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Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia

If you have a large breed dog, your furry friend may be at risk of developing a condition known as elbow dysplasia. Elbow dysplasia is a serious disease that involves varying degrees of severe arthritis, elbow incongruity and bony fragments. This is a genetic pet disease, and in some cases, it can be crippling.

How Elbow Dysplasia Affects Your Pet

Bones in puppies are are made up of several different pieces of bones with cartilage in between. As puppies get older, this cartilage turns into bone as well and all of the pieces fuse together to form one large bone. A dog's elbow is similar to a humans; however, it rests closer to its chest. Normally, any surfaces that rub together when your pet moves are covered by cartilage and are smooth. They are also constantly lubricated for proper and comfortable movement. However, when dogs have elbow dysplasia, fluid can leak out through cracks in the cartilage causing pain for the pets. Over some time, the condition can worsen.

Common Symptoms of Elbow Dysplasia

Symptoms of a Dysplastic Elbow in your pet may include: Moderate to Extreme Limp, Holding the Leg Out While Walking, Favoring One Front Leg While Walking, Hesitation to Place Weight Onto a Leg and Varying Degrees of Pain While Walking. Symptoms of elbow dysplasia can be seen as early as four months of age in some cases. However, most pets will show signs of the condition between about six and twelve months. As these dogs get older, permanent arthritis can develop within the joints making elbow dysplasia a serious problem.

Treatments for Elbow Dysplasia

Treatments required for elbow dysplasia vary depending upon the dog's distinct abnormalities, as determined through x-rays. In some cases, this pet condition can be treated without surgery. If this is the case, treatment often involves a light exercise program, hydrotherapy, special diets, and polysulfated glycosaminoglycan to relieve pain and inflammation. If the condition is severe, the veterinarian may want to perform surgery. Finally, instead of prescription pain and anti-inflammatory medication, natural vitamin supplements have been known to help with this disease. This is because its active ingredient, known as cetyl myristoleate, acts as a lubricant in joints and an immune system modulator.

Breeds Affected

While elbow dysplasia can affect a variety of dog breeds, it is most common in medium to large breeds. Some of the breeds commonly affected by elbow dysplasia are as follow: Rottweilers, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, German and Australian Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, Shetland Sheepdogs, Chow Chows, Springer Spaniels, Mastiffs and some Terriers.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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