Osteochondritis Dissecans in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $ $50.00 to $2000.00

What is Osteochondritis Dissecans in Dogs?

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is an inflammatory disease that affects primarily large and giant breed dogs. It occurs when the developing cartilage becomes thickened and weak. In some cases, the affected cartilage will partially or completely detach from the underlying bone forming cartilage flaps or cartilage fragments inside the joint. This process leads to inflammation and pain. Osteochondritis dissecans commonly affects the shoulder joint of young (4 to 8 months) large breed dogs. The elbow, hip, and knee (stifle) joints may also be involved.

Which Dog Breeds Are Most Commonly Affected by Osteochondritis Dissecans?

  • Border Collie
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Irish wolfhound
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Newfoundland
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Bernese Mountain

Symptoms of Osteochondritis Dissecans in Dogs

  • Limping
  • Lameness in one or more limbs
  • Difficulty to stand up
  • Decreased muscle mass in the limbs
  • Signs of pain
  • Low range of movement
  • Swollen joints
  • Reluctance to move
  • Depression

Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans in Dogs

In cases where the cartilage damage is small, rest, pain medication, dietary management and nutritional supplements can be effective in the treatment of OCD in dogs. If the lameness does not improve following this conservative approach, or if the cartilage damage is extensive, surgery may be necessary.  OCD surgery consists of removing the defective flap or the floating piece of cartilage from the joint. This may be done by opening the joint, or by using an arthroscope.

Resources for Osteochondritis Dissecans in Dogs

  1. Osteochondritis Dissecans or OCD in Dogs by Dr. Cheryl Yuill from VCA Animal Hospitals

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