Resource Articles

OCD - Osteochondritis Dissecans
Posted on 12/27/2012

A condition which refers to the cartilage damage usually in young, large breed, growing puppies. The condition is observed between 6 and 12 months of age.

The generally accepted causes of these problems are heredity, nutrition and trauma.

The most likely locations for OCD are shoulder, stifle (knee) or tarsus (ankle). Shoulder OCD presents with extreme lameness and tends to be more severe and less likely to recover without intervention. Caught before 7 months it can often be reversed with a change in diet, nutritional supplements and Adequen shots from the vet.

Both the stifle and tarsus forms are also painful but also often exhibit swelling in the joint. Frequently, the lameness is bilateral with muscle wasting.

More than twice as many males as females suffer with this problem with the exception of the hock joint where more females are affected. It is estimated that approximately 15% of all dogs will develop OCD.

In order to understand the condition, you should have a basic understanding of bone growth. In young puppyhood, the growth plate is comprised of cartilage cells which will become bone as the growing cartilage cells are replaced. These growing cells can be damaged or the growth disrupted by multiple causes.

We believe that nutrition plays a much larger part than is generally accepted since those dogs that are commonly affected are the same dogs whose growth is so extreme.

Unbalanced nutrition as well as excessive calories contribute to these problems. Breeds most likely affected are Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, English Setters, German Shepards, Golden Retrievers and English Sheepdogs.

Other large and/or giant breeds can be affected as well as large mixed breed puppies. Far less frequently, cats and small dogs can be affected as well.

With this condition, the cartilage inside the joint capsule, cracks and may or may not break off to float as “joint mice”. While confined in this space, the cartilage pieces, as well as the cracks in the cartilage, are both painful and increasingly destructive to the remaining, intact cartilage. Joint mice should be surgically removed for both improved healing and reduced pain.

To both aid in prevention and to mitigate the discomfort of current cases of OCD, we recommend the use of:

The Kit #9 for Joint/Orthopedic Support can get your pet turned around

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