Osteochondrosis Risk Factors and Wellness Tips

Early diagnosis of osteochondrosis (OCD) will give you the best opportunity to address the problem in your dog and minimize the secondary arthritic changes that can occur in the joints. Be aware of the signs of osteochondrosis (OCD) and monitor your puppy’s gait and activities to allow early recognition that a potential joint problem exists so you can bring this to your veterinarian’s attention.

Several factors contribute towards your dog’s risk of developing osteochondrosis (OCD). Genetic predisposition is significant, particularly when combined with the following risk factors for osteochondrosis (OCD):

  • Overfeeding high protein and high calories
  • Prolonged inactivity and/or prolonged or intense activity
  • Obesity

To further reduce your dog’s risk of developing osteochondrosis (OCD):

  • Avoid rough play, jumping, climbing stairs and slippery floors
  • Avoid excess weight gain and rapid growth due to excess calorific intake
  • Avoid forced running, especially on hard surfaces
  • Begin a veterinarian-recommended osteochondrosis exercise routine for your dog to improve muscle tone and circulation
  • Refer to Tips for a Healthier Dog

If left untreated, osteochondrosis (OCD) continues to progress, eventually causing lameness and severe pain. Correcting osteochondrosis (OCD) at an early age may prevent lameness. To decrease the symptoms or halt the onset of osteochondrosis (OCD), keep puppies lean, avoid forcing your pet to exercise, avoid rough play and provide surfaces that allow for good traction. Flaps of cartilage not yet broken away from their underlying bone may heal back if affected joint use is not too intense or prolonged.

Other ways to help your pet


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Refer to Tips for a Healthier Pet