Cases of arthritis and osteochondrosis - Veterinary Practice
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Cases of arthritis and osteochondrosis

Owner assessments of pain in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis

Anna Hielm-Bjorkman and others, University of Helsinki

There are no reliable ways to measure the outcomes of many veterinary interventions, particularly in relation to orthopaedic conditions. The authors have developed a questionnaire method for recording the owner’s assessment of chronic pain in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Termed the Helsinki chronic pain index (HCPI), the index consists of 11 items, such as the patient’s willingness to walk or the degree of difficulty in moving after a long rest, and is intended to be easily applicable to different animals and home environments. The owners of 61 dogs were questioned five times over a 16 week period in which they received treatment with carprofen or a placebo.

There were significant differences between the two groups only during the active treatment period. They conclude that the index provides a valid, reliable and responsive tool for assessing the response to treatment.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 70 (6): 727-734.

Comparison of radiography and ultrasonography in detecting osteochondrosis lesions

Fabien Relave and others, University of Montreal

Osteochondrosis of the tarsocrural joint is a common condition in horses and is normally diagnosed radiographically. The authors examined 111 affected joints, recording the most informative view for lesions in different areas of the joint and also comparing the findings with those of ultrasound examinations. A dorso 30º lateral-plantaromedial-oblique view gave the best images of lesions on the medial malleolus. Ultrasonography was a sensitive method for identifying lesions of the medial malleolus and distal intermediate ridge of tibia.

Equine Veterinary Journal 41 (1): 34-40.

Cartilage gene expression and radiographic severity in canine osteoarthritis

Dylan Clements and others, University of Liverpool

Several studies have shown evidence of a link between the molecular events occurring in osteoarthritis and the resulting radiographic changes. The authors investigated the changes in gene expression in joint tissue with the radiographic evidence of disease in the elbows of dogs. There was a positive correlation between the severity of structural changes and the activity of the COL1A2, COL3A1 and LUM genes whereas the expression of another structural protein gene TIMP2 was lower in osteoarthritic bone than in healthy tissue.

The Veterinary Journal 179 (2): 211-218.

Effects of shock wave therapy on experimentally induced osteoarthritis

David Frisbie and others, Colorado State University

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy has been suggested as a potential treatment for joint disease in cases that are refractory to standard treatments. The authors describe a study applying this technology in treating experimentally-induced osteoarthritis of the middle carpal joint in horses. Those horses receiving EWST showed significant improvements in lameness compared with placebo. However, the mechanism of action of this technique remains unclear as no treatment related changes were apparent in the joint tissues.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 70 (4): 449-454.

Osteoarthritis of the facet joints as a possible cause of back pain in horses Mailys Girodroux and others, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket Back pain is a common contributor to poor performance in horses although the specific cause may be difficult to identify. The authors examined 77 horses displaying signs of lumbar pain for radiographic evidence of lesions in the thoracolumbar synovial intervertebral articulations (facet joints). Osteoarthritic changes were often present in the facet joints of affected horses, with evidence of sclerosis, periarticular new bone and narrowing of the joint space the major findings. Show jumpers appear to be less susceptible than horses from other disciplines.

Equine Veterinary Journal 41 (2): 130- 138.

Ultrasonographic diagnosis of septic arthritis in the bovine distal interphalangeal joint

Maike Heppelmann and others, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover

Conventional diagnostic methods of arthrocentesis or probing of the joint space may often provide inconclusive results when investigating cases of septic arthritis in the distal interphalangeal joint of cattle (SADIJ). The authors examine the reliability of ultrasound as an alternative technique. The size of the dorsal pouch of the distal interphalangeal joint was consistently found to be larger in cases with septic arthritis than in unaffected joints and was found to be a reliable method of confirming a tentative diagnosis of SADIJ.

The Veterinary Journal 179 (3): 407-416.

Radiographic analysis of trochlear notch sclerosis in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis

Davinia Draffan and others, University of Glasgow

Medial coronoid process disease (MCD) is the most common factor in cases of elbow dysplasia in the dog. Early identification and treatment of this condition may help prevent the onset of osteoarthritis but conventional radiography has limited diagnostic value.

The authors investigate trochlear notch sclerosis as an indicator of MCD. They found that trochlear notch sclerosis assessments increased the sensitivity of x-rays in diagnosing early stage osteoarthritis, which may be useful in clinics without access to more advanced imaging modalities.

Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology 22 (1): 7-15.

Ultrasonography in the detection of medial coronoid process fragmentation

Deniz Seyrek-Intas and others, Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany

Fragmentation of the medial coronoid process is a common developmental disorder in dogs and a major factor predisposing patients to osteoarthritis. Radiography can often provide only limited useful information in such cases and so the authors assess the value of ultrasound as a diagnostic aid. In 102 dogs with suspected abnormalities, the accuracy of ultrasonography in identifying free and non displaced fragments and other abnormalities was 77 per cent. So the technology is not a reliable diagnostic method in these patients.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 234 (4): 480-485.

Clinical findings in 83 cases of canine immune-mediated polyarthritis

Jason Stull and others, University of Saskatchewan

Immune-mediated polyarthritis is the most common disease affecting multiple joints in the dog. The authors compare the clinical and laboratory findings in 83 patients with a case-controlled sample of the general hospital population. IMPA cases tended to be older and heavier, and had a range of biochemical and haematological abnormalities. IMPA resulting from systemic lupus erythematosus occurred more commonly in summer and autumn. Arthrocentesis of the hock joint appears to be the best site for the diagnosis of IMPA.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 49 (12): 1,195-1,203.

Sacral osteochondrosis in two German shepherd dogs

Karl Mathis and others, Queensland Veterinary Specialists, Stafford

Heights Osteochondrosis is a common developmental disorder normally associated with the shoulder, elbow, hock or stifle. The authors describe two cases of sacral osteochondrosis in German shepherd dogs referred for evaluation of intermittent hindlimb pain. Physical examination suggested lumbosacral stenosis but radiographs and computed tomography showed osteochondral fragments. These were removed surgically in one dog which resolved the clinical signs. The other was conservatively managed and continued to experience pain.

Australian Veterinary Journal 87 (6): 249- 252.

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