If your 4 to 10 month old large
or giant breed dog is limping
either slightly or severely, he may have
a condition called Osteochondritis
Dissecans or OCD. It is generally
found in the shoulders, knees,
elbows, or "wrists" and primarily
affects the front legs. Nearly 75% of
cases involve the shoulder joint.
OCD occurs when cartilage
cells do not develop correctly
and result in thickened areas of
cartilage that separate or crack
from the attached bone. Large
cartilage flaps may form or small
pieces of cartilage may break off
and float free in the joint causing
limping or reluctance to bear
weight on the affected limb.
The exact cause is not known,
but heredity, joint trauma, rapid
growth, and poor nutrition are
thought to have some bearing on
the development of this condition.
Veterinarians suspect OCD
when a young dog comes in with
sudden, painful lameness. He will
manipulate the dog's affected leg, and
take an x-ray to verify the diagnosis.
include cage rest with leash walks
for 4 to 8 weeks in combination with
medications like carprofen (Rimadyl)
or other anti-inflammatories. In most
cases, however, surgery is performed
to remove the affected cartilage.
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