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Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) in Dogs

4 min read



After establishing the diagnosis, your veterinarian will plan corrective surgery. Either arthroscopy or arthrotomy (surgical incision into the joint) techniques can be used to reach the area. Your veterinarian will presribe medicines to control pain and inflammation for a few days after surgery.


There are also some medicines that are available, and that are known to limit the cartilage damage and degeneration. Your doctor will explain your options to you based on the final diagnosis.


Living and Management


During recovery and healing, activity will need to be restricted and weight control measures undertaken to decrease stress on the affected joints. When taking your dog outdoors for walks, control the level of activity with a leash, making sure that your dog stays to a slow walk. Activity should be restricted for about 4-6 weeks, but early, active, therapeutic movement of the affected joints is encouraged for improved healing.


You should not allow your dog to run freely on concrete or hard surfaces. A yearly examination is necessary for preventing progression of degenerative joint disease. Balanced nutrition is also an important aspect of promoting rapid growth and keeping the weight under control and within normal range for your dog's breed, age and size. Weight control will also help in decreasing the load and stress on the affected joints.


The overall prognosis largely depends on the location and extent of the problem. In some cases, recovery and life quality is excellent, while in other cases, the quality of life is restricted. Keep in mind that due to genetic element of this disease, you will need to have your dog neutered or spayed to prevent it from breeding, as the condition is very likely to be passed along.



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