Elbow Dysplasia in a Puppy

by Naomi Millburn
Regular vet checkups help you stay on top of your pet's health.

Regular vet checkups help you stay on top of your pet's health.

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Elbow dysplasia is a canine health condition that refers to problematic structuring of the elbow joint. It can manifest itself in a variety of different ways. One common effect of elbow dysplasia is the inability of all of joints of the elbows to align correctly, specifically the ulna, radius and humerus.

Types of Elbow Dysplasia

Not only can elbow dysplasia bring upon issues with the placement of joints, it can show up as a handful of other problems. Osteochondrosis is one such example. Osteochondrosis entails issues of the cartilage and bones within the elbow joint -- think excessively thick cartilage. Ununited anconeal processes and fragmented medial coronoid processes are both also forms of elbow dysplasia. These processes are tiny bones that, as dogs develop, connect to the ulna. An ununited anconeal process fails to connect to the ulna, while a fragmented medial coronoid process detaches from it. The root triggers of elbow dysplasia are uncertain, but they might be genetic.

Puppies

Elbow dysplasia is prevalent in youthful pooches in the midst of rapid development. The ailment starts when dogs are mere puppies, and its influence is often long-lasting. If a puppy has elbow dysplasia, you might start picking up on key symptoms of it when the little guy between 4 months and 10 months in age. Veterinarians frequently confirm the disorder in puppies as young as 4 months.

Symptoms

If you have concerns that your pup might have elbow dysplasia, get him to the veterinarian quickly -- the sooner the better. Note, however, that wee puppies with elbow dysplasia might not necessarily show indications of a problem. Some common signs to look out for are difficulty walking, front limb aching, hobbling, rigidness and hesitation regarding physical fitness. If a puppy has elbow dysplasia, a veterinarian can decide on an appropriate management plan for him. This might involve surgery and pain medicine or simple dietary adjustments. Fast development and inordinate weight gain can sometimes affect the condition. The more weight on a canine's elbow the more strain it must endure, after all.

Predispositions

Although elbow dysplasia is undoubtedly common in puppies, it also is particularly common in certain canine breeds -- big ones. Doggie breeds with predispositions to elbow dysplasia include Bernese mountain dogs, Newfoundlands, Great Danes, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Dobermans, Labrador retrievers and Rottweilers. In spite of that, pooches who are a lot smaller also can have elbow dysplasia, such as cocker spaniels.

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About the Author

Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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