7th Annual Gulf-Atlantic Veterinary Conference
Polyarthritis is a debilitating disease whereby the immune system mounts an inappropriate inflammatory response releasing cytokines and chemokines within the joints, causing pain, swelling and difficulty walking as well as clinical signs associated with systemic illness. Inflammatory changes within the joint disrupts the protective function of the synovial fluid which bathes these joints. Diagnosis of polyarthritis requires an extensive workup with infectious, immune-mediated, neoplastic and breed-associated etiologies being previously identified. A systemic workup for all patients is recommended, which would include, but not be limited to, a complete blood count, serum biochemistry, urinalysis, urine culture, and imaging of the thorax and abdomen. However, definitive diagnosis of polyarthritis is based on arthrocentesis and synovial fluid analysis of several joints. In this lecture, we will review the types of polyarthritis, the underlying etiology, diagnostic tests and monitoring as well as treatment for this group of diseases.