Objective: To critically review and collate published information on feline degenerative joint disease (DJD) and identify areas in which information is lacking.
Study Design: Critical literature review.
Methods: Literature search through Pub Med, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau Abstracts published in the English Language, or translated into English (January 1940–August 2008).
Results: Although there are no prospective studies, the prevalence of radiographic DJD appears to be high and can be associated with clinical signs of decreased mobility. There appears to be a mismatch between radiographic and clinical examination findings (pain response). There is little information on the cause of DJD in different joints. There are no fully validated subjective or objective assessment systems for the measurement of chronic DJD-associated pain in the cat. Development of a feline model of chronic DJD-associated pain may speed the development and evaluation of candidate pain-alleviating compounds and treatments.
Conclusions: The high prevalence of feline DJD and lack of information about it, suggests further investigation is needed.
Clinical Relevance: Feline DJD occurs with high frequency, and yet there is little to guide the clinician on prevention or treatment.