Osteochondrosis - Osteochondrosis Dessicans (Oc, Ocd)

In this condition bits of poorly developing cartilage flake off as flaps in growing puppy joints. The denuded areas of bone may become inflamed while the chips of cartilage floating in joint fluid simply get in the way of smooth joint function. Technically, OC is a disease caused by a defect in the calcification process of the growth plates near the ends of long bones. OC occurs most frequently in the shoulder joints but also in the elbows, stifles and hocks. While it is usually bilateral, damage and associated lameness or altered gait may be more severe on one side than on the other.

Diagnosis and treatment

OC occurs most frequently in fast-growing, heavy pets fed high energy diets. It’s diagnosed by physical examination and x-rays. A number of x-rays of the same joint may be needed to see the exact location of damage. Arthroscopy is useful for examining very large joints. While simple rest is all that is necessary for some, other pets benefit from having the floating chips of cartilage surgically removed from their joints.

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