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Elbow dysplasia

3581 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Tanya91
Hi!
My 8 month old golden, Cliff, is three weeks post surgery after a double arthroscopy for elbow dysplasia. He had fragmented coronoid processes, pieces of bone broken off and grinding on his joints.
Before the surgery he was lame often, had an awful snapping noise each time he stood up and even had to be carried to bed some nights :( since the surgery he is feeling better than ever and the vet is hopeful he was treated before the arthritis got too bad and he will have a normal life for a few years at the very least.
We were recommended to attend physio from this stage. However the nearest physio is over 3 hours away and the anxiety caused from a trip is a factor. Physio is also quite expensive given we had spent a huge amount on the surgery.

Does anyone has experience with recovery with or without physio? We are still looking into our options as we have come this far and want to give him the best chance regardless of cost but want to know how successful it may be.
Does anyone else have a dog who has been through this? How did they recover over time and what would you recommend?
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Are there places nearby to swim? That helps a great deal. My boy Reilly wasn't a surgery candidate, so we deal with it every day. Daily exercise is so important for life with this condition. Hope you have fun with a pup that can now have fun too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have a river in town but want to wait a little longer as I'm afraid he will get overexcited and try to run and do damage. I wish there was a pool where dogs are welcome nearby as I've heard it's great for recovery. Are there any other exercises you find helpful?
I really just want to know if physio sessions will have a long term effect - are they worth it? We are quickly running of money with all the vet bills! If I knew they would help him in the long term I would go ahead but I wonder if it is more aimed at the short term recovery.
 

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Sparrow,
No you don't have to check for dysplasia if it doesn't seem obvious.

Tanya,
Sorry I have no advise on physio. I didn't go that route with Reilly. It wasn't available to us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Alaska. We were lucky we caught it when we did as we only had a short time to take the surgery option before the arthritis got too bad. We will start swimming as soon as we can. Do you still have to limit Reilly's activity? We are already struggling to keep him quiet! Your dogs are beautiful by the way!
 

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I have been through the surgery for both elbows (FCP) in my 7 month old Topbrass golden.

She truly hobbled before the surgery, the recovery was stressful and nervewracking, but wow it made such a difference. She is 5 now, and is able to play ball, swim, and hike without lameness.

We did sedate her quite a bit once she felt too much better, bc the recovery is so fragile and important. It was so scary even just leash-walking her out to potty, bc she wanted to play and go. I taught her about twenty tricks with a clicker, and tried to pass the time safely.

I swam her for rehab, even though it was early spring in Maine. Once the ice came out, we swam. It STUNK as an ordeal, BUT the outcome was better than I ever expected. So sorry you have to go through this.

Because I live with 5 goldens, she went to live as a heart dog in prep school with a dear friend. She is the apple of his eye, and you would never know she had ED. She takes Dasuquin and fish oil, but that is it.
 

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I did notice Reilly limping at 16 weeks. I called the breeder who said he was just a puppy and playing too hard, he'll be fine. So he continued to limp off and on. By age 4 his right front leg would shake. So I took him to the vet and had Xrays sent down to the states to a radiologist. He was diagnosed with severe ED and not able to have surgery for correction. He did have advanced arthritis in both legs. He also had mild HD in the rear. I was told surgery was not possible.

So I began glucosamine supplements, tramadol for pain, and regular off leash walks that included swimming every time. 2 years later. Reilly's right front leg shakes if he is sore, which can happen after a 2 hour walk. He does some field work, but I limit his retrieving distances. He's one of those dogs that never complains and always wants to go no matter how bad he hurts. He's never grouchy.

Hope all goes well with your pup. What has your breeder said about this situation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been through the surgery for both elbows (FCP) in my 7 month old Topbrass golden.

She truly hobbled before the surgery, the recovery was stressful and nervewracking, but wow it made such a difference. She is 5 now, and is able to play ball, swim, and hike without lameness.

We did sedate her quite a bit once she felt too much better, bc the recovery is so fragile and important. It was so scary even just leash-walking her out to potty, bc she wanted to play and go. I taught her about twenty tricks with a clicker, and tried to pass the time safely.

I swam her for rehab, even though it was early spring in Maine. Once the ice came out, we swam. It STUNK as an ordeal, BUT the outcome was better than I ever expected. So sorry you have to go through this.

Because I live with 5 goldens, she went to live as a heart dog in prep school with a dear friend. She is the apple of his eye, and you would never know she had ED. She takes Dasuquin and fish oil, but that is it.
Thankyou for this reply! I feel hopeful that Cliffy will be able to go for walks, swim and play without pain. It just breaks your heart to see them in pain, especially at such a young age. Our vet recommended 8 weeks with no off leash activity so hopefully he will be able to play after that.
So glad to hear your girl had a happy outcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did notice Reilly limping at 16 weeks. I called the breeder who said he was just a puppy and playing too hard, he'll be fine. So he continued to limp off and on. By age 4 his right front leg would shake. So I took him to the vet and had Xrays sent down to the states to a radiologist. He was diagnosed with severe ED and not able to have surgery for correction. He did have advanced arthritis in both legs. He also had mild HD in the rear. I was told surgery was not possible.

So I began glucosamine supplements, tramadol for pain, and regular off leash walks that included swimming every time. 2 years later. Reilly's right front leg shakes if he is sore, which can happen after a 2 hour walk. He does some field work, but I limit his retrieving distances. He's one of those dogs that never complains and always wants to go no matter how bad he hurts. He's never grouchy.

Hope all goes well with your pup. What has your breeder said about this situation?
That sounds similar to Cliff, his legs would quiver and shake and he would hobble about, after only a short time playing. He is on jointguard, lexicom, tramadol and calcium supplements as well as j/d diet but he will hopefully be off the painkillers in a few months.
Reilly sounds like a great dog - Cliff is always on the go too, even when he's in pain! If he could walk for 2 hours we would be thrilled. Before surgery even half an hour of activity was too much.
As for the breeder, I haven't contacted her about the ED. When we got him he was in poor shape. He was home for one night before spending a week in the ICU with a virus and malnourished. When I contacted her, her only offer was to come and take him back - and no way we were letting him go.
It is disappointing because we paid a lot of money thinking he would be healthy! I also wonder if his condition when we got him and having to put weight on so quickly to survive is part of what caused the ED. A bad experience we learnt from, but its a shame poor Cliff is the one who suffered.
 

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It is such a shock to get a dreadful DX, and expensive surgery, and a marathon recovery- but then it did turn out to be worth it all bc the surgeon did a great job. She had "kissing lesions" and pebbles of bone in her elbow joints, so once it was all cleaned out, it was like when we have a rock in our shoe and shake it out. She has a 1/2 sister and a nephew on the forum here who also have elbow dysplasia, and then 6 relatives of which I know who have it. The mom was spayed bc of it. Both parents had great clearances- no ones fault. However, so very distressing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very distressing for sure! It's so hard to see him wanting to play and having to stop him. We have been trying some quiet games like sniffing treats out but as soon as he gets happy he wants to run around with the crazies! Poor guy just misses playing and feels great so doesn't understand!
He starts physio on Wednesday - we are able to consult over skype with the specialist. It will expensive but I need to know he has the best chance of a pain free few years at the very least.
He is still stiff and hobbling after rest - is this common for dogs with ED?
 

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