CBD Oils For Dogs Elbow Dysplasia
Is your dog experiencing elbow pain and lameness? Is he refusing to finish his daily walk? It could be elbow dysplasia in dogs that makes your dog suffer.
Elbow dysplasia is one of the most common causes of pain and lameness in dogs. But what exactly is this condition, and how do you know if your dog has it? Most importantly, what can you do to prevent or treat elbow dysplasia?
What is Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs?
Elbow dysplasia (ED) is characterized as multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow joints. This abnormal growth prevents the three joints of bones, namely radius, ulna, and humerus, to fit together. This causes lameness and elbow pain.
ED is a common genetic disorder, especially in large to giant breed dogs. Below are some breeds that are most commonly affected by this condition:
- Labrador retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Bernese mountain dogs
- German shepherds
- Bearded collies
- Chow chows
Causes of Elbow Dysplasia
The exact cause of elbow dysplasia is unknown. However, some theories provide the reasons for this growth disturbance. These include genetic, developmental, and nutritional causes.
Different Types of Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia in dogs encompasses a variety of diseases specific to the elbow. This condition is grouped into two:
- Medial compartment disease
- Fragmented coronoid process (FCP)
- Osteochondrosis (OCD)
- Joint incongruity
- Cartilage anomaly
- Ununited anconeal process (UAP)
All these elbow dysplasia types eventually lead to arthritis.
Symptoms of Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs
Dogs with elbow dysplasia develop a front limb lameness. This progresses from stiffness, and it worsens as the dog rests following exercise.
Both forelegs are often affected. If this is the case, your dog may refuse to complete a walk or exercise for long periods.
Affected dogs also suffer pain when extending or flexing their elbow. They may also have tendencies to hold the affected legs away from the body.
How is Elbow Dysplasia Diagnosed?
Signs of ED usually show from an early age of five to eight months. However, some dogs may be diagnosed after four to six years of age.
Your veterinarian may perform a combination of clinical examination and x-rays to diagnose the disease. An examination may reveal atrophy or muscle wastage, while X-rays may show signs of arthritis.
Your dog may also need to undergo a CT scan or an MRI to detect small bone fragments in the joint. Arthroscopy may also be performed to find damage to the surface of the joint for a definitive diagnosis.
An annual examination is recommended to observe the progression of elbow dysplasia. This is done to assess the deterioration of joint cartilage and to determine necessary adjustments on your dog’s treatment.
How to Treat Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs
Treatment depends on how severe elbow dysplasia is in your dog. But in most cases, veterinarians recommend surgery. There are three key types of ED surgery:
- Fragment removal surgery. Loose fragments of cartilage and bone are removed from the inside of the elbow joint.
- Incongruency surgery. The shape of the elbow joint is improved to make it a better fit. To do this, the surgeon may: (1) remove the key pressure point within the joint; or (2) cut the bone at the back of the joint to change its shape.
- Salvage surgery. When different types of ED fused together, it can cause uncontrollable pain. Salvage surgery is performed in this rare situation. The surgeon may opt to perform sliding humeral osteotomy, total elbow replacement, or elbow joint fusion.
Most dogs benefit from surgery, especially if the ED is only mild and is treated early. However, if elbow dysplasia has already developed into arthritis, the disease will progress. This is despite any treatment you give your dog.
Unfortunately, elbow dysplasia cannot be cured. Treatment is only done to slow the progression of arthritis and provide comfort to your dog.
Your veterinarian may advise confinement of your dog for two to six weeks after surgery.
Cold-packing the elbow joint helps manage the pain and decrease swelling post-surgery. Apply the cold pack every eight hours for five to ten minutes. Do this for three to five days, or according to the instructions of your veterinarian.
Range of motion exercises and hydrotherapy are also beneficial to treat the disease. Your dog may also benefit from a diet if he is overweight.
Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed for more comfort.
How to Prevent Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs
Limit growth and weight gain in young dogs. When dogs take excessive nutrients, it promotes rapid growth. Rapid growth can have an influence on the development of ED.
Avoid breeding affected dogs. Elbow dysplasia is a genetic disorder. Breeding dogs with ED can pass on this trait to newborn pups.
Natural Home Remedies
Your veterinarian may also recommend natural home remedies to treat canine elbow dysplasia. One effective natural home remedy is hemp oil.
Hemp is not psychoactive do will not make your dog feel high. This is an appealing option for dog owners who want to relieve pain among their pets.
Numerous studies found that hemp may help reduce the following:
- Chronic inflammation
- Chronic pain
Certain components of hemp impact the endocannabinoid receptor activity in the body. This causes inflammation- and pain-relieving effects in dogs.
These properties make hemp a popular treatment for arthritis as well.
Proper Hemp Oil Dosage for Elbow Dysplasia
Hemp oil is usually administered orally to dogs with elbow dysplasia. But since hemp oil has only been recently legalized in some US states, further research is still needed to find the correct dosage for pets.
In general, start giving your dog a low dosage of hemp oil. Observe how he will react to the dosage.
Consult your veterinarian who has experience in treating dogs with hemp oil for optimum results.
Elbow dysplasia, if left untreated, can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort to your dog. If you notice the symptoms, bring your dog to your resident veterinarian immediately.
While elbow dysplasia in dogs cannot be completely cured, your dog can enjoy great comfort as he grows. That is if you manage the disease early on in its progression.