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Showa shock oil cavitation

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I'm doing a shock oil change on a '05 CR250. This is the 1st time it's ever been cracked open. 1st thing I notice w/ spring removed is that the shock didn't retract fully after compression. It would stop retracting about 1/8" before end of travel.

THe other issue, I'm seeing quite a lot of air bubbles mixed in w/ the dirty fluid. There's no leaks that I can see. And the bladder has no holes and it held the air pressure fine.

My question is what caused all the cavitation?

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What you see is normal. There always seems to be an excessive amount of air when servicing a stock shock for the first time. The shock probably didn't fully extend due to the amount of air, or a loss of nitro.

Air gets in the shock from the oil cavitating, but it there is also a good possibility the air is sucked in throught the seals (it can't come from anyplace else).

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