Canine lameness caused by developmental orthopedic diseases: Osteochondrosis Academic Article uri icon


  • Osteochondrosis, a common developmental orthopedic disease in immature dogs, is caused by a disturbance in the process of endochondral ossification. The cause is undetermined, but numerous factors, including growth rate, genetics, and nutrition, have been implicated. Osteochondrosis typically affects the shoulder, elbow, stifle, or hock joint, causing lameness, joint effusion, and osteoarthritis. Clinical signs can develop in dogs as young as 4 months of age. Surgical treatment is recommended in most cases to debride the abnormal cartilage and encourage the ingrowth of repair tissue. NSAIDs, physical rehabilitation, and disease-modifying osteoarthritis agents are recommended after surgery to restore joint function. Medical management alone is often unrewarding.

published proceedings

  • Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian

author list (cited authors)

  • Trostel, C. T., McLaughlin, R. M., & Pool, R. R.

complete list of authors

  • Trostel, CT||McLaughlin, RM||Pool, RR

publication date

  • December 2002