Is OCD in dogs genetic? Simple and Effective Tips

Which breeds of dogs are likely to be affected by this condition?

This is a developmental disease that occurs in rapidly growing large breed dogs typically between 6 and 9 months of age and tends to occur more often in male dogs. The cause of OCD is unknown.

However, this disease is more common in dogs receiving too much energy and calcium in the diet. Other factors may also include genetics, rapid growth, trauma, lack of blood flow, and hormonal factors.

Arthroscopy is an advanced surgical technique for examination and treatment of joint disease. In arthroscopy the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a pen sized instrument (arthroscope) to work inside the joint. Arthroscopy provides better visualization and greater opportunities for treatment of joint disease while being much less invasive than traditional surgery. Recovery from surgery is quicker, the incision is smaller and in most cases patients will not need to spend the night at the hospital.

Removing the cartilage flap lets the underlying bone heal, stops the irritation of the joint, and keeps the flap from moving into another part of the joint where it might cause other problems. We strongly recommend using arthroscopy to re­move the flap to avoid large incisions and for a faster recovery.

What Is Osteochondritis Dissecans?

Osteochondritis dissecans is an inflammatory orthopedic disease in dogs that occurs when the bone of a joint does not grow properly, commonly affecting large dogs that grow quickly as puppies. During puppyhood development, the dogs bones are formed when calcium is deposited into cartilage. This process is called ossification, and OCD can begin when some of the joint cartilage fails to develop into bone.

The cartilage may become abnormally thickened and some of the cells may die, leaving a malformed joint. Movement of the affected joints can lead to cracks or splits in the cartilage that may turn into a flap of cartilage at the joint. Once a cartilage flap is present in the joint, the condition is called osteochondritis dissecans. This flap impacts joint function and causes pain during movement. It may even separate from the bone and become stuck in a part of the joint. Free flaps are called “joint mice.”

OCD tends to affect large- and giant-breed dogs between the ages of six and nine months, and it is more common in males than females.

Science for all Seasons: OCD in dogs and what it means for humans