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Companion Animal Practice
Diagnosis and management of bacterial infective arthritis in dogs and cats
  1. Chris May

    Chris May graduated from Cambridge in 1985 and spent some time in general practice before joining the University of Liverpool where he was successively house surgeon, resident in small animal orthopaedics, Wellcome Veterinary Research Training Scholar and lecturer in small animal orthopaedics. Since 1994 he has worked in private orthopaedic referral practice and is currently a director of Northwest Surgeons, a referral practice in Cheshire. He holds a PhD for research into canine joint disease and the RCVS certificate in small animal orthopaedics.


INFECTIVE arthritis is an inflammatory arthropathy caused by an infective agent which can be cultured from the affected joint(s). Bacteria are the most common cause of infective arthritis in dogs and cats in the UK. However, bacterial arthritis can resemble many other arthropathies and attempts to achieve a definitive diagnosis by culture of the offending organism are not always successful. This article sets out a diagnostic plan for suspected cases of bacterial infective arthritis and discusses current treatment recommendations in the light of recent evidence and ongoing research in both the veterinary and medical fields.

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