Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dr. Crouch Attends Conference In Aspen, Colorado

Dr. Crouch recently attended the Veterinary Orthopedic Society Conference in Aspen, Colorado. The purpose of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society's annual conference is to present a forum where individuals involved in the area of orthopedics can meet to discuss or exchange ideas pertaining to the advancement of the field and improvement of patient care. Veterinarians from over 30 countries worldwide were in attendance. Dr. Crouch is thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend this prestigious conference. Staying on the forefront of 21st century science helps to provide the very best care for our beloved veterinary patients.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Causes and Signs of Osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis (OCD) occurs commonly in the shoulders of immature, large and giant-breed dogs. The lesion appears on the caudal surface of the humeral head (Figure 1). Although your dog may be lame in only one leg, this condition is often present in the opposite leg. This condition results in a cartilage flap found on the humeral head. In some cases, the resulting defect occupies half of the area of the humeral head. The cartilage flap may completely detach from the underlying bone and become lodged in the back of the joint pouch.

The causes of OCD considered to be multifactorial with input from management, genetic and nutritional interactions in young growing dogs.

Incidence and Prevalence
Large and giant-breed dogs are commonly affected. Males are more commonly affected than females.

Signs and Symptoms
Clinical signs often develop when the dog is between 4 and 8 months of age. Dogs usually show a lameness of one forelimb. In many cases, there is a gradual onset of lameness that improves after rest and worsens after exercise.

Risk Factors
Risk factors for OCD include age, gender, breed (genetic), rapid growth, and nutrient excesses, primarily calcium excesses. The hereditary nature is suggested because of high frequency of occurrence within certain breeds of dogs and within certain bloodlines. Males are more commonly affected than females.

When to Seek Veterinary Advice
If your young large breed dog is persistently lame in a forelimb, especially after exercise, you should have a physical exam performed. If the dog is painful on palpation of the shoulder, usually during shoulder extension and flexion, then radiographs of the shoulder should be made to evaluate for OCD.

Please contact Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery for further information.

- Information provided by American College of Veterinary Surgery.