Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is a developmental abnormality in joints where the bone under the cartilage dies due to a lack of blood supply.

This condition is most common in the shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle joint.  Although the exact cause of the disease is not identified, nutrition and genetics are known to play a major role in the onset of the disease. Large breed dogs are more likely to suffer from osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). Dogs of 4-8 months of age have a higher likelihood of showing the symptoms of OCD while in others it may go unnoticed until the dog reaches middle age. Diagnosis involves physical examination and radiographs of the affected joints to make a conclusive statement. OCD is often a bilateral condition so radiograph images of the opposite joint should also be taken. Treatment varies from conservative therapy to surgical intervention depending on the severity of the disease. Conservative therapy includes weight management, nutrition supplements, and anti-inflammatory medications.