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Thread: Elbow Dysplasia In My 9 Month Old Golden

  1. #1

    Default Elbow Dysplasia In My 9 Month Old Golden

    Hi, I'm new to this site and I really hope that someone may be able to help me

    I have a 9 onth old Golden Retreiver (Buddy) that has been diagnosed with Bi-Lateral elbow dysplaysia, I'm looking at all of the options I can take to help fix this problem, surgery has been suggested by a leading vet to remove fragments around the joint, he assures me that this will help however he will still have to deal with ostio arthitis in around 5 years which does not give him much quality of life, does anyone have any experience in this area ? what treatment did you use and how did it help etc, I really don't want to have to put such a beautiful dog to sleep however if will have no quality of life I'm thinking that it would be crule not to ? any advise is welcome


    Matt :-(

  2. #2


    Hi Matt. What terrible news. I would advise getting a second, specialist opinion if you can afford to. I know you siad this one was a leading vet but does that mean an ortho specialist?
    Large breeds like your boy can change dramatically during growth, and surgery early on needs to be really required.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Devonport, Tasmania


    Matt, fristly welcome to the forum.

    You dog is just a puppy, so to have this already diagnosed AT THIS STAGE is something you might wanna discuss here at a later stage re compensation etc...

    I would second what Natty has said. A second opinion would be vital to me for reeasons that i won't get into yet as I'm too tired. Sorry. Lol.
    Large/giant breeds with situations such as this can change dramatically as they physically mature, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes for the better.

    If he was my dog, i would get another opinion, look at all options, and yes if need be, operate now with the hope of securing a favourabl outcome and results for your dog's future.

    I'm so sorry this has occured for your dog. I really am.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009


    We were in the same situation with Ziggy when she was in that age. Ziggy started being lame after running and playing in the park.

    I mentioned it to our vet who took Xrays of both her elbows and then transferred us to the specialist. The Xrays weren't very good but it looked like one of the different forms of elbow dysplasia. So the specialist recommended to go in endoscopically to have a look and fix it. That is what we did. After the surgery (which were three tiny holes on both elbows and chiseling a little bit of bone off on each elbow) she was allowed 2x 10 minutes walks per day for 3 months and then slowly increasing exercise again. However, even after that time Ziggy was lame after running so we went back to the specialist. He took another set of Xrays (this time they were spot on) and it was obvious that ostheo arthitis (OA) had developed in both elbows due to the dysplasia. Specialist recommended carthrophen injections and now our Ziggy can do whatever she wants without ANY problems! It took her about 8 months instead of 3, but it was soooo worth it! Believe me, she can run like crazy again
    We also did (and still do) a few extra things that helped I think a lot in her recovery process and now for maintaing her health. She gets massages and walks on an underwater treadmill (part of physiotherapy) once a month.

    Long story short, I would recommend to see a specialist (whereabouts are you? I can recommend someone in Melbourne). If you don't have any Xrays yet get them done by the specialist as they have better equipment then the normal vet. If it is elbow dysplasia get it fixed as it usually only gets worse than better (will also depend on which form of elbow dysplasia). And OA is not really such a big problem. It is manageable, particularly when you are aware that your dog is at risk and you watch out for the signs. I was devastated when Ziggy was diagnosed with it but like I said before it is not a problem for her. She runs, plays, does agility, everything really.

    I know how you feel. I was pretty down and I thought we will have young Ziggy and she will not be able to be a dog.... far from it. It was a hard 8 months for everyone but worth it!

    Sorry for the long post but I hope it helps a bit and makes you see the things from a different angle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Hi and welcome.

    So sorry you and your dog are going thru this.

    I will echo others here and advise you to give this time before doing anything dramatic and also seeing another specialist.

    I rushed my young Gordon Setter off to the vet for periodic lameness and X-rays where taken and the first thing they pointed to was the hips.

    The breeder asked me to get a second opinion as she'd never had HD (know yours is a bit different) in her lines before. The next vet said she was too young to get an accurate diagnoses of her hips but they did take larger X-rays which shows a swelling of the bone and a bone infection. And on advise of this vet her diet was changed to a really cheap biscuit.

    The infection was treated, no further problems. Hip X-rays where taken at 2 and her hips are now good.

    I know your situation is a bit different but I think that this goes to show that large breed dogs go thru many phases of growth and while she may never have elbows that are great she may go thru middle life with little or no problem and then just need pain management in her senior years.

    I post this to show that there are many possibilities and to give you hope.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    I agree with those who say wait, big dogs do change, it would not hurt to give some Seatone it is a human treatment which often works wonders with dogs, it is made from green lip mussels is in most health shops and some super markets, specialists do have to live and I am quite sure many of them are far too fast to recommend surgery.

  7. #7


    My lab had OCD and had the arthroscopic surgery to remove the bone frangments. He is on various supplements including Joint guard, fish oil and is having cartophen injections. His surgery was nearly a year ago and he has good quality of life and hopefully this will last. We are very careful with him though, dont over do it, lots of swimming, keep him lean. We had an ortho specialist do his surgery and I am so glad we did because he was quite lame before but now runs and plays just not for too long at a time.

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