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Joint Cartilage Erosion in Dogs



Physical therapy, including range-of-motion exercises, massage, and swimming can help treat severe disease. Bandages and/or splints may be placed around the joint to prevent further degradation of the cartilage, especially in dogs that are experiencing difficulty walking. Weight loss also helps decrease pressure on the joints if the dog is overweight.


Surgery for this condition is generally not recommended. However, total hip replacements, and femoral head ostectomy (surgical removal of part of the thigh bone) may be considered.


Arthrodesis of the carpus (wrist) is generally quite successful for treating joint pain and instability. Arthrodesis of the shoulder, elbow, stifle (knee), or hock (ankle), meanwhile, is not as reliable at yielding positive results.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will schedule frequent follow-up appointments to examine your dog's progress. If your dog’s condition continues to worsen, you must contact your veterinarian immediately for care.



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