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Doggy elbow dysplasia

(11 Posts)
Fudgeface123 Wed 05-Nov-14 16:38:20

My doggy (lab) was diagnosed with this when she was 6 months old, also has arthritis in the area and is on painkillers, anti flams, cod liver oil and Synoquin. She had been coping fine, running, playing etc. but the last few days after her runs on the field, she has been limping for longer periods. Specialist said this would happen and ops have been discussed but there's no guarantee that this would work and could make her legs worse.

Anyone had experience of this, has the dog had the op, how were they afterwards etc. She's currently bouncing around the kitchen like a kangaroo with her little Westie playmate but I know she'll suffer later sad

Fudgeface123 Wed 05-Nov-14 16:38:41

She's almost 2 now BTW

Toooldtobearsed Wed 05-Nov-14 20:22:03

Yes, my lab had it at about the same age. We tried complete rest - you have a lab, you must know how horrendous those 4 weeks were. We were then referred to a specialist. He had an MRI and a chip of bone was clearly visible floating, a large piece too! His other leg looked okay.
Consultant said they tended to treat conservatively, but it was a clear cut case with mine and an OP was recommended.
He ended up having both legs done, they took a sneaky peek at the 'good' leg while he was under anaesthetic and found it was nearly as bad, so did that one too.
We had a further 4 weeks of rest well, three and a bit to be honest then started walks again.
4 months on, he is a mad bouncy, running, leaping nutter again. Do not regret it, even though it was hard work at the time.
He does limp for 2 or 3 seconds when he has been lying down and occasionally if we have walked a bit too far.
I need to keep him on the skinny side to help him in later life and he will develop osteoarthritis when he is older, so not the perfect scenario, but far better than him being in pain all the time.
It is a tough decision - have you tried the complete rest thing for 4 weeks? Consultant said it often worked where it was a borderline case.

tabulahrasa Wed 05-Nov-14 20:44:02

My dog has/had FCP, he had arthroscopy for it at 6 months old...it worked in that he hopped in to the vets on 3 legs and walked out on 4, however after the 3 weeks of crate rest it became apparent that it wasn't improving when he gradually upped his exercise and for about a year he was fine on Metacam as long as his running about offlead sessions were kept short and he walked no longer than an hour.

After that year the Metacam have him an ulcer, it perforated and it was pretty touch and go whether he was going to pull through.

We're now trying to work out what happens next as he can obviously no longer have any NSAIDS and I'm not happy that his elbow is comfortable enough without them.

Toooldtobearsed Wed 05-Nov-14 20:54:44

Oh Tabula, what a shame, all that and no better.

Mine had pain killers immediately following surgery, but has had nothing at all since. I think it is the luck of the draw to a large degree, I have heard good and bad stories when I researched the OP.
I had full trust in the people we were referred to and I think that helped me decide, my dog was only 6 months old at the time, so a good age for OP, but who knows?

If I was faced with this again, I would not hesitate to operate, which speaks volumes for the increased quality of life he has. Most runs are off lead, so lots of fun for him.

But I do feel so sorry for people and dogs it does not work for, it is such a big operation and recovery, for it not to work must be devastating.

tabula has he had both legs MRI'd? Could there be some stray chips in there?

tabulahrasa Wed 05-Nov-14 21:20:20

It is better than it was before surgery...just not well enough that it doesn't bother him.

The recovery from surgery wasn't really any worse than the rest he was having to do before it - so other than a few days of actual recovery he was a no worse off if you see what I mean.

His other elbow is fine, always was, he hasn't had his dodgy one checked recently, but, he's seeing his pain specialist on Friday. He's...complicated...he has other unrelated issues, so more procedures aren't really an option, it's more about managing him at this point.

If his surgery had been just a little bit more successful or he had tolerated Metacam he'd have been doing well enough, but, he's just unlucky, lol.

Twooter Wed 05-Nov-14 21:48:11

Maybe worth trying acupuncture if antiinflamatories are a no go. There's a book called ' no walks, no worries' which apparently is good in the convalescing stages .

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Wed 05-Nov-14 22:11:11

Mine was 6 months too - both elbows. I can't recommend hydrotherapy enough. We started as soon as we could recommended by our consultant. Initially twice a week in a pool, then down to once a week. 5 years later it's more like once a month. We do restrict walks on hard surfaces and if a limp occurs have a stash of anti-inflammatories. Plus food with glucosamine and chondroitin in.

He seems to have some common sense about this and rests when he needs to. We are trying to keep his weight down but he is a tall, big dog, plus his ability to pull a starved look with tearful eyes is amazing, so it's a bit difficult smile

tabulahrasa Wed 05-Nov-14 22:58:03

His pain specialist does acupuncture...we haven't done it on him yet, but possibly at some point - he's on other drugs so we're just kind of seeing how they go at the moment.

Mine has no common sense whatsoever and bounds about like a badly co-ordinated gazelle at every available opportunity, lol.

His weight is good though - I keep him pretty thin.

Fudgeface123 Thu 06-Nov-14 12:33:47

Hi there. Thank you for your responses. Fudgey does go to hydrotherapy once a week, she's not keen on it though despite loving the water but we have stuck with it. We have cut her food right down on the advice of the vet so she's currently hovering around 28 kg, vet would like her to be 25kg. She is on Royal Canin Maxi light and has around 300g per day split into two meals.

Toool, we did try the complete rest but she's still a young dog and doesn't understand why so it wasn't very successful.

I'm thinking I'll ask our vet to refer us back to the specialist then and then perhaps have the op...surely it'll be better for her to have it whilst she's young.

Thanks again smile

WhatsTheEffingPoint Fri 07-Nov-14 17:04:42

My boy was 5 when he had the op for Elbow Dysplasia (Vet was surprised we had no symptoms while he was still a puppy) it was the best thing we did for him (trying to keep him on rest was the hard bit). He is now 7 and has just gone on to medication (Cartrophen injections and metacam) for arthritis, again the vet is surprised that we haven't needed the meds sooner. My Vet's own dog (Lab) had this treatment and was on it for a long time so it is sustainable, so im all for the operation as we have had a positive outcome.

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