Damage to the meniscus can lead to posttraumatic osteoarthritis. Early markers of joint injury and tissue disease may be useful in developing and administering clinical treatment. We investigated the effects of total medial meniscectomy on biomarkers measured serially in synovial lavage fluid each month for 3 months. Following meniscectomy in dogs, four biomarkers were evaluated: cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, keratan sulfate epitope (5D4), the 3B3(-) neoepitope of chondroitin-6-sulfate, and the 3B3(+) chondroitinase-generated epitope of chondroitin-6-sulfate. Meniscectomy led to statistically significant elevations of all four biomarkers, with levels peaking at 4 weeks. By 12 weeks, the level of the 5D4 epitope returned to the preoperative baseline level whereas that of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, 3B3(-), and 3B3(+) remained above the baseline. Concentrations of these biomarkers in the knees not operated on did not change significantly from the baseline. The levels of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and 3B3(-) relative to 3B3(+) remained constant in all knees. In contrast, the level of 5D4 relative to 3B3(+) declined over time in the knee operated on but remained constant in the knee not operated on. These results demonstrate a quantitative change in the molecular components of synovial fluid after meniscectomy, as well as a qualitative change evinced by an alteration in the relative proportions of these epitopes. Extensive analyses showed a strong correlation between serum levels of 3B3(-) from the femoral and cephalic veins; however, serum 3B3(-) was not correlated with synovial fluid 3B3(-). These findings support the hypothesis that the concentrations of select cartilage biomarkers in synovial fluid are altered following meniscectomy and are promising tools for objectively monitoring the induction of osteoarthritis in this model system.