Unfortunately, dogs are not immune to osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease. In addition to the common type of arthritis, there are five other types that can affect our beloved canines, including chondrocalcinosis, a very rare form of the disease caused by crystals in the fluids surrounding the joints.
Crystalloid Form of Arthritis
While rare, two different types of arthritis are caused by crystals (deposits) in the fluids surrounding the joints: gout, caused by urate crystals, and pseudo-gout, caused by calcium pyrophosphate crystals. The term "chrondrocalcinosis" is simply the name given to the latter condition. Pseudo-gout can come on suddenly, causing inflammation and joint damage. Typical symptoms include observed pain and fever. Your veterinarian may also use joint manipulation, X-rays, an MRI or blood tests to determine a prognosis.
Because chrondrocalcinosis is rare, if your dog suddenly becomes lame or has a fever be sure to seek professional care immediately. Only a veterinarian can determine whether or not your dog has this disease. Treatment involves reducing or eliminating the production of crystal; immunosuppressant therapy typically involving corticosteroids, like prednisolone, is often prescribed.
Debra Levy has been writing for more than 30 years. She has had fiction and nonfiction published in various literary journals. Levy holds an M.A. in English from Indiana University and an M.F.A. in creative writing/fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars.