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    Thread: Elbow Dysplasia

    1. #1
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      Elbow Dysplasia

      Well, I haven't posted about this on here because I didn't think it was going to be significant. Asher began showing the slightest of limps around August last year on his front left side. Took him to the vet in September. He felt around and Asher showed no signs of discomfort (vet said labs are very good at doing so). Limp went away. I started noticing it again in December. I asked my pet sitter to watch his gait but she said she never notices a limp. I see it though. So finally took him in for X-rays today. My vet says his left elbow looks "rough". He believes it's elbow dysplasia but he is sending the x-rays off to a radiologist.
      I checked in with my breeder and she said she has never had a puppy have elbow dysplasia. She did tell me that last year she purchased a puppy for breeding and the puppy ended up having double elbow dysplasia. She had surgery done by a vet from OSU. It was successful and the puppy is happy in a family home. Six week recovery in crate. She said the surgery is very pricey.

      I just can't believe it. My vet will call me Monday with an update from the radiologist. Anyone on here have experience with this and maybe offer some advice? My baby is zonked right now from the sedation today.

    2. #2
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      What about pano?

      Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by Meeps83 View Post
      What about pano?

      Bone Inflammation (Panosteitis) in Dogs


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Yep, that's what my vet thought it was. He agreed with me that it gone on long enough that he thought x-rays were needed. He said after reviewing the x-rays - it's definitely in the elbow. He just needs the radiologist to take a closer look.

    4. #4
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      Sorry to read that Asher might have ED.

      Experience, ya, 12+ years of it with Opal, who is now 12.8 years old. She had ED surgery at 6 months old and has done very well. Opal's breeder also told us that ED wasn't in her line, but years later I talked with another Lab breeder who had Opal's aunt, and wha-la, she had mild ED.

      As for the 6 weeks crating, BS, Opal was up and around the next day. Her rehab vet encourages mobility ASAP, with at-home exercising. Yes, the surgery is pricey, but we have Pet Ins. and because of Opal's other joint diseases/issues, she's probably worth 30K by now, and worth every penny!

      Advice, get Asher on a good joint supplement and anti-inflammatory. Opal is on CT Support Plus - and has been all her life, we also give her Homeopathics that work wonders. Recently, we've had a lot of snow and I'm amazed how Opal still ploughs through the snow drifts like a youngster.

      Wishing you all the best with Asher!

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    6. #5
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      Definitely get a second opinion from a specialist in reading films. There's lots of misdiagnoses surrounding ortho issues based on placement of the dog during the x-ray and lack of specialization in analyzing the films.

      A history of good orthopedics in the family and sire/dam who have passed their hips/elbows is generally an indicator of less risk in a puppy BUT there's always an odd chance of dysplasia. Elbow dysplasia can commonly occur not because of genetics, but rough play or too much jumping/exercise too soon, etc. It only takes a second for a puppy to get accidentally hurt by an older, larger household dog. These injuries might not be apparent right away, but can become obvious later on.

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    8. #6
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      Good to hear on Opal! That is very encouraging. We have insurance so I'm okay there. I'm struggling to find information on the surgery. What is it called?

      Given Samsons CCL injury, I started Asher on joint supplements when he was 10 weeks old. Good to hear on the after surgery --- I was worried it was like a TTA. That was a very stressful recovery for me and Samson. I'm anxious for the call on Monday with the radiologist report.

    9. #7
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      Sorry to hear he might have ED.

      I would consider sending the x ray to OFA to be evaluated there too, Dr Keller, and the other vets they send the x rays out to, see a LOT of elbows avery year. It will also establish data on the OFA database if you mark the box to show results even if they are not passing. Let me know if you need guidance for submission to OFA. Your breeder may require an OFA grading to honor your warranty if there is one. This is not necessarily the breeder's fault, unless they are not doing OFAs on their breeding dogs, and not necessarily your fault, Mother Nature has her own plans sometimes. Hip and elbow dysplasia can be genetic in nature, or environmental, and even diet can contribute. Dxboon mentioned a second opinion, and I would agree with that as well, elbows can be very tricky to diagnose.

      Heritability is not known for elbow dysplasia, passing parents can produce failing elbows, (and hips), although doing OFA's on breeding dogs is the best tool we have to know we are at least not breeding dysplastic dogs. OFA has statistics of dogs each year that are affected even with cleared parents. Keep an open line of communication with your breeder, because ED can happen no matter how carefully we breed.

      On a personal note, one of my puppies I bred developed a limp, so the family did x rays, and saw an orthopedic specialist, who wanted to do surgery on both elbows (only one elbow was symptomatic) right away! So this puppy had surgery before the x ray results came back from OFA that were graded Bilaterally Normal. I wish they had waited a few extra days, because I believe the puppy had Pano, or growing pains, and had unnecessary surgery.

      On another personal note, I purchased a puppy that developed bilateral ED, we did surgery on both elbows, did all the joint supplements, Adequan injections, glucosamine and chondroitin, etc... and his elbows got worse within 6 months, and he was crippled the rest of his life. If I have ED again, I would not do surgery because once you enter that joint capsule they will have osteoarthritis no matter what else you do, I would just manage with pain medication, and gentle exercise and activity, such as leashed walks and swimming.
      Last edited by Shelley; 02-10-2018 at 09:56 AM.

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    11. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
      If I have ED again, I would not do surgery because once you enter that joint capsule they will have osteoarthritis no matter what else you do, I would just manage with pain medication, and gentle exercise and activity, such as leashed walks and swimming.
      I agree, unless the ED is so bad that there are bone fragments present. Same goes for HD and luxating patellas - wait with surgery until the pups are more developed, but definitely give the supps and pain relief. We also had a reg. choc Lab with mild ED and she did very well, much better than Opal.

    12. #9
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      I think the surgery is still called 'bilateral ortho for ED'.
      Have you seen this yet? https://www.ofa.org/pdf/elbowarticle.pdf

      Which joint supps is Asher on? If the dosage is too much/high for a growing Lab pup, then the supps can actually do the reverse and cause joint issues. Not sure, just saying.

      Try to hang in there until Monday, I know it's stressful...

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    14. #10
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      Thanks for all the feedback. I really appreciate it. I kept Asher's activity at bay when he was a pup. For the most part I was paranoid about Samson hurting his right knee (TTA on Left in 16). I mean, I laid on the floor and played with Asher so he had plenty of playful activity. I carried him up/down the stairs until he was about 35lbs and then I left him do it..just twice a day at bedtime/getting up. His food is Taste of the Wild. I've been racking my brain on what I could have done wrong. I feel pretty confident I did the best for Asher and this is just an unfortunate situation. He's my baby and I will do whatever I can to ensure he receives the best care. He did roll down the stairs when he was 9 weeks old. Silly boy. Sheer panic for me but I looked down and he seemed proud. Oh, the supplement -- Glycoflex 1....just one chew a day. When he was younger, I halved it. They are a bit pricey so I gave him small amounts. Samson gets Glyco III and the full amount plus fish oil....those add up monthly! lol

      Thanks Shelly --- I reached out to my breeder immediately. I could tell she was shocked and disappointed. She is a very proud breeder and very caring. I've stayed in contact with her over the years and use as a resource. She does the OFA testing and panels, and hereditary illnesses...I don't know them all. She offers a 24 month guarantee. She immediately offered up the 500.00 but for some reason, I feel odd taking it. He's my boy and I do have insurance so I feel the need to care for him. After Samson's CCL injury, I went for 90% coverage on Asher. I spoke to Healthy Paws yesterday just to confirm ED doesn't have the 12 month clause like HD and it does not. The person I spoke to said they've had only a few cases compared to HD and CCL's. I will ask my breeder today if she could help me get the x-rays to the OFA. I definitely do not want to rush into surgery. I'm here in Ohio and I think the OSU ortho vet is the best option. I'm in Cleveland so we shall see. My breeder says it take 2 months to get into there. I want a couple of opinions. I am thankful that is not bilateral. I can tell the manipulation of the x-rays hurt him. He is really limping today.

      I'll make a list of discussion points so keep the feedback coming! :-)

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