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Newsletter
5/10/2014

How did that cartilage get loose in your dog’s joint?

Dear dog owner,

If you have a large, beautiful and energetic young dog and the weather is just right and you’re feeling in the right mood, you might rummage around to find jogging shoes and head out for a run. Maybe your adolescent dog also has a bit of mischief in him, and you’d like to tire him out a bit with a long run alongside your bike.

Until your dog reaches one year of age, though, it would be better to avoid bicycle rides and jogs in his company. Large breeds are especially susceptible to a joint condition known as osteochondrosis (OCD).

In this disorder, the development of the joint cartilage and the surrounding bone is disturbed. As a result, the cartilage becomes torn. Entire layers of cartilage may tear off and swim about in the joint capsule as free-floating fragments. These pieces of cartilage, which sometimes become calcified, are referred to as “joint mice” or chips. Due to the cartilage chips in the joint and the damage to the joint cartilage, the joint is subject to greater friction, and the bones may be irritated and respond by forming spurs. In addition, bones may be damaged in this disorder: they may turn porous and form cavities, which are known as bone cysts. Osteochondrosis may lead to arthritis.

To help prevent this condition, it is important that a young dog’s joints not be severely stressed. Naturally, your dog needs sufficient exercise and activity. However, it is best to avoid engaging him in activities that are excessively hard or prolonged.

If your younger dog limps or is walking stiffly, you should consult your veterinarian. The earlier osteochondrosis is treated, the more certain you can be of preventing more severe damage from developing in the joint.

You can become better informed about osteochondrosis by reading our article. If you are the owner of a young Labrador, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Great Dane or other breed of large dog, you need to be especially careful. These breeds have an inherited tendency to develop osteochondrosis.

We wish you active hours of fun with your four-footed friend
Your enpevet team