Hello everyone! I just found your website and I joined immediately. I saw some posts on elbow dysplasia but none of the answers to those ED questions directly related to me (They seemed to be all for older dogs). I have so many questions, but I'll start with a few: Is surgery worth it? Will my dog be ''normal'' afterwards?
I'll back up. She is 10months (under the 2 year 'mark' the vet keeps referring to) and she is a yellow lab mix with Shar-Pei (sp?) and possible German Shepherd. She has limped since she was 5 months old (nothing happened) and about a month ago my new vet (probably number 4 down the line) acted very interested in this limp and recommended X-rays. He then took those to the Orthopedic Center here and they've found it is ED. I understand that is a general term and I have an appointment for another problem with her (severe itching) tomorrow so I'll ask what the specific problem is resulting in this ED diagnosis, but he has recommended the surgery for her. I have to schedule a consultation appointment next week for them to figure out what specifically needs to be done as far as surgery, but they've mentioned possible arthroscopic surgery for removal of fragments. This is a three thousand dollar surgery at best and so of course I've taken to the internet (google scholar... and just google) for more research. I have found so many articles and vet websites saying that surgery should be considered as a last resort and that medical treatments first are a better route. I have found so many people with surgeries that have not gone well and the dogs don't actually get ''better'' but rather just feel better. So many have said that after surgery they are medicated indefinitely and that they think THAT is the reason why the dog feels better.
This is my issue... is surgery worth it? I will spend everything I have to make my little girl get better, so please don't think I'm trying to be cheap =(. She's young and some say that younger dogs have a better prognosis, but some say its still not worth it. My vet thinks it is worth it and he doesn't get anything out of saying that - he isn't doing the surgery. Has anyone else had a younger puppy with ED who has gone through the surgery young and has a dog who can play, run, scratch, etc. without being in pain? Are those dogs still on medications to this day?
I'm not sure what this surgery entails, really, but I do know that her spay went very poorly and her body rejects stitches. She also has severe itching and takes antibiotics that help but do not cure her of that. Will this surgery effect her negatively, knowing she doesn't seem to have a very good immune system as it is? (Or maybe its not her immune system, but something in her rejects everything.) Thats what my appointment tomorrow is mainly about, but I'm hoping to get some feedback from people who've been in this boat in the past.
Thanks ahead of time!
If you haven't already, you may want to check out the Yahoo Group Orthodogs.
I haven't, thanks! I'll do that right now... anything for more information. =)
I know there are lots of folks here who have struggled with ED so hopefully weigh in, but I think your best bet is to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic vet and talk directly to them. Maybe even get a couple opinions if possible.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
My girl Java was diagnosed with ED when she was 13 months old.
We are not doing surgery at this time. She does not limp at all or show any symptoms....our ortho vet believes in treating the dog not the x-rays, so as long as she stays symptom/pain free will we not do the surgery. (Her diagnosis of ED was sort of an incidental finding-it was discovered during an orth workup prior to bilateral ACL surgeries).
I keep Java very lean to alleviate the stress on her joints and she is on a multitude of supplements.
I have an appointment tomorrow for my Vet who is then going to give me the referral for one day next week for the Ortho doctor, so I'm definitely en route to getting those questions answered from them. I just wanted to see if there were any 'live cases' of young dogs who've come out alright on the other end. A small, untrusting part of me thinks that the doctor is going to want me to spend three grand on surgery regardless of how good/bad the prognosis is, so outsider testimonials might help me understand better or feel more comfortable with this. I know thats bad of me! I have a list of about 3 pages worth of questions for the Ortho doctor, hope he is ready for a long appointment!
Oh so this is how you reply...
Anyway. Zelda limps, more when she has been resting a lot or exercising too much, but always at least a slight limp. I am not giving her *any* supplements at this point, should I be? She isn't overweight and we go to the dog park for 1-2 hours every day (of course she is less likely to run around as she's super shy and likes people better, my other dog is the pscho) with a walk around our block too, and I do watch her food intake as there are times when she wont eat at all! But she's a healthy weight at the moment, but I keep checking in with the vet about that too.
Do you think you will do surgery eventually? Our X-Rays were done because of the limp, so I'm still not sure whether or not to do surgery seen as she is in fact showing signs of pain. Ahhh confusion.
I know alot of vets will rush to surgery based soley on x-rays-I guess if it were my pup I would try other things first-i.e. supplements and an even leaner weight. (Java was 76 lbs, she is now 60 lbs).
It does also depend on what grade ED it is and whether free-floating fragments can be clearly seen on x-ray.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Yep I thought the same thing. I asked the vet if she should be crated or kept away from my other extremely playful dog and he said no, to keep up normal activity. I didn't actually look that information up online either - to see if other sources say to keep her calm or not moving - but yeah, I just figured he knew what he was talking about in that department. Plus, to be fair, aside from the walks where she is walking the whole time, the dog park doesn't really keep her interest much. She likes to walk off and sniff things on her own or follow me around and sit in-between my legs. She is the lease hyper puppy I've ever met lol, but hopefully thats not because of pain.
Thats for the opinion though, know that I had the same exact thought. I appreciate you all for responding in any way!! =)
Edited: least not lease... hah!
Last edited by Aims182003; 03-02-2012 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Can't spell!