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Radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease in geriatric cats: 100 cases (1994–1997)

Elizabeth M. HardieDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, NC, 27606.

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 DVM, PhD, DACVS
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Simon C. RoeDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, NC, 27606.

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Fonda R. MartinDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, NC, 27606.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease (DJD) in geriatric cats.

Design—Retrospective study.

Population—100 cats > 12 years of age.

Procedure—One investigator reviewed radiographs and for each articulation (or group of articulations) that was visible assigned a grade of severity (0, 1, 2, 3) for DJD. Another investigator reviewed medical records and recorded signalment, environment, previous disease, diseases evident at time of radiography, FeLV vaccination and infection status, feline immunodeficiency virus serologic status, serum creatinine concentration, serum globulin concentration, and any other important findings. Associations between DJD of grade 2 or 3 and variables recorded from the medical record were determined.

Results—Radiographic evidence of DJD was evident in 90% of cats. Neurologic disease was associated with lesions in the lumbosacral portion of the vertebral column. Severe lesions were found in 17% of the elbow joints, but an underlying cause was not determined.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Degenerative joint disease was detected radiographically in most geriatric cats and may be an overlooked cause of clinical disease. Clinicians should be alert to the possibility that DJD is associated with neurologic signs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:628–632)

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease (DJD) in geriatric cats.

Design—Retrospective study.

Population—100 cats > 12 years of age.

Procedure—One investigator reviewed radiographs and for each articulation (or group of articulations) that was visible assigned a grade of severity (0, 1, 2, 3) for DJD. Another investigator reviewed medical records and recorded signalment, environment, previous disease, diseases evident at time of radiography, FeLV vaccination and infection status, feline immunodeficiency virus serologic status, serum creatinine concentration, serum globulin concentration, and any other important findings. Associations between DJD of grade 2 or 3 and variables recorded from the medical record were determined.

Results—Radiographic evidence of DJD was evident in 90% of cats. Neurologic disease was associated with lesions in the lumbosacral portion of the vertebral column. Severe lesions were found in 17% of the elbow joints, but an underlying cause was not determined.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Degenerative joint disease was detected radiographically in most geriatric cats and may be an overlooked cause of clinical disease. Clinicians should be alert to the possibility that DJD is associated with neurologic signs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:628–632)