Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans in Dogs
If your furry family member has small cartilage defects and minimal discomfort, non-surgical treatment may be the option. Medication and supplements could provide relief, and allow for a degree of degenerative protection for the joint. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), exercise restriction, dietary and weight management, and glucosamine can help keep your pet comfortable.
In most cases however, surgery is the best option. The type and extent of the surgical intervention will depend upon the severity of OCD found in your dog at the time of diagnosis, which joint site is involved, and whether the secondary joint disease has been found.
Arthrotomy, which is a technique whereby an opening is created in the joint, and arthroscopy, a surgery that involves flap removal and allows cartilage healing by scar tissue formation, are two common methods undertaken by surgeons to treat this painful condition. It should be noted that there could still be ongoing osteoarthritis development after surgery.
There have been many advances in the treatment protocol for certain types of osteochondritis dissecans. For example, in the case of OCD of the shoulder, grafting of polycarbonate urethane and the use of titanium metal are now a surgical reality for our canine friends. Once your veterinarian has made the diagnosis, she can advise you on the type of surgery recommended, and discuss new and upcoming techniques that may be available.
Worried about the cost of Osteochondritis Dissecans treatment?
Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.
Can OCD in dogs be cured?
Although drugs may provide relief and allow time for any wounds to heal, they will not actually heal your dog’s OCD. In order to give your dog long-term relief, a combination of drugs, behavioral training, and environmental enrichment is often recommended.
Genetics is considered to be the main causes of osteochondrosis. Most research has been done on the elbow where genetics plays a major role. Other causes may include nutrition, exercise and housing.
How is osteochondritis dissecans diagnosed in dogs?
In some cases, no obvious affected leg can be determined, as osteochondritis dissecans is in both limbs. X-Rays are often diagnostic, but in more difficult cases other tests, including arthrography (X- Rays with contrast within the joint), CT scan, or MRI, may be used.
The cause of osteochondritis dissecans is unknown. The reduced blood flow to the end of the affected bone might result from repetitive trauma — small, multiple episodes of minor, unrecognized injury that damage the bone. There might be a genetic component, making some people more inclined to develop the disorder.
The affected joint may be swollen and warm to the touch. In some cases, the lameness may be mild and intermittent while in other cases, the dog may be in constant pain and avoids bearing weight on the affected leg.