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Elbow dysplasia

Discussion in 'General Health' started by Simba13, May 1, 2016.

  1. Simba13

    Simba13 Forums Enthusiast

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    Jun 25, 2014
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    My poor little boy Simba might have elbow dysplasia :( He is going for more scans this week and I will no for definite then. Has anyone had any experience with this before? What are the options in terms of treatment? What level of activity is ok? Will he still be able to run around in the fields with his friends and roll around in the grass with his brothers? What about agility? Will I have to put a stop to it all together or can he still go training on lower heights maybe without contacts or weaves. I have so many questions right now but I feel lost at the moment. 6 weeks ago he seemed completely fine but now he can't run or play and has to stick to short on lead walks. Any advice would be really appreciated!
     
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Sorry to hear about Simba, it is really upsetting news. There are a few of us here that have dogs with elbow dysplasia. Deska was diagnosed around 3 years old, he pulled up lame after an agility comp and just didn't improve. By the time we got a diagnosis the arthritis had set in and was pretty bad. There had been other subtle indications before that but I kept getting told it was just behavioural.

    There are 3 types of elbow dysplasia, Deska has fragmented coronoid process (FCP). He had the fragments removed when he was about 5 years old. You'll have a better idea of treatments when they know whether and what type of dysplasia, and also if there is any arthritis.

    I do recommend seeing a physiotherapist and getting some exercises and a better idea of the types of exercise he can do. I'm afraid agility is probably off the cards. Any sort of jarring may make things worse. Deska continued doing flyball for a couple of years after dx, only on low heights but we stopped agility immediately. One time we did a fun agility course for retired dogs, where they put the jump bars on the ground, but Deska still tried to jump the jumps, I guess he was just too conditioned to jumping. So even if you put the jumps on the lowest height Simba may still try to jump at the level he knows.

    As for rough and tumble games, not a great idea. But playing with his mates, esp if they are gentle like shelties, should be fine, just don't let him get bowled over. I can't see a big issue with running, as long as it isn't flat out. Sometimes it's got to be about quality of life.

    Exercise is really, really important. You need to keep the muscles around those joints strong so it takes pressure off them. Deska still walks twice a day, in winter it's tougher and on longer walks I take a stroller so he can take rests. The other important thing is to keep Simba really trim, not least because you may have to carry him at times, but also the less pressure on the joints the better. I know that's hard to do when they first show signs of pain, because they don't want to move around. But once you have a diagnosis and they get him on some medication to settle down any flare up it will be easier.

    I've done a few posts on managing Deska's arthritis, I'll do a search and post the links for you. Deska is now on daily NSAIDs, supplemented by pain killers in winter. But he's 10yrs old and can still chase down a bicycle at 30km/hr so don't despair too much.
     
  3. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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  4. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Caro has given you great advice and resources. Pixie also had dysplasia which progressed to severe arthritis in her front elbows several years ago. Hers started to get worse around age 7. She is 10 now and very stiff but does have what I call moments of movement when she'll trot and bounce around like she used to. We have 5 other Shelties and she spends most of her day keeping away from them. She's smart enough to know she doesn't want them running into her, so we provide lots of "safe" places for her like open crates around the house.

    I maintain her on daily carprophen tablets, Cosequin DS and Adequan shots every three weeks. I definitely recommend starting Simba on a good glucosamine regimen. It's hard to keep Pixie's weight managed since she's at a point that she can't exercise, but we do the best we can. We have to feed her carefully because she also has gastro issues and is prone to seizures. We recently started acupuncture for her and it's one of the things that has helped her the most. I can't believe how much better she is after treatment. She's getting it once a week for a month and then will go to maintenance treatments less frequently.

    If you've caught Simba's issues early you stand a better chance of better mobility with supplements and weight management. As Caro said, I would rule out agility but he can still be fairly active. Let his pain level tell you how much he's comfortable with.
     
  5. Simba13

    Simba13 Forums Enthusiast

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    Thank you for all of the advice. I will be absolutely devastated if we do have to give up agility but of course I will do whatever is best for Simbas health. Simba is my one in a million and I only want what is best for him. Simba loves to rough play and my other sheltie is even worse. It will be hard to keep them from knocking each other over and rough playing. He has just turned 2 years old and only started showing signs about 2 years ago. He will be nearly as upset as I will be if he can't do agility any more. I had him at the club over the weekend and ended up having to leave because he just spent the time barking and trying to get in the gates to the agility field :( He is only sore in one elbow and the other one seems fine. The vet has already but him on medication for joints and arthritis but they don't seem to have made any difference so far. Its only been a week however.

    Simba is overweight at the moment but he is starting hydro therapy this week and has been put on a strict diet. I will update again tomorrow after we have seen the vet again. Wish him luck x
     
  6. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    If you want encouragement for getting Simba's weight down - here it is. This is Deska after his elbow surgery when he had the legs shaved. Look how skinny those Sheltie front legs are, definitely too skinny for a sheltie body.
    http://sheltieforums.com/attachments/1-wk-after-surgery-jpg.4816/

    Don't worry about not doing agility - there are lots of other activities he can do. I know I miss doing agility and flyball far more than the dogs since Tully also had to retire.
     
  7. Simba13

    Simba13 Forums Enthusiast

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    Awww poor Deska having to have his legs shaved. Who would have known Sheltie legs could be so skinny. After a trip to hydro and another appointment with the vet things seem to be looking up. The vet doesn't think it is elbow dysplasia anymore :) He is leaning more towards ligament damage or it could still be damage to the bone. He was using both front legs equally during his hydro session but one back leg is slightly weaker then the other. We are going to keep up with the hydro and take another 2 weeks rest. We are going to take one more trip to the physio before returning to normal levels of activity in a few weeks time. I am hoping that this means agility is still something we can do in the future. Unfortunately where I live agility and obedience are the only real activities for dogs. There isn't any flyball teams or clubs in the whole country haha! So hopefully he can continue with agility even if it's just for fun at training on low heights :D
     
  8. dmeyer123

    dmeyer123 Premium Member

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    Lexi had elbow dysplacia and had surgery at 16 months of age. She went on to do rally, obedience and agility. Although she was trained on all contact obstacles, before we began to compete, I could tell that the teeter was hurting her. So I eliminated teeter from all of our class/practice runs. We have been trialing for 2 1/2 years now. We only do Jumpers, but Lexi has her Masters Jumpers title and has so much fun! Her 10 Master legs included 7 1st place and 3 second place finishes. Recently she has slowed down. She is now 8 1/2 years old. Her vet put her on an anti-inflammatory and she is back up to speed. I know her agility career may be short, but what a run we have had!
     
  9. Noelle Wilson

    Noelle Wilson Forums Novice

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    Sep 26, 2016
    My 1 yr old Sheltie had been limping and seemed cautious when jumping up on the sofa, so I took her to the vet. He did x-rays of her right front elbow and sent me to a surgical specialist. Both doctors saw that there is a lot of damage/arthritis forming in the joint. They are not sure what is causing it. They did think she probably damaged it. At four months old she did yelp really loud and when we all ran to see what happened we couldn't figure it out. After that for a week she hid in her crate and only pretty came out to eat. We had to carry her out to go potty because she refused to go out side. She has been an extremely anxious dog since the day we brought her home, so this didn't seem too out of character for her and has always loved her crate which we leave open so when she feels anxious she can retreat in there. Never did she yelp or seem to mind when we looked/touched her leg. She has always been active and having fun playing with our older dog or toys. They think since her weight has gone up (35lbs) that this has caused the limping to be more obvious. The specialist says she isn't a candidate for the surgery because the arthritis is throughout the joint and it's like the joint of a 11 or 12 yr old Sheltie. They started her on meds which seemed to help.B I bought her stairs so she can get up there without jumping off and on. And they want her weight brought down to 28 lbs which is hard because they want me to limit her exercise. I need advice!
     

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