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Companion Animal Practice
Diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs
  1. John Innes

    John Innes qualified from the University of Liverpool in 1991 and took up the post of junior fellow in veterinary surgery at the University of Bristol. In 1992, he was reappointed to that position with a particular involvement in small animal orthopaedics and rheumatology. He obtained the certificate in veterinary radiology in 1993. Currently, he is working for a PhD entitled ‘Osteoarthritis in the dog’, based at Bristol veterinary school and Bristol Royal Infirmary.


Osteoarthritis (also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease) is a term covering a broad spectrum of poorly understood joint disorders. Although it is preferable to think of osteoarthritis as a disease process with a variety of initiating factors, it may, for the purposes of this article, be defined as a disorder of synovial joints characterised by aberrant repair and eventual degeneration of articular cartilage and also by the formation of new bone at the articular margins, sclerosis of subchondral bone and variable low grade synovial inflammation. While the apophyseal joints of the spine can also be affected, the association between osteoarthritis of these joints, disc disease and the clinical signs is unclear. Discussion will, therefore, be limited to the joints of the appendicular skeleton.

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