Shoulder OCD

Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is a cartilage disease of young growing dogs, in which an area of cartilage in a joint fails to develop properly, and forms a loose flap of diseased cartilage. This flap often breaks away completely, leaving an area of exposed bone in the joint.

shoulder ocd


Shoulder OCD sometimes does not cause any lameness, and these cases may be managed conservatively with rest, anti-inflammatories, and chondroprotectants. However, cases which cause lameness are best treated with surgery.

Surgery involves an approach to the back of the joint, then removing the area of diseased cartilage with a curette. The edge of the defect is cut with a scalpel to make a sharp transition between normal and diseased cartilage. Sometimes we then perform microfracturing by drilling tiny holes in the exposed bone to stimulate ingrowth of new cartilage.

Suitable candidates

Otherwise healthy patients with both xray evidence of shoulder OCD and an associated lameness are excellent candidates for surgery. Most affected dogs are quite young.

Time involved in clinic

Surgery is relatively straightforward, and most patients will be home from surgery either later the same day or the next day, largely depending on the time of day the surgery gets done.

After care

Gentle lead exercise is recommended after OCD surgery for several weeks, especially if microfracturing has been done.

How to book

Give reception a ring on 09 238 7486 to discuss transfer of your patient to our clinic for assessment and treatment. You may be asked to bring any clinical notes, xrays images, and medications with you when you come.