OCD results in dislodged cartilage entering a joint, leading to inflammation and pain in dogs. Signs of lameness associated with OCD are sometimes intermittent and subtle. Dogs that present with bilateral lesions may not appear lame and sometimes present with reduced exercise tolerance, or struggling to jump or climb. Lameness is usually mild initially but sometimes progresses to severe. It is often worse after exercise.
Shoulder OCD carries a better prognosis than other joints such as the ankle. Early treatment of the condition improves prognosis. In most cases, initial return to function is good but the long term outcomes are more variable and often result in osteoarthritis.
OCD is more serious in younger dogs than it is in adults or seniors. Treatment for these cases is surgical and long term prognosis is usually poor. Young dogs presenting with stiffness or lameness require prompt veterinary assessment.
The underlying mechanism of OCD is unknown but predisposing factors include:
OCD is caused by a failure of cartilage to convert into bone in growing dogs: a developmental defect known as osteochondrosis. The thickened cartilage loses nutrient supply and weakens, resulting in a flap of cartilage coming loose and lodging in the joint.
Diagnostic tools to investigate OCD include
Treatment options include conservative management and surgery.
Conservative management strategies include:
Surgical treatment involves:
The impact of OCD is often lifelong. Prognosis varies depending on which joint is affected and age of onset.
dogs with OCD are not bred.
Prevention in young dogs involves:
OCD is most common in large breed, rapidly growing, male dogs. It is rare in smaller breeds.