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Thread: she has elbow dysplasia please help!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation she has elbow dysplasia please help!

    Im shocked and devastated
    we got Laylah's scans done today and its not good.
    My 11 month baby has severe ED in right elbow and moderate ED in her left elbow. Right side already has arthritis setting in. Im absolutely devastated and so scared and freaked out. We need to see a specialist obviously but she will definitely need surgery on the right side at least.
    What I need to know from owners with dogs that have ED...

    1.What impact will this disease have on her quality of life?
    2.If you've had surgery, was it a success?
    3.What can I do to help her in the mean time ie. what food, exercise should I be doing to help her?
    I really just need any first hand advice or experiences, I never thought id be faced with this as we did so much research before buying laylah. her parents had excellent hip and elbow scores and over 30 puppies born to the same parents no history of ED.

    I am so scared that I will loose her to early because of this painful disease...please help me!

  2. #2
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    Oh wow sorry to hear Elle No advice but I hope everything works out fine.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  3. #3
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    Bugger !! So sorry Elle...

    I hope someone with experience with this will soon help you out with some info. I guess keeping her weight down to a minimum might help ?? Just a thought...

    Hope things work out and try and stay cool around her. She''ll sense your upset or worried. Good luck Elle.


    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
    Education is important, but big biceps are more importanter ...
    DONT SIC YOUR DOGMA ON ME !

  4. #4
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    thanks for the kind words guys..
    I am beyond distraught and ur right both my girls can sense it.. I just cant help it
    shes only a small lab fully grown shes only 22kilos so I guess that is in our favour...I hope someone can help me with a positive outcome story for inspiration coz right now I feel so helpless

  5. #5
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    Hi Elle, my current dog has bilateral ED and I now several people with ED dogs. It is a devastating diagnosis and I did a lot or research when my dog was diagnosed. Information is very hard to find because the outcomes are so variable and vets cannot really tell you how successful surgery is likely to be particularly in the long run where arthritis is usually a given regardless.

    The best odds are when the dog is young and there is minimal joint damage, once joint damage has progressed and arthritis set in the results are more variable. It will also depend on the type of inbalance the dog has in its elbow.

    My dog had bilateral surgery having limped on and of on one leg from 5 months old. I had surgery done at 9 months. The vet removed chunks of cartiage. Fortunately on opening up the elbow it was discovered that most of the surfaces of her joint were only minimally damaged. I took my time rehabbing her from surgery and she is now 5 yo and has never limped.

    I do notice however in the last few weeks a slight hitch in her stride only perceptible if you know what you are looking for and I know her stride pattern well. She also has a very slight thickening on that same leg. Her other leg although afected she has never limped on.

    I have friends with dogs with more severe cases and more moderate cases. To read their stories join the yahoo elbow group, started by a friend of mine whose dog was diagnosed with really severe bilateral ED and terrible joint damage. Feel free to ask questions, you will find a number of peopl have been faced with the same diagnosis.

    My feeling is that surgery should be highly considered if the dog is young, but it will very much depend on the individial situation. In more severe cases sometimes the bones have to be realigned (sliding humeral osteotomy) and this surgery saved my friends dog from a much worse outcome.

    I also have a friend who managed her dog conservatively and in some cases this is the best option.

    Yes it is complicated and I feel your pain. Particularly as you did all the right things. Labs are a high risk breed and it is only very recently some breeders have started screening their dogs as they are now compelled to by new laws. What you probably need to look for is a breeder with a long history of elbow scoring.


    K9Elbow : K9 Elbow Dysplasia
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 04-03-2013 at 08:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    I am so sorry for you, I've never had this so can't advise but wish you all the best of luck. Have you contacted the breeder, what does the breeder say and is the breeder offering any help.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  7. #7
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    kalacreek:
    thanks for ur response. As we haven't yet seen the specialist we don't have an absolute diagnosis for laylah as in what type of ED she has. The xrays show bits of formed bone around her elbow joint which I think the vet said indicates arthritis already in the right leg on her report is says 'elbow incongruity' whatever that means?
    She has no symtoms at all.. no lameness no hesitation to run jump and play so im taking that as a good sign.. we will def be getting the surgery ,whatever it costs I just want to know that I wont have to put her down at age 6 coz of pain...its a horrible horrible thing to think about. we have been referred to SASH bondi vets surgeon in Sydney as we are moving back to Sydney from perth in a five weeks. I wish I could take her to the specialist tomorrow the not knowing is killing me.
    Last edited by elle.burns; 04-04-2013 at 01:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by elle.burns View Post
    kalacreek:
    thanks for ur response. As we haven't yet seen the specialist we don't have an absolute diagnosis for laylah as in what type of ED she has. The xrays show bits of formed bone around her elbow joint which I think the vet said indicates arthritis already in the right leg on her report is says 'elbow incongruity' whatever that means?
    She has no symtoms at all.. no lameness no hesitation to run jump and play so im taking that as a good sign.. we will def be getting the surgery ,whatever it costs I just want to know that I wont have to put her down at age 6 coz of pain...its a horrible horrible thing to think about. we have been referred to SASH bondi vets surgeon in Sydney as we are moving back to Sydney from perth in a five weeks. I wish I could take her to the specialist tomorrow the not knowing is killing me.

    yes I have notified the breeder, she has been pretty supportive. shes really shocked and upset but of course shes in denial a bit trying to come up with reasons why it might not be ED.. but ive seen two vets now and ive seen the xrays. ive sent her the xrays and she is going to ask her vet and specislist (she elbow scores all her breeding dogs) she said "at no cost to me" which made me a little angry..like oh geez thanks I mean if she continues to breed with laylahs parents after this I will be really angry. that may just be my coping mechanism...anger
    My specialist is in Perth and he is great, I have known him since I was at Uni. However 5 weeks will not make a lot of difference to the outcome I would suggest if you are moving. I waited for 4 months to get an answer because we had to do time separated scans to observe the changes and then going in to the joint was the only way to confirm it. That was hard waiting.

    The elbow joint is made up of 3 bones and these should fit perfectly together like a puzzle. When the bones are elongating around 4-5 mo sometimes they dont do it quite right and they dont fit perfectly leading to elbow instability or incongruity. There are different severities of this.

    Unfortunately just because your dog is not limping it does not mean that the problem is less. Sometimes a dog will only show symptoms once the problem becomes really severe. So it is best to take it seriously. I am glad I asked my surgeon to go in for a look. The CT scans suggested some arthritis.

    I dont understand why the breeder would say she will get her specialist to check at no cost to you, that is a flippin cheek. Sometimes it just the pairing of the parents that is wrong, a genetic clash, and a different pairing maybe fine. I know a well proven bitch that only threw dysplastic puppies when mated to a particular dog, so it is not simple. That is the skill of being a breeder, some breeders I know will refund the purchase price of the pup, but not all will do that.

    I have been through all those emotions as well, in the end you just have look forward, get as much info as you can, talk to other people with the same problem - I have made some good friends around the world bound together by dealing with a dysplastic dog when first diagnosed.

    Dont think of the future, think of what you can do for the now. The future with ED dogs is simply too unpredictable. It may be fine it maybe not. Good quality life for now is the important thing as dogs live in the now.

    I have been lucky but I suspect age will bring its challenges. I use cartrophen injections and supplements, keep my dog lean, swimming is good if you have access to water. I dont restrict my dog, I let her be a dog although I dont let her jump out of cars.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 04-03-2013 at 09:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    we've started her on pentosan injections in the meantime but yeah we figured coz we are moving back to syd we should get a specialist there. eventhough we are highly anxious and want answers
    as for the breeders comments I was like...what the hell?! I don't want the money back for what I paid for laylah and id never change getting her I love her but I just think the breeder is deflecting all blame. she has bred laylahs mum and dad numerous times and reckons there is no ED in her lines..i find that extremely hard to believe. in over 30 puppies laylah is the only one with severe ED?? what do you think?

    I am trying to stay positive its just such a shock and ppl around me don't understand this dog is like my child and unless u are a dog person like that they just cant relate. like I said before I will do whatever it takes to make sure she has a good life.. shes going to be ok because she just has to be ok...I wont accept anything less

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by elle.burns View Post
    we've started her on pentosan injections in the meantime but yeah we figured coz we are moving back to syd we should get a specialist there. eventhough we are highly anxious and want answers
    as for the breeders comments I was like...what the hell?! I don't want the money back for what I paid for laylah and id never change getting her I love her but I just think the breeder is deflecting all blame. she has bred laylahs mum and dad numerous times and reckons there is no ED in her lines..i find that extremely hard to believe. in over 30 puppies laylah is the only one with severe ED?? what do you think?

    I am trying to stay positive its just such a shock and ppl around me don't understand this dog is like my child and unless u are a dog person like that they just cant relate. like I said before I will do whatever it takes to make sure she has a good life.. shes going to be ok because she just has to be ok...I wont accept anything less
    Some breeders are quite good at deflecting blame. I think it will depend on the pairings. Has she bred the pairing of Laylahs parents before? Labs do have a higher risk profile so to say there is no ED in her lines is probably naive. Rigourous screening reduces the chances markedly but it doesnt 100% guarantee all puppies are going to be free of it.

    I think that breeders that refund the purchase price to help pay with ongoing treatment shows a certain amount of them taking some responsibility.

    It is a shock but once you have more information you will move on and deal with it. Keeping my fingers crossed for you as someone who is currently past the shock stage and on the path. A positive attitude is good. I do what I have to for my girl and for her surgery was a great choice.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 04-03-2013 at 10:23 PM.

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