Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Arthritis: infective

Contributor(s): James Cook, John Innes

Introduction

  • Arthritis caused by infection with various microorganisms. Mono-articular condition most common.
  • Cause: direct contamination, eg penetrating wound/foreign body, surgery; direct extension from local infection; hematogenous spread from distant focus of infection (considered most common form), eg periodontal, gastrointestinal, dermal.
  • Signs: lameness, painful swollen joint(s), pyrexia, lethargy, anorexia, localized lymphadenopathy.
  • Diagnosis: radiography, synovial fluid examination, CBC.
  • Treatment: long-term (4-8 weeks minimum) administration of antimicrobial of choice following culture and sensitivity testing +/- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Open arthrotomy or arthroscopy lavage (see joint lavage component), irrigation and surgical provision of drainage may be required.
  • Prognosis: good where early treatment; poor when delayed.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

Specific

  • Joint penetration (wound or surgery).

Pathophysiology

  • Inflammation of joint caused by infection with various microorganisms introduced via a direct or hematogenous route.
  • Infection → synovial proliferation, synovial effusion, joint swelling, pain → lameness.
  • May → cartilage erosions, bone destruction, osteolysis → osteophyte formation, joint destruction.
  • Absence of a basement membrane may predispose synovium to bacterial seeding.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Clements D N, Owen M R, Mosley J R, Carmichael S, Taylor D J & Bennett D (2005) Retrospective study of bacterial infective arthritis in 31 dogs. JSAP 46 (4), 171-176 PubMed.
  • May C (2005) Diagnosis and management of bacterial infective arthritis in dogs and cats. In Practice 27 (6), 316-321 VetMedResource.
  • Hodgin E C, Michaelson F & Howerth E W (1992) Anaerobic bacterial infections causing osteomyelitis/arthritis in a dog. JAMA 201 (6), 886-888 PubMed.
  • Bennett D & Taylor D J (1988) Bacterial infective arthritis in the dog. JSAP 29 (4), 207-230 VetMedResource.


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