Elbow Dysplasia is a disease that affects a wide variety of dogs.
Typically it spreads to medium to larger size breeds due to their weight and size. Breeds such as the German shepherd , Rottweiler, golden retriever, Labrador retriever, Bernese mountain dog, Australian shepherd, sheepdog, and certain terrier breeds are among the affected.
Dogs are born with this disease, but many dog owners do not recognize it until the dog is older and fully developed. Symptoms show around 8 months of age, but diagnosis can not be definitely confirmed till they are 18 months old.
Elbow dysplasia is twice as common among male dogs than female dogs. This is probably because male dogs are more forceful, energetic, and aggressive with they’re body than their female counterparts.
Certain male dogs might also ignore the pain when running. This pure brute force worsens the condition, which makes it more obvious to owners that their dog has it.
Elbow dysplasia is almost similar to dog hip dysplasia. The elbow joint contains certain oddities that affect the cartilage surrounding the joint.
Typically in a healthy puppy, cartilage will merge into the bone and calcify. Making it stronger, more sturdy, and durable. Dogs that have this condition have a huge genetic defect in the calcification process. This means that the cartilage will either continue to grow, throwing several ligaments off, or it will calcify in an uneven fashion.
Sometimes both will happen. When the cartilage isn't able to calcify and the dog begins to run or even walk, these pieces of cartilage break into small and separate fragments.
With loose fragments floating around in the joint and nothing buffering the bone from flesh, it causes awful swelling and joint pain.
There is not much you can do to prevent the disease from occurring if it is already in your dog. Hip dysplasia was the first disease to be recognized and since then there have been ways to reduce the damage done.
Elbow dysplasia is not as common as its hip counterpart, but more and more breeds seem to be getting it. The best way to prevent this is through its genetic markup. Picking breeds with strong elbows and hips is really the only approach to completely eradicate elbow and hip dysplasia.
Screening the dogs to be bred to eliminate this type of genetic problem is getting more common - it's easy to breed any old backyard dogs, but getting them screened for hips, eyes, elbows and other common diseases marks a good breeder from one who is less careful and caring.
This method can take generations in order to be completely successful. These diseases have formed due to a long line of inbreeding from irresponsible breeders and proper breeding is the only real way to prevent it.
A dog will have it for the rest of his life, so it is important to make him as comfortable as possible and ensure he does not make his condition worse. Dog first aid and therapy can help reduce the pain on your breed.
A complete elbow replacement is really the only solution to completely treating the problem. Dogs who have the disease will be put on a strict diet and have a controlled regular exercise routine.