Degeneration and loss of the articular cartilage, with concurrent subchondral bony sclerosis, cartilage and bony proliferation at the joint margins, and the growth of osteophytes. Also called “the wear and tear disease”; “Degenerative joint disease: DJD”; and just “arthritis”.
This is the most common form of arthritis and can affect all the joints, but has special affinity for the weight-bearing joints (knees, hip, spine). It is seen in all breeds small and large and onset can be as young as 4 if due to injury or autoimmune disorders. OA is universal and can have a hereditary tendency. The initiating factors include poor diet, trauma, and repetitive forceful stress to a joint.
signs and symptoms:
Onset is gradual and begins in one or a few joints.
• Pain: deep, aching; worse movement and reducing barometric pressure, and better rest and warmth.
• Stiffness: worse morning upon rising, and after periods of rest during the day; lasts 15-30 minutes; better moving.
• Trouble sleeping at night from pain and stiffness.
• Joint crepitus with movement.
• Weakness of the joint on weight bearing.
• Chronic symptom picture may be punctuated by acute flare-ups of pain, swelling and stiffness.