Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD)
What is OCD?
OCD is an abnormal development of cartilage in joints. Many joins are involved but most commonly the shoulder, elbow, knee, and tarsus (ankle). It is also known as osteochondrosis, osteochondritis dissecans, and dyschondroplasia. The cartilage abnormalities lead to flaps of cartilage in the joint and subsequent inflammation. If the cartilage breaks free it will float around in the joint as a ‘joint mouse’. Additionally, the flap may leave direct exposure of bone within the joint contributing to the pain.
How does my dog get OCD?
OCD is a combination of certain breeds with a higher genetic predisposition, trauma and nutrition. The breeds most likely to show OCD are noted below. Reports indicate that diets high in calcium and calories, excessive exercise, and breed susceptibility all increase the likelihood of the development of OCD.
How do I know if my dog has OCD?
Young, large breed dogs over 4 to 5 months with lameness may have OCD. Early on the clinical signs are minimal. The progression of OCD is usually sudden onset lameness and if untreated long enough arthritis.
What can I do about OCD?
If left untreated for too long, arthritis can develop.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting OCD?
Avoid predisposed breeds, or giant dogs of any breeding as they have a greater risk. There is speculation that feeding too much or encouraging rapid growth may increase the likelihood of developing OCD.
Are there certain breeds that get OCD more often?
Large and giant breeds are at greatest risk, including Great Danes, Labrador retrievers, Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, English Setters, Old English Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers.