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Thread: she has elbow dysplasia please help!

  1. #11
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    yes she has had maybe 3 or 4 litters from the same parents as laylahs...I did she the mum and dads hip and elbow scores and they were good..i tried to do all the right things but its just one of those things I guess..
    I can not thank you enough for your posts, just talking to someone about it..i have no family or friends here in perth so its nice just to speak to someone with experience on the matter..
    was recovery long and hard after surgery?
    we have two labs and I fear keeping her calm while recovering will be a full time job

  2. #12
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    Hi Elle.Burns

    At least you know your puppy has Displasia so you can start managing that so you don't aggravate it.

    Meanwhile I think you can get your vet who did the x-rays - to submit the information along with your dog's name and ancestor names (ie parents and grand parents and what ever family history you have) to the LIDA database at Uni NSW.

    LIDA Dogs - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    And you could probably contact the uni and ask them to recommend specalists in Sydney for investigating and potentially fixing the problem. All surgery has risk - from making the problem worse, to fixing it up. Or something in between, like fixing it up but with residual pain (what I got from my ACL recon on my own knee). As long as not fixing it is worse than the likely results of having surgery - then it's probably worth a go if you can afford it.

    Some vets are using stem cells - taken from the dog, back into the dog's joint - to try to help regrow the joint and cartilage. I'm not sure if it works but I've heard stories of vets doing this with their own dogs. So it's worth asking about. But first you'd have to get the joint to be fitting correctly. Ie if it's all loose and out of alignment - regrowing it is a bit pointless.

    And there are three legged dogs out there, having a good quality of life. I know a ridge back with only three legs - and it can run quite fast and is very enthusiastic about life.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by elle.burns View Post
    yes she has had maybe 3 or 4 litters from the same parents as laylahs...I did she the mum and dads hip and elbow scores and they were good..i tried to do all the right things but its just one of those things I guess..
    I can not thank you enough for your posts, just talking to someone about it..i have no family or friends here in perth so its nice just to speak to someone with experience on the matter..
    was recovery long and hard after surgery?
    we have two labs and I fear keeping her calm while recovering will be a full time job
    The surgery was not too bad, nothing as bad as cruciate surgery. However my specialist told me that he would take a conservative route to recovery after surgery, more so than is usually recommended. The surfaces where the catilage has broken off need to resurface with scar tissue which is hard when a dog is very active. I was lucky enough to be able to do lots of swimming with her which is a great energy burner and low impact muscle builder. I would definitely not allow her to play rough and tumble with your other dogs for quite awhile. I know that is hard, but you will need to keep her separated from them when you cant supervise.

    A friend of mine has used stem cells in the USA on her dog. She had the initial surgery which failed because the elbow was badly unstable, so she then had the osteotomy which means cutting one of the bones to relieve the pressure it was causing from beingnot quite the right fit and then she had stem cell therapy. She is in two minds about the stem cells I think and she reckons the recovery from that was worse than from surgery. It very much depends on the what is causing the initial incongruency, that would probably need to be sorted first. Perhaps in a less severe case the stem cells where an osteotomy wasnt required would be an option. Hopefully your specialists will be able to help you there.

    It is a good suggestion to register her condition on the data base. If everyone did that then it would build a information base for other people purchasing puppies.

    Choice of surgery is dependent on the situation, years ago I had a dog do a bicep tendon and during that investigation it was also revealed that she had ED. The coronoid process (part of the one of the elbow bones that forms the elbow joint) was completely fractured. However CT scans also revealed that it was stable and there was minimal arthritis. ED did not show up on normal x-rays which rely on picking up arthritic changes in the elbow joint which she didnt have. We decide to leave it because the surgeon that that removing it may cause the elbow to become more unstable.

    So things are quite complicated. Because the scans on my current dog were not overly bad I was given the option to do nothing, but I didnt like the fact that she limped sporadically, so I took the option for the surgeon to go in and explore to check out what was actually going on. It was the best decision because we got to remove chunks of broken off cartilage that would have gradually worn down the cartilage surface of her joints which were at that stage pretty undamaged.

    I drove myself nuts trying to sort through all the scenarios so I know how you must be feeling. For me it has worked out fine to this point. Others have not had such a good outcome but most are managing and so will you.

    It is however not a situation that I would wish on anyone and although elbow and hip scanning parents is not perfect it goes a long way to reducing the chances. Elbows scans I reckon are a bit more dicey in certain situations because sometimes x-rays dont always reveal problems as in the dog I mentioned above. Usually signs of arthritis have set in by 2 yo which I guess is when they do the elbow x-rays prior to breeding but with this particular dog it hadnt. It took a CT scan to diagnose her.

    Surgery for ED is never a cure. It is done to stave off or slow down the inevetible arthhritis and give the dog a better quality of life for longer. Sometimes it does that sometimes it doesnt. Sometimes it does for a long period, sometimes only for a short period. That is the pain and conundrum of having a dog with ED.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 04-04-2013 at 06:41 PM.

  4. #14
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    Hello Elleb
    I have a friend with a female rottie, had EP in both legs. Had surgery, they did both knees at the same time? Seemed odd to me, as a nurse, we wouldnt do that for a human. But not uncommon in dog surgery.
    The rottie appeared to make a full recovery. A lot of that time was spent in her crate. Then she could come out, but was tied to her owner, to ensure that she didnt move too fast, suddenly, then allowed out on leash only. Walking etc etc. Twas baby steps. And we swam the dogs for the first month allowed back on walk, so that she could exercise, without weight bearing.
    5 yrs on....
    She has arthritis in both knees. Rottie's, like labs, are very greedy dogs. And she was fat as a pup, and a balloon as a adult. Despite at least 2k's with me every morning.

    My GSD has a similar issue, in he's dislocating his knee. Its been a month now. We are not going a surgical route. But there is little improvement. He has no idea he has an injury. Is in no pain. which i judge from his behaviour around the home.
    My dog is 5, and has had a lot of hard wear n tear, as he's worked a lot, over most forms of terrain. Arthritis IS a given at some point.
    I have a real issue in that our relationship has had to change. I have had to adjust how we walk, track, fetch a ball even.
    And if i am honest. I am missing the active dog lifestyle we had.

    I dont know if we will ever get that back now.
    But his quality of life is real cool, he's still sharp as a needle, a bit of a idiot as not exercised sufficiently right now.
    Mind games do not equate to hunting rabbits according to bernie

    I hope that your dog goes well, she is very young, the best scenario to be in from what i have read and been told.

    I cried and cried the night i saw he was 'broken'. In panic, i ran though various awful scenarios at vets in my imagination. This is my soul mate. We are very close indeed, and the bond goes both ways. He's devoted to me. Guards me always, protects me, loves me. But your right, people who dont have the love, just dont get it.

    We do on this forum honey, we all get it.

  5. #15
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    Bernie: thanks for your post what you said actually brought me to tears, I don't have people around me that understand that these dogs are my children. My work colleagues don't understand why im so distraught. Its so nice to have someone who understands and doesn't make me feel like im a crazy dog lady lol... Ive been a mess all night/day but when I got home and saw my girl and how happy and positive she is I know I have to think positive for her. Fact is ive only had an initial diagnosis with a general vet, until I see the ortho specialist I wont know what im dealing with. so ill just try to stay hopeful that its not as bad as im thinking.
    as far as supplements go when they say to give the dog fish oil does that mean human stuff from the health food shop or is there a dog specific one? im a little confused about that

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    The surgery was not too bad, nothing as bad as cruciate surgery. However my specialist told me that he would take a conservative route to recovery after surgery, more so than is usually recommended. The surfaces where the catilage has broken off need to resurface with scar tissue which is hard when a dog is very active. I was lucky enough to be able to do lots of swimming with her which is a great energy burner and low impact muscle builder. I would definitely not allow her to play rough and tumble with your other dogs for quite awhile. I know that is hard, but you will need to keep her separated from them when you cant supervise.

    A friend of mine has used stem cells in the USA on her dog. She had the initial surgery which failed because the elbow was badly unstable, so she then had the osteotomy which means cutting one of the bones to relieve the pressure it was causing from beingnot quite the right fit and then she had stem cell therapy. She is in two minds about the stem cells I think and she reckons the recovery from that was worse than from surgery. It very much depends on the what is causing the initial incongruency, that would probably need to be sorted first. Perhaps in a less severe case the stem cells where an osteotomy wasnt required would be an option. Hopefully your specialists will be able to help you there.

    It is a good suggestion to register her condition on the data base. If everyone did that then it would build a information base for other people purchasing puppies.

    Choice of surgery is dependent on the situation, years ago I had a dog do a bicep tendon and during that investigation it was also revealed that she had ED. The coronoid process (part of the one of the elbow bones that forms the elbow joint) was completely fractured. However CT scans also revealed that it was stable and there was minimal arthritis. ED did not show up on normal x-rays which rely on picking up arthritic changes in the elbow joint which she didnt have. We decide to leave it because the surgeon that that removing it may cause the elbow to become more unstable.

    So things are quite complicated. Because the scans on my current dog were not overly bad I was given the option to do nothing, but I didnt like the fact that she limped sporadically, so I took the option for the surgeon to go in and explore to check out what was actually going on. It was the best decision because we got to remove chunks of broken off cartilage that would have gradually worn down the cartilage surface of her joints which were at that stage pretty undamaged.

    I drove myself nuts trying to sort through all the scenarios so I know how you must be feeling. For me it has worked out fine to this point. Others have not had such a good outcome but most are managing and so will you.

    It is however not a situation that I would wish on anyone and although elbow and hip scanning parents is not perfect it goes a long way to reducing the chances. Elbows scans I reckon are a bit more dicey in certain situations because sometimes x-rays dont always reveal problems as in the dog I mentioned above. Usually signs of arthritis have set in by 2 yo which I guess is when they do the elbow x-rays prior to breeding but with this particular dog it hadnt. It took a CT scan to diagnose her.

    Surgery for ED is never a cure. It is done to stave off or slow down the inevetible arthhritis and give the dog a better quality of life for longer. Sometimes it does that sometimes it doesnt. Sometimes it does for a long period, sometimes only for a short period. That is the pain and conundrum of having a dog with ED.
    I think what im most upset about is having to put her through surgery. shes very sensitive and both times shes been at the vet for procedures the vet has had to get us to pick her up early coz she was highly distressed how long do they have to stay in the vets after they have the surgery do u know?
    I think that's what will kill me having to drag her in and leave her

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by elle.burns View Post
    I think what im most upset about is having to put her through surgery. shes very sensitive and both times shes been at the vet for procedures the vet has had to get us to pick her up early coz she was highly distressed how long do they have to stay in the vets after they have the surgery do u know?
    I think that's what will kill me having to drag her in and leave her
    They like to keep them untill they have recovered from the anasthetic, so it will depend when you dogs surgery is done. Something you will need to negotiate with your vet. The actual procedure if done by arthroscopy is not particularly invasive. None of us like leaving our dogs.

  8. #18
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    oh its not invasive?..well that's good I was picturing all kinds of horrific bone drilling scenarios and upto a week stay at the vets.

  9. #19
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    arthroscopy - that's where they put a tube about as wide as a straw or a biro - into a small hole and use a camera and a cutter and sucker in the tube to do the operation. It's amazing stuff. It's still "invasive" ie you're still going inside the body. It's just not a huge open wound.

    That's what was used to do my two knee ops, but it still hurt like hell after.

    Now's the time to be doing some crate training with your dog so she can feel safe in a crate / vet cage.

  10. #20
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    ohh so I crate train her for the op?.. I never thought of that what a great idea! yes ill go buy a crate tomorrow. but how do I let her know that's shes not being punished for being locked up..especially when my other lab is around? shes really attached to my older lab

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