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Elbow Dysplasia In Golden Retrievers

Elbow Dysplasia In Golden Retrievers

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We have already written about hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers and all the discomfort your dog goes through with this condition. Well, they can also suffer from elbow dysplasia, and it can cause just as many problems as its sidekick. Elbow dysplasia is common in Golden Retrievers, and you will spend between $1,500 and $4000 to diagnose and treat it.

Elbow dysplasia mostly affects large dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepards, Bernese Mountain Dogs, etc.

It’s important to know that Golden can suffer from this painful condition at any age.

What Is Elbow Dysplasia?

The elbow joint in Golden Retrievers is made up of three bones:

  • Radius 
  • Ulna 
  • Humerus

Elbow dysplasia occurs when these three bones do not fit together perfectly due to growth abnormalities. This, in turn, causes pain, lameness, arthritis, and loss of function. The condition only worsens with time due to the degeneration of the joint. This means that your dog will feel more pain and discomfort as it grows and matures.

Causes Of Elbow Dysplasia In Golden Retrievers

The primary cause of elbow dysplasia in Golden Retrievers is genetics. There are, currently, over a hundred known gene codes connected with the development of elbow dysplasia. As we mentioned before, there are three parts of the dog’s joint: radius, ulna, and humerus. Abnormal growth and development of these parts will result in four skeletal conditions: 

  • Elbow Incongruency
  • Fragmented Coronoid Process
  • Ununited Anconeal Process
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans

These conditions can contribute to the development of overall elbow dysplasia and, eventually, arthritis in your Golden Retriever.

Symptoms Of Elbow Dysplasia

If your Golden Retriever is suffering from elbow dysplasia, you will notice the following symptoms:

  • Decreased range of motion of the affected elbow
  • Dog displays signs of pain and discomfort
  • Lameness
  • Difficulty getting up

How To Diagnose Elbow Dysplasia In Golden Retrievers?

Once you notice these symptoms, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your vet will then perform a diagnosis with a combination of clinical examination and x-ray scan. If there is a need for a more advanced diagnostic procedure, your vet will also need CT scans, MRI scans, or arthroscopy.

Treatment Of Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a painful condition that requires lifelong treatment.

There are several options to treat elbow dysplasia in Golden Retrievers based on the severity of the condition.

If the elbow dysplasia is mild, we can manage its symptoms with:

  • Pain relief medication
  • Weight control
  • Controlled exercise
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Joint supplements

Some dogs will respond very well to these methods, but those with severe elbow dysplasia may need surgery to resolve the condition. 

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