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Thread: labs and shoulders

  1. #1
    Charliesmom is offline Member
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    Defaultlabs and shoulders

    What kind of shoulder issues are labs prone to? Mine has a limp and flinches if you pull his leg back (paw toward tail) ???. All other range of motion is fine.

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    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    Elbow dysplasia is a big problem in Labs.* LINKY

    How old is your dog?

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    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    Limping could mean all sorts of things. I'm not sure if Labs are prone to shoulder conditions but they are prone to dysplasia (hip, elbow, etc.).

    How old is your dog?

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    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    The main thing that labs can be very prone to in their shoulders is OCD- osteochondrosis dissecans- of the humeral head. See: http://www.thepetcenter.com/xra/ocd.html for a brief explanation.

    Labs can also get bicipital tenosynovitis in the biceps tendon in the front of the shoulder joint, which can actually cause calcifications of the tendon as well and can be quite painful, almost like "carpal tunnel syndrome" in people.

    Elbow dysplasia is also a huge problem in the breed, and unusual stresses to the front legs from elbow dysplasia can lead to shoulder injuries as well.

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    I would definately take the dog to a vet or an ortho vet and have it diagnosed. Just doing your own range of motion test isn't going to tell you if the problem is in the elbow or the shoulder.

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    Charliesmom is offline Member
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    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    Hi,
    Charlie is almost 21 mos. old. The shoulder is something the vet has examined b/c he has had a pronounced limp off and on for almost a year now. It has become worse lately. He flinched when she moved his paw back but with me I only notice a crunch. She seems to think that's where the pain is coming from so xrays are our next step. Can a shoulder break down this young? If it's OCD, it's what I have in my knees. Nothing can be done until a cartilage tear takes place. Glucosamine? Maybe some anti-inflammatories. If he has a tear in the cartilage, I could be looking at surgery. I'm not sure how much that will cost and if they can do it without opening the shoulder right up.

  9. #7
    WigWag Guest

    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    Elbow dysplasia is also a huge problem in the breed, and unusual stresses to the front legs from elbow dysplasia can lead to shoulder injuries as well.
    Really? Do you think ED is a "huge" problem in Labradors? I guess I don't. HD and ED and OCD are orthopedic conditions that all large and giant breeds can be prone to, however I don't think they are huge problems. The vast majority either have normal joints or the ones with issues have mild cases. Moderate to severe cases that need surgery are definitely in the minority, yes they occur but not all that often. I read somewhere that a vet/researcher found that 25% of all large breed dogs have some form of ED or HD or OCD, however only about 5% of those needed surgery.

    As pointed out shoulder OCD can cause the pain you are describing, however without a full set of x-rays it's difficult to impossible to diagnose. Some growing puppies have panosteitis and also limp due to muscle or tendon strains. Yes surgery can be done to correct OCD and it's especially successful shoulder, however many times pups improve as they approach 18 months and the lameness can disappear altogether with glucosamine supplements and moderate exercise and a strict diet.

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    Sharon, that depend on how you talk about ED and HD.* HUGE problems, maybe not in comparison to other things, but certainly a big enough problem that every breeder OFA's hips and elbows and recommends that puppy buyers ONLY buy from breeders who certify their dogs.* Big enough that we always warn people to not over exercise their puppies, not to over feed their puppies, don't overload them on calicum.

    Maddy got ED. Was it because only 2 dogs in her entire pedigree had their elbows OFA'd?* Was it because she is a high drive field lab who ran and jumped for frisbees at 4 month and we let her do it cause she was too talented, and we didn't have the heart to stop her...even though we knew better?* We'll never know.

    And with the number of bad breeders who throw any two dogs together just to make some money...it does seem like a problem when you hear so many people who got their dogs from what I call a BYB (mom and dad on premises, one litter a year, don't bother with clearances, don't show or work their dogs, but by God, they loved their labs....) or a petstore and the dog ends up lame with some form of orthopedic issues requiring extensive surgery.*

    Charliesmom, you need to get the dog to an orthopedic vet for xrays.* If it hasn't gone away and the vets been looking at it for awhile, SOMETHING is wrong.* Maybe it's the elbow, affecting the shoulder too, who knows.* All I know is the longer you wait on these things the worse they get and if surgery IS required, the more difficult/expensive it is to repair.* We fixed Maddy's FCP (form of ED) within a month of diagnosis.* She lost 1% and 3% of cartiliage in her elbow joints, and only occaisonly stiffens up now.* The vet told us that the joints degrade quickly if no attention is given to it.* Is it true?* I don't know.* Maddy was too important to us and her quality of life too important to risk it... Isn't an xray worth the peace of mind to know for sure what's wrong?

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: labs and shoulders

    Quote Originally Posted by WigWag
    Really? Do you think ED is a "huge" problem in Labradors?*
    Absolutely.*

    In "huge problem," I am describing not that it happens all of the time, nor am I referring to the fact that they all need surgery (because they don't).*

    I'm referring to the fact that it is a condition that is very much on the rise (which I consider to be a "huge problem"), and while most laypeople know about HD, they usually don't have a clue that ED even exists.* Because of this ignorance, many so-called "breeders" are getting away with calling their breeding stock "OFA'ed" or "health certified" when in fact, they are only radiographed for hips.* Or, "health guaranteed" against hip problems, with nothing listed about elbows anywhere in the contract.* There are still far too few breeders, percentage-wise, that even do elbows.* And sometimes, even when they are radiographed, those rads may not be submitted if they look suspicious, so the OFA stats are often wrong.*

    The vast majority either have normal joints or the ones with issues have mild cases.
    Actually, the vast majority of the 146,714 labradors registered in, say, 2004 through the AKC (not to mention the other breed registries out there) have not and will not have their elbows radiographed at all (or hips for that matter unless there is ever a problem that initiates a veterinary visit) and therefore, they won't be found to have normal joints or ED, period. That makes the above quote an invalid statement because the vast majority of labradors will not be those going through show/breeding/competition homes at all, and thus, won't be the ones getting their health clearances.

    Very much like Jen mentioned above.* It is a huge enough problem that we are only recommending buying from breeders whose dogs have *all* their health clearances, including elbows, and that we are recommending that people who own puppies don't allow them to over-exert themselves or be exposed to high-impact activities.*

    This is something that can definitely lead to a dog being painfully crippled and eventually euthanized due to such severe arthritis that the dogs can no longer rise to go potty or move around.* You can't just amputate the effected leg, though you could feasibly fuse the entire elbow joint as a "salvage procedure."* Anything that leads to a fate like this is a "huge problem" in any breed, at least in my mind.*

    And, since so many people don't really have a clue about raising larger-breed dogs, they are getting active puppies who end up being run on concrete and playing frisbee or "catch" in the park over and over and over as young as 4-6 months, when those developing joints can be most injury-prone.* Very similar to the orthopedic problems we are seeing with kids involved in major contact sports (like "pee-wee football" and the like, even gymnastics for that matter) at such young ages.*

    Yes.* I definitely think ED is a huge problem in labradors.* *

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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