Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Dog with elbow dysplasia post operation experience

  1. #1

    Default Dog with elbow dysplasia post operation experience

    Hi guys,

    I am new here. I have a 1 1/2 year old Lab who was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia in both front legs. Left side is worse than right. We decided for an arthroscopy on both legs. Now its 5 months later and he was doing pretty good on supplements, homemade food and some herbal remedies (joint guard, green lipped mussel extract, fish oil and devils claw) for the last 2 months. I had to stop giving him his NSAID (Carprieve) because he got bad diarrhoea.

    Now, after being fine for 2 months, he is suddenly fairly sore again (limping every day after resting and exercise...)
    I started to give him some NSAID every second day again and do heat and cold packs.

    Does someone else here have experience with elbow dysplasia and know if thats a normal cycle for these dogs (having some bad days/weeks every now and then). The weather hasn't changed so I can't figure out a reason why he would suddenly get worse again.

    Is there a chance that he has developed more bone chips (he had FCP) and he needs to have another arthroscopy?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 03-13-2014 at 10:24 AM. Reason: put blank lines between paras so I can read

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,637

    Default

    Hi I think you might have posted on the K9 elbow group? I was going to suggest that as a good source of information.

    Unfortunately as the owner of a dysplastic dog that had surgery when she was 9 months old the results can be unpredictable. It will very much depend on the original incongruency of the elbows and the amount of arthritis present at surgery. With my dog I have been lucky, I had surgery early before any major damage had occurred and we suspect that the incongruency is fairly minor as she is now 6 yo and I have never had any further problems. There is a slight thickening in the elbow that was originally worse but she is active and sound.

    It is not unusual for surgery to have a temporary effect and for lameness to occur. In some situations the only option can be a sliding osteotomy to alleviate the incongruency but sometimes the source of the incongruency is difficult to find if it is subtle. Again results are not guaranteed but generally the worse the icongruency the more problems you are likely to have as removing the chips is not curing the source of the problem.

    Some people choose to manage dogs without surgery. I had a previous dog with ED and her coronoid process was completely fractured but stable and in one piece so we left it for fear that surgery might destabilise her elbow.

    They can develop more bone chips I have read, but I wouldnt be rushing into more surgery at this stage. What does your orthopedic surgeon suggest? A good specialist is the only way to go in this type of situation.

    Before my dog had surgery she would go through cycles of good and bad. I found swimming really helped. It is such a difficult condition to speculate on and very difficult to come up with definitive answers, I am not sure there is a normal. The 2 dogs I have had with the condition required 2 completely different approaches, one surgical and one non surgical. Some dogs can have horrible arthritis and not show symptoms, others like one of my dogs had mild elbow incongruency and yet would go lame after certain types of exercise.

    The other thing I did post surgery was to take an incredibly conservative approach. My specialist who deals with police, military and other working dogs and performance dog like my dogs are advised me that scar tissue needed to be allowed to form where the lesions or chips had been removed and advised a much more conservative approach than usual. Constant impact on the joint makes it harder for the scar tissues to resurface. I took a good 12 months to rehab my dog. I did a lot of low impact work and absolutely controlled her exercise untill I was sure that the lesions had time to resurface. No idea if it made a difference but my dog has never limped again and she is very active actually gaining a novice agility title before I decided not to continue further although she was sound. I have other dogs to run so I decided it wasnt worth the risk.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 03-13-2014 at 01:27 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
    Posts
    3,082

    Default

    I have 2 dogs with CL injuries. Not ED i know, but skeletal injuries none the less.
    One had surgery + conservation management, one had conservation management only. The only free exercise was swimming, out of water, on a leash. And crated to prevent play whilst unsupervised for 6 months.
    Both have good days and not so good days, irrespective of the weather. I would say the surgery was a waste of 3.5 grand for this particular dog/situation. But we live and learn.

    And NSAID's have an effect on my dog, (besides the runs) that she can overdo things with her increased pain tolerance. Whereas the chronic low level pain off them, keeps her from jumping around like a puppy and shortening her life due to further damage.

    Both dogs have a great quality of life still. But arthritis is here now for both.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,583

    Default

    I can't really speak from a dog's perspective, but as a human I buggered my knee and had a recon.

    I had to be really careful about what kind of exercise I did for the first 6 MONTHS while the tendon replacement developed it's own strength - at first it seems really strong but then it kind of dies back a bit and that's when it's weakest...

    The NSAID are really nasty drugs. They made me feel sick right up front so I avoided taking them. But they're not like aspirin or paracetemol where you take some when you hurt and they work fast. NSAIDS take hours to have an effect and you need to keep a continuous dose for several days or a week... but you really don't want to use them any longer than a couple of weeks tops. So they're good for that post surgery bruising recovery (10 days) but not after that.
    http://my.clevelandclinic.org/drugs/...es_nsaids.aspx

    I think I took them for a couple of days, and then relied on the morphine based pain killer intermittently for the first month but didn't take the whole pack (12 tablets). The morphine based pills were only good when I was having trouble sleeping because of the pain - best sleeping tablets I've ever used - out cold. Except the first two days post op - then nothing much killed the pain.

    Joint surgery doesn't always make things better. My knee still hurts some of the time and both of them make horrible noises when I squat and stand up. Tho they did that before I broke an ACL.

    with your dog - the key thing would be limiting the running, jumping, sudden starts and stops and changes in direction - for about 6 months post op or all the good the surgeon did - can be undone. Long walks in straight lines, large circles (both directions) and in water - good.

    Playing frantic fetch or zoomies - bad.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,637

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    I have 2 dogs with CL injuries. Not ED i know, but skeletal injuries none the less.
    One had surgery + conservation management, one had conservation management only. The only free exercise was swimming, out of water, on a leash. And crated to prevent play whilst unsupervised for 6 months.
    Both have good days and not so good days, irrespective of the weather. I would say the surgery was a waste of 3.5 grand for this particular dog/situation. But we live and learn.

    And NSAID's have an effect on my dog, (besides the runs) that she can overdo things with her increased pain tolerance. Whereas the chronic low level pain off them, keeps her from jumping around like a puppy and shortening her life due to further damage.

    Both dogs have a great quality of life still. But arthritis is here now for both.
    Yes the problem with ED is that it is almost impossible to know what effect surgery will have. The best candidates are young dogs with minimum arthritis development at time of surgery. Once the arthritis has set in the results become less predictable. If the elbow is very incongruent the results may also be limited. ED is one of the more difficult conditions to assess for surgery. Removing the chips is not a cure unfortunately.

    On cruciate surgery my dog had bilateral TPLO surgery and went on to have an agility career. She is now 13 and fit as a fiddle with very few problems and loves coming on our hikes so I have been fortunate with the success of those surgeries. I also had one of the best specialist surgeons in this field and I think this can also have a bearing on the outcome, along with rhab and a good dose of luck.

    None of this is really clear cut as there have been such a wide spread of differing outcomes. We have all gone through the stressfull decision making process and it surely isnt simple.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 03-13-2014 at 12:07 PM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you all so much for your replies. There is a lot of info and even tough some of you had bad experience, I still believe my dog has room for improvement. I will give him some rest and continue with the heat packs. He has gotten used to them now and seems to possibly enjoy them a little (his face said the opposite when I started with the heat packs). He has improved in the last two days.

    I can totally see that ED is an absolute individual story and hardly two stories are the same, neither can any predictions for the future be done.

    After posting in this forum, I had a bit of a read and found the Yahoo Group and there is so much more info than the stereotypical stories about ED on the net.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,637

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Amy View Post
    Thank you all so much for your replies. There is a lot of info and even tough some of you had bad experience, I still believe my dog has room for improvement. I will give him some rest and continue with the heat packs. He has gotten used to them now and seems to possibly enjoy them a little (his face said the opposite when I started with the heat packs). He has improved in the last two days.

    I can totally see that ED is an absolute individual story and hardly two stories are the same, neither can any predictions for the future be done.

    After posting in this forum, I had a bit of a read and found the Yahoo Group and there is so much more info than the stereotypical stories about ED on the net.

    Thanks again for your feedback.
    Yes the group was started by Elise because like you and the rest of us she had a lot of trouble finding much definitive information on the internet. Some of us on the group have become friends sharing our ongoing stories with our ED dogs. They range from the worst cases like Elise's dog that has had thousands of dollars worth of surgery and stem cell treatment to give her the best possible outcome which seems to have worth it and very much improved the quality of her dogs life, to cases like my dog where the initial bilateral surgery has led to an exceptional outcome.

    Good luck on your journey, there have been many positive stories.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •