Dog Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia2Dog Elbow Dysplasia

By Admin

What is elbow dysplasia in dogs? This is a condition caused by a faulty union of the elbow bone with the ulna.  Dog elbow dysplasia is the leading cause of arthritis in large breed dogs. It is of developmental origin. It primarily affects Basset hounds and German Shepherd dogs, but has been described in other breeds too. It is said to be inherited, but the exact cause is unknown.  Hormones and trauma may also cause this bone disease.

The loose fragment in the elbow acts as an abrasive and irritant. Arthritis is likely to develop in the joint. Dog limping is caused by pain.

Puppies around six months of age begin to show lameness in the front leg. It can be seen in dogs up to two years of age.  Some puppies are unable to bear weight and others limp only when they trot. The elbow is held outward from the chest. Canine elbow dysplasia is seen more in rapidly growing large and giant breed dogs.  It can be in one or both legs.

In mild cases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can be given to reduce pain and inflammation.  Glucosamine Chondroitin Sulfate which is a nutritional supplement has shown signs of helping this disease.  It can take up to a month before the dog shows signs of improvement.

In more advanced cases, treatment of dog elbow dysplasia is surgical removal of the loose piece of the bone. After five months of age, X-Rays can diagnose the disease.

Rapid weight gain and accelerated growth in puppies that are fed a high protein diet can cause this disease.  Dogs that have this disease should lose weight and puppies should bed fed a food formulated for large breeds.

Dogs that are know to have this bone disease should not be bred.

Causes Of Limping In Dogs

Limping in dogsLimping In Dogs

By Admin

What is lameness?  Lameness in dogs is any decrease in the dog’s ability to bear weight on a leg.    Sometimes even a vet can not always tell by eye or feel if a bone is broken.  If your dog is limping badly and you suspect a fracture, have an x-ray taken. Most cases of limping or lameness are not serious, but dog lameness can be a clinical sign of a more serious disorder.

What are the causes of limping in dogs?  There are three common problems that can cause dog limping or a weakness of your dog’s hind legs.  They are disc prolapse of the back, pelvic fractures, and instability of the neck bones.  Pelvic fractures are common injuries when dogs are hit by cars.  Disc prolapse in the nick can produce pain down one or both front legs, since the nerves for sensation and movement for the front legs originate in the neck area.  A disc prolapse in the back can produce pain, weakness, or paralysis of the back legs and loss of bowel and urine control.  Pekingese, dachshunds, miniature poodles, french bulldogs, and cocker spaniels have a high incidence of disc disease.  Instability of the cervical vertebrae is seen especially in doberman pinschers 1-2 years of age and Great Danes.  A wobbly gait develops in the rear legs, and the spinal cord become compressed by the unstable neckbones.

Why is my dog limping?  There are other reasons for canine limping.  Thorns, pain, tar can stick to your dog’s front pad and between the toes.  The dog tries to chew off these substances.  This causes the paws to become irritated.  The irritation makes your dog tender on the paw and then lame.  Hot spots between the toes or footpads are another cause.  Ligaments are tissues that connect the bones of a joint and give it stability during movement.  Sometimes these are strained, sprained, or completely torn.  The knee of the dog is the most common ligament sprain or complete tear.  The anterior cruciate ligament prevents the knee bones from rubbing together, so a partial or complete tear will cause severe pain.  Your vet will be able to determine the degree of tearing.

Another cause of a dog limp is osteoporosis, which can be seen in growing puppies that are fed a diet with the wrong balance of calcium and phosphorus and not enough vitamin D.  The calcium is the lost from the bones.  The puppy is reluctant to walk, has pain in the legs, and may stand with it’s paws turned inward.  It’s bones are fragile and fracture easily.

Osteoarthritis which is bony changes in the join is the result of joint instability that were not or can not be corrected satisfactorily, of joint injuries, or of the aging process.  After sleeping, or lying down, your pet is stiff and feels pain that seems to get better as your dog moves around during the day.

Dislocation of the hip joint are occasionally seen in dogs that have been hit by cars.  The hip joint is a snug ball and socket arrangement.  Trauma can tear the muscles and tendons over the hip and pop the ball out of the socket, causing a dislocation, or a luxation of the hip joint.  The dog may not be able to place the leg on the ground if the hip is dislocated.  Fractures of the pelvis can accompany traumatic injury to the hips.

Treatment involves time and activity restriction for a few days.  Aspirin can be give to dogs to decrease the pain and inflammation.

Any canine limping that gets worse or last longer than three days should be checked by your vet.