Disorder - Osteochondritis dissecans

Organ Systems Involved
Musculoskeletal

Alternative Names
Osteochondrosis dissecans

Brief Description
    Osteochondrosis dissecans is a defect in the smooth cartilage lining the edges of bones and joints. This abnormality often results in a small flap of joint cartilage protruding into the joint, and this can cause inflammatory joint changes.

Presenting Signs
    Osteochondrosis dissecans develops in dogs at around three to eighteen months of age. The disease begins when the growing bone and cartilage at the ends of long bones (in the legs) dies. The bone and cartilage regenerate, creating a flap of joint cartilage that protrudes into the joint, resulting in an uneven joint surface. The grinding that results from movement creates small amounts of debris known as 'joint mice', small pieces of bone that either attach to the joint or float freely around the joint. This usually occurs in the hip, knee, hock and elbow. There is often a gradual onset of lameness in either the front or back legs, which improves after rest and worsens after exercise, flexion or extension of the joint. If there is osteoarthritis in the joint, some swelling and a crunchy feeling may be felt when the area is handled. There may also be some muscle wasting. X-rays are used to obtain a definitive diagnosis. For , cage rest is helpful in the early stages of the disease. The prognosis is usually very good if the 'joint mice' are removed early."

Dogs at Risk
    Young, large and Giant Breeds

Groups Affected
Gundog
Hound
Non Sporting
Terrier
Toy
Utility
Working dog


Breeds Affected
Afghan hound
Akita
Alaskan malamute
American cocker spaniel
American Staffordshire terrier
Australian cattle dog
Australian shepherd
Basset hound
Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren)
Bernese mountain dog
Black and tan coonhound
Bloodhound
Blue tick coonhound
Border collie
Bouvier de Flandres
Boxer
Brittany
Bull terrier
Bullmastiff
Chesapeake Bay retriever
Chihuahua
Chow chow
Cocker spaniel
Collie (Rough and Smooth)
Dalmatian
Deerhound
Dobermann
English setter
English springer spaniel
Fox terrier (Smooth)
German shepherd dog
German short-haired pointer
German wire-haired pointer
Golden retriever
Gordon setter
Great Dane
Greyhound
Hungarian vizsla
Irish setter
Irish wolfhound
Kuvasz
Labrador retriever
Leonberger
Mastiff
Neapolitan mastiff
Newfoundland
Old English sheepdog
Otterhound
Poodle (Miniature)
Poodle (Standard)
Poodle (Toy)
Pyrenean mountain dog
Rhodesian ridgeback
Samoyed
Schnauzer (Giant)
Schnauzer (miniature)
Schnauzer (Standard)
Shar Pei
Siberian husky
St Bernard
Swiss mountain dog
Tibetan mastiff
Whippet


Treatment
    Surgical/Medical

Related Disorders
    Osteoarthritis
    Degenerative Joint Disease

PubMed References
Osteochondritis dissecans

Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]
751
748


Contributor
Samantha Bishop