Large Dog Elbow Dysplasia

dog elbow dysplasiaWe’ve all heard about hip dysplasia in dogs, but did you know that they can also suffer from elbow dysplasia? It’s true and that’s why we wanted to bring you some more information about this, especially if you have a large breed dog.

What is Dysplasia In Dogs?

Elbow dysplasia occurs because of some abnormal growth of cells, tissue or bone that leads to elbow joint degeneration. This condition is most particularly evident in large and giant breed dogs including Labs, Rottweilers, Golden retrievers and German shepherds.

Symptoms Of Elbow Dysplasia In Dogs

There are some key symptoms that you need to keep an eye out for, but not all of the symptoms are going to show up in the same dog. If you find that your dog suddenly becomes lame on one of his forelegs and she is older, you’ll want to get her seen by your regular vet who may send you to an orthopedic vet.

If you see your dog holding his foreleg away from his body this may be a sign of elbow dysplasia. Also, fluid can build up in that joint and if you see the elbow inflamed that’s a warning sign. Limited range of motion in your dog can also be an issue as well as a sudden disinterest in exercise.

Diagnosing Dysplasia In Dogs

One of the first things your vet will want to find out is whether there has been trauma to the elbow joint. There may even be an infection or arthritis that is causing the pain and stiffness. In order to make an informed decision, x-rays of both elbows will probably have to be done to compare the affected elbow to the normal elbow. There may be some blood testing involved as well as an examination done by an arthroscope which allows the doctor to look inside the joint.

How to Prevent Dysplasia In Dogs

One of the key issues in large or giant breed dogs includes overfeeding. Talk with your vet about restricting the amount of calories and weight gain when they are puppies. This will help restrict their growth.

If your dog has been diagnosed with elbow dysplasia and you had planned on breeding him or her, you will want to rethink that idea. This condition is genetic and if you bought your puppy from a breeder, please report this condition immediately.

While a dog with this condition will continue to have her joints degenerate, there are ways to keep her comfortable and with you for a long time.

Does your dog have elbow dysplasia? For more on canine health, click the links below!

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