I know we have many dog owners on ASF and am wondering if any of you have experience of managing dogs with elbow dysplasia (arthritis).
I've been very upset to discover my not yet three year old German Shepherd has this, despite my careful selection of reputable breeder and parents with excellent hip and elbow scores.
Have had her down to a specialist orthopaedic vet at the Sunshine Coast who has suggested it would have started developing in puppyhood. He believes as it developed she found a way of altering her gait to accommodate it.
She did have the occasional pain when playing with another puppy when she yelped and held the front leg up for just a second. It immediately resolved and I didn't attribute it to anything more than the same sort of 'growing pains' all my puppies have had during the first 10 months and then been quite OK.
I only took her to the vet recently because she showed some discomfort on getting up after lying down.
She had walked, trotted, run and raced exuberantly with a much bigger male Shepherd for months, never showing any sign of any problem.
So the specialist vet thinks she has had a minor injury e.g. a sprain and that she will get back to her normal level of fitness. This is happening following resting her and allowing minimal exercise (hard to do with an otherwise very healthy young dog). He has said any surgical intervention would achieve little and have all the usual risks plus a long recovery period.
I have had her on Royal Canin German Shepherd formula dog food always and, because of the known problems with big dogs and their joints, given her additional glucosamine and chondroitin, and more recently omega fish oil.
If anyone has been through something similar and found anything else that has been helpful, I'd be most grateful to hear about it. At present, given arthritis is a progressive disease, the outlook for her having a normal life span is not great.