OCD commonly affects the shoulder joint, but can also affect the elbow, the knee and the hock joints.
Breed SpecificOCD is common in the Bernese Mountain Dog, Bull Terrier, German Shepherd, Giant breed dogs, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, Large breed dogs, Rottweiler and the Saint Bernard. It affects male dogs more than females and is a disease that is noted in young dogs less than one year of age.
Common Treatment ProtocolDiagnosis is made most commonly with radiographs but, in some challenging cases, MRI or Arthroscopy may be necessary.
Exercise restriction for 2-3 weeks, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); chondroprotectants and nutraceuticals. Conservative therapy is generally unrewarding once flap formation has occurred.
Early surgery, before arthritis has occurred, is the most commonly recommended therapy. The surgery removes the cartilage flap and the defect is curetted (burred) down to bleeding bone. This allows the defect to fill with the scar tissue, called fibrocartilage, within 4 to 8 weeks. In these cases, degenerative joint disease will still progress, and the pet will be intermittently painful. At some institutions, cartilage grafts taken from non-weight bearing areas of the joint and transplanted into the cartilage defect have promising results.
Stem Cell TreatmentCartilage does not have a blood supply and is therefore slow to heal. Most cartilage defects will not heal on their own and will need to be removed surgically or arthroscopically. Once the defect is removed, however, stem cells can promote normal regrowth of cartilage, instead of the fibrocartilage that will form in the absence of stem cells. In some cases, arthroscopic drilling into the underlying bone and the application of stem cells has resulted in complete regeneration of the defect.
At Safari, as soon as OCD is diagnosed, we recommend stem cell therapy into the affected joints. Reevaluation at 30 days should show some clinical resolution, if not, then a surgical or arthroscopic procedure is planned with the addition of stem cells into the defect.