My 11 month old pup was just diagnosed with elbow dysplaysia in both of his elbows. The vet gave us two referals to speak to a specialist about surgery. If anybody has had any experience with this I would appreciate it. What does the surgery entail, how is the recovery? I am very concerned because he is soo young! I have heard of this happening when dogs get older but not so much as pups. Thanks for any feedback.
What did the vet say was wrong? There 3 types, FCP, OCD, and DJD.
We went through FCP with Maddy. I can tell you all about it if that's the type you are dealing with.
He has FCP also. I would appreciate any advice or knowledge you could give me!
Remember that surgery is not a "cure" and that going into a joint will affect it long term as well as the condition itself. If your dog is not limping or only does so after strenuous exercise then he can be managed ie kept lean with moderate exercise. I feel that surgery is only beneficial in severe cases.
I agree 100% with Sharon.
♣ Laura ♣
Well, he definitely limps and favors is right leg. We have decided to have get a second a opinion and see what they say about his xrays.
Scotty was diagnosed with ED/FCP when he was 7 months old. He had his surgery last February (one year anniversary tomorrow) to remove fragments. He has Grade II ED and was intermittently lame. His ortho vet suggested the surgery and Dr. Keller at the OFA agreed that surgery for Scotty was a better option than not. Each case is different, and you have to decide what would do more damage, letting chipped off fragments grind away the cartliage or doing the surgery. It's a tough decision and having many opinions is important, IMHO.
Scotty had orthroscopic surgery and the recovery was amazingly fast. He was walking the same day, but I let him sleep and only took him out to potty couple times. For the first two weeks, he only had walks to go potty and just wonder around the house. After a month, we started going on very, very short walks (like two lapse around the house).
Since his surgery, Scotty has been doing amazingly well. He rarely limps (the weather seems to affect him). I've been taking him to physical therapy (underwater treadmill and electro stimulation), started him on Adequan injections (every other week during cold months, hoping to go to once a month during warm months), G/C supplements, and Rimadyl (he was Rimadyl-free during warm months, but taking it now because of the weather; I'm going to start weaning him off come March and hoping for Rimadyl-free summer).
Let me know if you have more questions.
The three types are actually FCP (Fragmented Coronoid Process), OCD (Osteochondrosis Dissecans) and UAP (Ununited Anconeal Process). They basically all refer to what the abnormality is within the joint itself that is causing the "elbow dysplasia." They all end up causing DJD or degenerative joint disease.
My girl, Libby, was diagnosed at just about 4-5 months of age with bilateral elbow dysplasia...she had FCPs in both front legs, and because of the severity of her pain and so forth, we opted for surgery to remove the loose bone fragments (which were acting like a rock in your shoe, only they were getting caught within her elbow joint itself) when she was 6 months old. The recovery was long and she still, at 2.5 years of age, has an occasional sore day, but I have never regretted doing it for her because she is absolutely 100% better than prior to surgery.
Often, it is thought that a dog with one affected elbow probably injured it in some way, causing fragments to occur, especially when growth plates are still "open." This can happen in just about any way, but often it is because of jumping over things, falling, jumping up to catch balls/frisbies, etc. Sometimes, a dog can injure both elbows this way as well, but it is more commonly thought of to be a genetic basis in a dog where both elbows are affected.
It is also true that in a dog where the problem doesn't seem to bother him/her, surgery is not something to be taken lightly.
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
After the research I did on FCP, I would not leave a dog untreated. Maddy had days where the limping appeared to go away, so I was very torn about operating on her. We had three opinions, NONE were the surgeon doing the surgery, so there was no "push" to get it done. The concensus was that the bone chips would continue to do damage until removed, and the more cartilage lost/damaged, the quicker arthritis would set and the more severe it would be. We opted for arthroscopic surgery on both elbows, lost 1% and 3% in the the elbows--we acted within the month of noticing the limp, and while Maddy can get stiff and limp after vigorous exercise, she is mostly cured. In fact, the cocktail of supplements I have got her on has really even limited the limping even when she goes nuts in the yard running.
I appreciate everyone's feedback. We are now looking for someone to give us a second opinion and we will take it from there. We were told to keep him on the Cosequin for the time being. He does not seem to be in any pain, besides the limping every once in awhile you cannot tell he has this problem. Thanks again!