The elbow joint of the dog is a complex joint and is composed of the three joint partners ulna, radius and humerus. They form a hinge joint. Elbow dysplasia (ED for short) is a common condition of the elbow joint in which the elbow joint does not fit together and smooth function is not possible.
The malformation in the joint can be of different types:
The following deformities of the elbow joint lead to ED:
- a fragmented coronoid process (FCP for short), a detachment of the inner coronoid process of the ulna
- Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD for short), a cartilage detachment on the inner rolling hump of the humerus
- an isolated processus anconeus (IPA for short), a detachment of the ulnar process of the ulna.
Furthermore, a step formation may occur between the radius and ulna. Malformations of the joint surfaces are also possible. The latter two may be present either alone or together with an IPA, FPC, or OCD. The coexistence of FPC with OCD or with IPA in a joint is also observed. As a rule, both elbow joints are affected. However, an elbow usually becomes noticeable earlier.
Interesting: ED occurs exclusively in dogs, not in cats.
If your dog has elbow dysplasia, there are a few things to keep in mind that you can use to support your four-legged friend. I have summarized these for you.
Behavioral tips for elbow dysplasia:
- Many dog owners think sparing is now the remedy of choice. However, it is important to maintain mobility, otherwise the arthritis in the elbow will continue to progress and the muscles will atrophy. This should happen not only through the normal walks, but also through specific exercise training that stops the progression of elbow dysplasia.
- Adapting the load to the state of the disease is very important here. Instead of two or three longer walks, it is recommended to walk several short laps. The dog is not so exhausted and the recovery period is shorter.
- Wet and cold weather is doubly unpleasant for quadrupeds with joint diseases. The cold creeps into the joints and they ache. Therefore, keeping your dog warm with a dog coat will help.
- Excess weight is to be avoided at all costs. Weight reduction is important for dogs that are already overweight.
- You can make it easier for your dog to get in and out of the car/car with a ramp to save his joints. Especially the exit is very uncomfortable in elbow dysplasia and not good for the elbow joint.
- Herbal anti-inflammatories such as frankincense, devil’s claw or ginger support the joints and help your dog with ED.
You can also take preventive action:
- Especially for young dogs, which should be active in dog sports, should be active as a service dog, the pre-x-ray is recommended at about 6 months – regardless of whether the dog is to be bred.
- Even with ED free dogs, the following things should be kept in mind during the first 10-12 months of life: short stops, jumps, tug-of-war games, Frisbee, as well as wild games with larger dogs should be avoided.
- Active dog sports should be avoided as long as the dog is not fully grown (only from the end of joint development, depending on size at 10-12 months or even later). Before that, of course, you can introduce your dog to the sport and physically prepare him specifically for it.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to support your dog in everyday life when he has ED. However, there are also various preventive measures to avoid ED.
All the love, your Tina
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