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Friday, July 07, 2006

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

Cheyenne did end up going to the vet yesterday after about 2 weeks of slight limping and then 2 days of more pronounced limping. She was hobbling so badly that we became highly concerned when she was no longer playing a lot and sleeping more often. The vet had manipulated her front right leg in so many different ways but Cheyenne neither cried nor became protective of her limb. After some x-rays, the vet declared that she had the very early stages of OCD.

The ends of bones that form joints are covered with cartilage. Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) results when the cartilage in joints thickens and no longer received adequate nutrition. As a result, the cartilage dies and begins to develop small cracks. This process inflames the joint and causes a flap of cartilage to dislodge. The flap of cartilage often floats free in the joint, impairing joint function. The result is lameness and joint degeneration.

OCD is seen most frequently in dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds and are less than one year old. OCD can occur in most joints of the body , but is seen most commonly in the shoulder joints.

The cause of OCD is not precisely known, but genetics, rapid growth, and overfeeding may all be risk factors.

The vet said that since it is the very early stages, we should proceed with a non-surgical treatment. This means that Cheyenne is on 2 weeks of total crate rest, no doggie daycare, no walks, no dog park, no play fighting with her sister, no running, and basically no fun (as far as Cheyenne is concerned). She should only be out of the crate for bathroom breaks and eating - that's it! Needless to say, we are 24 hours into this regiment and she is not happy. In 2 weeks, we will take another set of x-rays and see how she is doing. If she is better and the site looks like it is repairing itself, then it will be 2 more weeks of crate rest and no surgery. If it is not repaired and if it has gotten worse, then surgery will be scheduled.

Of course, we are hoping for no surgery and have decided to buy some Cosequin (TM) supplements to help her along. She is also on an anti-inflammatory and steroid medication from the vet so, hopefully, with everything we are doing, we can steer clear of that OR table!



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