Prof. Dr. David Spreng

Foto David Spreng

Section of Small Animal Surgery,
Department of Veterinary Medicine,
Vetsuisse Faculty,
University of Bern

Section of Small Animal Surgery


Our group investigates pathophysiological aspects of canine degenerative joint diseases. The main focus is canine cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) rupture and we currently concentrate our work on the influence of nitric oxide and programmed cell death on the degeneration and regeneration of the ligament. The translational aspect of our research focus is clearly present. Human anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) do not heal, and canine CCL show similar properties in so far that partially ruptured CCL will not heal, independent of surgical or current medical interventions. We have detected evidence that CCL have a selective higher susceptibility to certain apoptotic triggers compared to other intra- and extraarticular ligaments and currently continue to work on this subject. Our technical activities reach from bench to “bedside”. Our clinical group is specialized in minimal invasive orthopaedic surgery including evaluation and treatment of canine partial CCL rupture, one of the most common orthopaedic problems in dogs. This disease and its treatment protocols can be used to test in vitro strategies. On the other hand, we do have expertise in fibroblast cell cultures and have access to a wide range of techniques for molecular and cell biology, histology and immunology. A second technical expertise lies in our neurosurgical subdivision. This group focuses on the pathophysiology and the treatment of canine intervertebral disc disease. Several projects in regard to the surgical treatment of canine intervertebral disc disease have been accomplished.