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Faculty Spotlight: Dominique Griffon

WesternU Researcher Receives Grant from ASPCA to Find Low-Cost Treatment for CCLD in Dogs

March 2021 – Western University of Health Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Dean for Research Dr. Dominique Griffon, DVM, MS, PhD, DECVS, DACVS, has received a grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to improve access to the surgical treatment of cranial cruciate ligament disease in dogs.

The project titled “A randomized clinical trial to evaluate a low-cost treatment for cranial cruciate ligament disease” is led by Dr. Dominique Griffon, but will include collaborative efforts from Zachary Morris, RVT (WesternU CVM), Ayman Mostafa, DVM, PhD (Cairo University), David Schaeffer, PhD (University of Illinois), David Clark, DVM (WesternU CVM), Frank Bossong, DVM (WesternU CVM), and David Forster, DVM (WesternU CVM), and a student scholar (WesternU CVM). The project will allow the team to deploy and validate in their community a new technique suitable for low-cost clinics and shelters.

Examination of a dog’s joint

“Cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD) is the leading cause of lameness and degenerative joint disease in the canine stifle, and can affect both stifles in approximately 50% of dogs, causing the loss of function and pain to the pet,” Dr. Griffon explains. “The purpose of this study is to evaluate a cost-effective, simple, and minimally invasive surgery to treat CCLD in dogs.”

Over the past 30 years, the economic impact of managing CCLD has risen—estimated to $1.32 billion annually in 2003— to reflect the prevalence of the disease. With a cost varying between $1100-$4500 for the most effective surgery, the impact on pet owners is significant. Dr. Griffon’s project seeks to find a solution to this problem, and expects the new technique to be faster, and more cost effective, with an estimated maximum cost of $500.

“This project will immediately benefit the local community of Pomona, treating dogs affected by CCLD at no cost to the owners and providing a future low-cost surgical option at a fraction of the average cost. Ultimately, the results and technique will be shared through continuing education with veterinarians working in shelters, low cost clinics and serving communities with financial barriers to veterinary care.”

When the program launches, it will be advertised across multiple online sources to the local area.