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Discussion Starter #1
i apologize if this is the wrong forum, but i see a lot of "lab health" talk going on in here so i wanted to drop in since it has the biggest population...

i can't tell you how much i love this guy. i also can't tell you how many times we have been to the vet since we've owned him. this equals a LOT of money as you all know. he has had this on again/off again limp for the past couple months that we've been prescribed duramaxx and rimadyl for (at separate times). and of course, we've had to keep him "unexercised" which is **** near impossible. these things have not worked.

well....

after several attempts to have his limp taken care of through a regular vet, i took the little guy to an orthopedist today. the man felt around both of his front legs and determined he needs x-rays. the doctor said that he suspects it could be bone chips in both elbows, possibly from his bones growing too fast and not lining up right. we won't know until he gets the x-rays tomorrow, but does anybody here know if this is a mandatory surgical procedure or something that requires other means of care?

i'm not looking for a diagnosis or anything, because the more stuff that goes into my head the crazier i feel.
he is 11 months old and has led the life of a normal lab: swimming, running, playing, and chewing. he has a great diet, well behaved (for an 11 month old labbie) and gets more attention than tom brady. it is so disheartening, because his two front legs have been plaguing him and us for awhile now and it is eating the family alive...

we don't want to have to do any type of surgery for this guy. has anyone else experienced "bone chips in the elbows" before?
 

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Sorry I can't help with your question, but want to send good thoughts and prayers for Logan.
 

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Those are the symptoms that my Scotty had. He was diagnosed with Grade II elbow dysplasia, DJD, OCD, FCP (I wonder if I should put those behind his name? ;). The "bone chips" are called fractured coronoid process (FCP), which is I think what the ortho is going to diagnose Logan with. It is not the end of the world. I was so devastated when I found out about Scotty. I came here to JL in tears asking people pretty much how long Scotty had to live. I was crushed. I have since learned that ED (elbow dysplasia, which is more of an umbrella name for many elbow problems) is manageable (it's not curable unfortunately).

Scotty had orthroscopic surgery to remove the fragments from his bones. It's a tough decision to make since surgery costs a lot and does damage the joint. However, I felt that in Scotty's case, the loose bone chips were making more damage to the joints than an orthroscopic procedure to remove the would. There are quiet a few (unfortunately in a sense that we have these elbow problems in dogs) Labs on this forum who were diagnosed with ED and FCP and had surgery and are doing quiet well. Some of them are competing in dog performance events. My Scotty does obedience, tracking, and we're training for hunt tests.

I've been taking my dog to physical therapy since after his surgery. At first, we were going twice a week. Now we go every other week. Scotty has been on Rymadil during cold months to keep him from limping. Since it got warm, I started weaning him off of Rimadyl. He's been Rimadyl-free for over a month and no limping!

He is also on G/C supplements and I do Adequan injections. It all costs money, but we manage. Less useless trinkets for me. If you'd like to talk on the phone with me, PM me and I'll send you my phone number. It was very helpful for me to talk to a member of this board who went through this right before Scotty had his elbow surgery.
 

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I'm so glad Tatyana replied already. She has a ton of experience with Scotty....definitely take her up on her offer and good luck with your boy. Such a shame to see them uncomfortable at such a young age :(
But you should see Scotty now! He is an obedience champ, does tracking events...he is amazing. You'd never know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
tatyana, thanks so much for all the information, i will certainly p.m. you and take you up on that offer. that's very kind of you! i'm glad to hear your scotty is doing well too.

i just dropped him off for his radiographs this morning so we'll see exactly what the diagnosis is in the afternoon. i hope the little guy is ok. he is turning ONE on monday! this isn't a good way to celebrate your birthday party.

thanks again for the well wishes and information! i'll let you know what the doc says.
 

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tatyana always does a great job explaining ED issues and management. Jazz also has ED and had bilateral arthroscopic elbow surgery to remove chips when she was 1 year old. She was actually in the hospital on her birthday. She too was diagnosed at 11 months. Like tatyana mentioned, it really depends on your situation as to whether surgery is a good option. Jazz had FCP fragments that had broken off in her elbow and was causing cartilage damage so for her it was a good option. It was expensive, but i would do it again if i had the choice. I also manage her ED with daily doses of cosequin and monthly injections of Adequan. She hardly ever limps and lives a happy, active, and relatively pain-free life. Good luck with everything and keep us posted!!
 

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So sorry to hear about poor Logan, it's awful when you see them hurting and don't know what to do.

Kira had a problem with limping which usually appeared straight after she had been doing alot of running. When we had xrays done on her, they found that there was a tiny piece of bone in each elbow which hadn't fused flush with the rest of the bone as it should have (I think this is right, it was almost 3 years ago and my memory is poor). Surgery was possible, but it was unlikely to improve her situation and in fact might have made it worse, so we opted to try her on glucosamine and chondroitin daily, with metacam to be given for pain relief when necessary. We also tried to give low impact exercise like swimming, and limit her running (but as you say, that's hard with a lab). I am pleased to say that the glucosamine and chodroitin supplements made a marked improvement in her, and in fact since we moved to a house which has wooden floors instead of carpet/tile laid on concrete, I have only seen her limp once, briefly, after she had been running around like a lunatic in the park. The bottle of metacam has been sitting on a shelf unused for about 2 years now.

Thinking good thoughts for your boy, and hoping for the best outcome possible.
 

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Maddy had FCP as well, and arthroscopic surgery to remove the bone fragments. Our vets told us that the chips were like what you feel when you have a pebble in your shoe, and the chips would eventually wear the cartilage down. So the key was to get them out as soon as possible to avoid as much damage as possible. Maddy had minimal cartilage loss and about 3 years later, she is doing fine. She gets still on occaison and will have arthritis as she gets older, but she is still able to run and chase the ball as she pleases. That was what was important to us...her quality of life. So the surgery was worth it.
 

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Our Hobart had FCP in his right elbow right around that age. We struggled for months to get a diagnoses. We self referred ourselves to an ortho vet and he did xrays and told us what he thought it was. He ended up doing exploratory surgery because he couldn't see everything on the xray, ended up removing the bone chips, and hobart has been a healthy happy lab ever since. The surgery was the best thing we ever did. No more limping- nothing.

Please PM me if you need more information. It is nice to have support during this time.

The recovery took maybe 10 days and hobart was limp free- nothing short of a miracle I say.
 

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No advice here but good healing thoughts and a prayer that Logan can be treated successfully and will be a healthy happy fellow. from the pics I'd say he is already a happy fellow!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
5/18 update:

unfortunately, logan has been diagnosed with ED in both front legs and is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on 5/31. it is sad because he doesn't have any idea and he is just as rambunctious as ever. the doctor said the recovery time is 6 weeks, which will run right into our wedding and honeymoon. i don't want to leave him while he is still recovering, so this presents a problem. my fiance's parents will do a great job watching him but i'm a little upset about not being able to be there for him during the two weeks we'll be on our honeymoon. we also do not want to put off the surgery either. arrrrgh. the little guy is barking his head off at me right now. i wish i could read his mind.

everybody's kind words and ED/FCP success stories are helping us deal with this greatly. thanks for taking the time to write.
 

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Just wanted to say hope things go well for Logan on the 31st.. Have never been thru this but wanted to say was sending lots good thoughts his way for a speedy recovery :)
 

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sorry to hear about logan and the ED.
there's a ton of wonderful experience and support on the forum and we're here for ya!
sending lots of good wishes his way for his surgery and speedy recovery. he's a very handsome boy!
 

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I think you'd be surprised to see how fast they recover from orthoscopic surgery. Scotty was wobbling around the day after the surgery. A week after, he was walking normally. We kept him on short leash and took him out for potty breaks only the first couple of weeks. Our ortho vet wanted Scotty walking around and getting reasonable amounts of exercise as soon as possible to start building the muscles in his front legs back.

I am sure that by the time you're ready to leave on your honeymoon, Logan will be jumping on things in an effort to give you a heart attack. ;)
 

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Sorry to hear the final diagnosis on Logan. I am glad you caught is so early before those fragments did any real damage. He is lucky you were so intuned to him and caught it.
I think by a month post surgery you will feel okay about leaving him with your in laws. Especially as young as he is.
Good luck with the surgery! Post right before to remind us so we can send some JL prayers and good thoughts.
 
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