Abnormal Elbow Growth in Dogs
Abnormal elbow growth (technically known as elbow dysplasia) happens when the cells within one limb are developing in unusual manner. The factors that contribute to the contraction of this condition are genetic, developmental, and nutritional. The condition eventually results in a deformed elbow in the front limb. It actually takes four to ten months for the signs of the condition to be visible. Large dog breeds such as Labrador retrievers, Rottweilers, Golden retrievers, German shepherd dogs, Bernese mountain dogs, chow chows, bearded collies, and Newfoundland breeds are more vulnerable to abnormal elbow development than small dog breeds.
- Swift period of elbow lameness due to advanced degenerative joint illness.
- Persistent forelimb lameness that is worsened by mobility.
- Pain when stretching the elbow.
- Dog prefers to keep the limb away from its body.
- Accumulation of fluid in the joint.
- Grating of bones during movement.
- Reduced mobility.
When you take the dog to the hospital, the doctor has to examine the condition by requesting for x-rays of the two legs. This is because the condition is likely to be present in both front legs. In addition to that, an x-ray helps in ensuring that there are no other underlying health conditions such as arthritis and infection among other diseases. Since the damage to the joint can’t be seen on the outside, it’s necessary for the doctor to request for an MRI and CT scan so that he can examine the muscles around the joint. The fluid in the joint can also be obtained using a thin tube for it to be tested in the lab.
Treatment and Prevention
Abnormal elbow growth can be remedied through surgery. Once the dog has gone under the surgeon’s knife, you should put a pack of ice on the affected limb. This helps in keeping swelling at bay. Besides that, it’s a natural pain killer. It’s also important for the dog to exercise a few days after the surgery. The physiotherapy exercises helps in training the dog to get used to walking on its four legs. The doctor can actually recommend the ideal exercises for therapy sessions. Therapy is usually complimented with pain relieving medicine.
The condition can be prevented by ensuring that your dog doesn’t consume too much of carbs. This is because carbohydrates contribute to obesity in young dogs. It’s therefore advisable to give your canine a balanced diet in small portions. Since dogs can inherit the condition from their mothers, any dog that is suffering from abnormal elbow growth should be spayed immediately. You should also alert the breeder that sold the dog to you.