May 14 2014

OCD in A Dog?

OCD is a common term in the field of human psychology. Although I have often felt that my pets suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, in the veterinary field OCD usually refers to a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans. This problem occurs mainly in large breed puppies that are growing rapidly. Due to the fast bone growth, the deep layers of cartilage in the joint get deprived of nutrition and create a defect. This defect eventually leads to cartilage flap that loosens in the joint creating a lot of pain. This condition most often affects the shoulders, elbows, knees (stifles), and hocks (ankles).

Kelsey was brought in by his family because of an ongoing lameness of his front leg that would not respond to conservative treatment. The radiographs (x-rays) were able to detect the defective cartilage on the shoulders. Once the abnormal bone and cartilage are removed, normal cartilage will form and said bone will be back in tip-top shape. The procedure is complicated because in order to adequately visualize the joint, a major tendon of the infraspinatus muscle has to be cut (tenotomised). As long as the tendon is repaid carefully, there will be no complications.

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