coxofemoral joints.