Elbow Dysplasia In Dogs
This joint disorder affecting the elbows mostly occur in large breeds of dogs Faulty bone and cartilage development during the period of rapid growth results in abnormalities in the elbow joint which may later develop in to arthritis. In fact, this disorder is a leading precursor of osteoarthritis in dogs.
Stiffness of the elbow and difficulty in moving the limb are the initial symptoms. The disease develops gradually, and the dogs affected by elbow dysplasia usually become lame when they are about 4-8 months old. But occasionally the disease becomes apparent only after a year. As the disease progresses, fluid accumulation and osteoarthritis develop.
On physical examination of the joint, the veterinarian may detect a crackling or grating sound and reduced range of motion. X-ray imaging of both the elbows may be done as the disorder can affect them simultaneously.
Analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed for immediate relief. If the elbow dysplasia is detected early enough, surgical correction can ensure an excellent outcome. But it should be done before osteoarthritis and other related degenerative processes set in. Joint fluid modifiers like hyaluronic acid may be effective in reducing the symptoms if used long term.
Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
This disorder often encountered in larger breeds affects their hip joints as the name indicates. It develops at the time of rapid bone development early in life mainly due to the high rate of growth, often stimulated by very rich diet and high exercise levels. Hereditary factors may be involved too. Characterized by a loose hip joint, this condition may eventually lead to osteoarthritis.
The symptoms of hip dysplasia depend on the severity of the disease. Stiff joints and a reduction in the range of movement are common. Lameness or a hopping gait results from the loose joint.
When the veterinarian conducts a physical examination, a crackling sound may be detected. The dog may react in pain when the limbs are extended or bent. An x-ray examination leads to definitive diagnosis. The degree of degeneration and the development of arthritis are evaluated before choosing the right treatment options.
Dogs with hip dysplasia are treated in different ways depending on the progress of the disease. In mild cases, weight reduction and physiotherapy along with medication for pain management with anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs may be sufficient. Long-term treatment using joint fluid modifiers has been found to be helpful in managing the condition if surgery has to be avoided. Even though surgical correction of the hip joint may yield excellent results, it should be done before the disease advances further. In severe cases, the hip is completely replaced.
The dog’s health status as well as its environment has a bearing on the healing process. Lifestyle modifications may be necessary to ensure reasonable comfort if the dog cannot undergo surgery.