What Do a Newfoundland Dog and Tiger Woods Have in Common?

By Eliza Strickland | May 18, 2010 11:46 am

newfoundland-dogTo answer that question, don’t go comparing their personality traits (the Newfie: famously loyal and sweet, Tiger Woods: um, no comment). Instead, look to the knees.

Newfoundland dogs are prone to cruciate ligament disease, the same knee disorder that has troubled Woods and many other professional athletes–the disease makes dogs and humans more prone to ligament ruptures. Now, researchers at Liverpool University are asking Newfie owners to send in DNA samples from their pets so they can search for genetic factors that predispose dogs to the condition.

According to lead researcher Arabella Baird, the study could have two benefits. If researchers determine which genes put dogs at risk of the condition, they can help breeders create healthier lines of dogs by preventing matings between dogs with the key genes. But the study may also help medical researchers find the comparable genes in humans, The Guardian reports:

Baird added: “The disease in humans tends to occur when stress is put on the ligament, but there have been some preliminary findings that suggest there is a genetic component that could predispose humans to the condition…. Our project will be looking at many genes and the results of our study in dogs will be comparative to the human medical field.”

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Image: Wikipedia

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Newfoundlands/ Bill Zardus

    I could think of some more answers to this question if you need them.

    Bill Z ……
    ccdogpark at yahooDotCom ……
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Newfoundlands/
    ..

  • Jan Ballinger

    They have more in commmon than you think. My Newfoundland, who by the way was registered with Kennel Club as “Merrybear Tiger Woods” also turned out to be a great-big-let-down and certainly not what he was portrayed to be! At 4 months old he needed surgery to correct a permanently luxated patella to his right hind leg due to a shallow and deformed bone. At 6 1/2 months the same surgery was carried out on the left hind leg – also due to shallow and deformed bone. His recovery was painful and slow. At 11 months old he was barely managing a slow walk on lead for 15 minutes. At 12 months he began to show signs of stiffness. Gradually, he worsened each day, then started to limp. Took him back to Surgeon …. cruciate ligaments had gone in both legs! Direct result of incorrect conformation. On the Vet’s advice, he was put to sleep aged 14 months. Can’t help wondering if I had not called him Tiger Woods, then maybe things would have been different. I have donated his DNA to Animal Health Trust Genetics Dept at Newmarket. Lets hope it brings some good to Newfoundlands in the future.

  • sporti

    Sorry to hear about your pup. I hope the breeders were of help to you.

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