This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Pioneering Work on Gene Therapy at Glasgow University
Osteoarthritis is common in dogs and horses and treatment currently requires the long term or intermittent use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs. There is no satisfactory cure except for total joint replacement - which is only performed occasionally in animals. CLICK HERE for further information.

Pioneering work is currently being undertaken by the molecular medicine and therapeutic group at Glasgow University Veterinary School. They are investigating the treatment of arthritis using gene therapy. Essentially the process involves introducing genes into cells in the joint that stop the inflammatory process and/or stimulate healing and repair of the damaged cartilage.

Several techniques have been developed to do this in humans, but the Glasgow group are using gold particles, which are coated with the genes, and then introduced into synovial cells and chondrocytes using a special Helium gene gun.

Initial results are very encouraging and, although the cost of the procedure would be beyond the pocket of most small animal practices, the likelihood is that a clinical service will soon be offered by referral centres, such as the Glasgow Veterinary School .

Last updated : March 2008