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An Overview on Elbow Dysplasia and Dog Arthritis by Chris Durin

An Overview on Elbow Dysplasia and Dog Arthritis

by Chris Durin

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Elbow dysplasia is essentially the abnormal growth of parts of the elbow. Although the growth occurs during puppyhood, the symptoms may not show up until later in life. Dogs affected by elbow dysplasia often suffer from lameness, swelling and arthritis.

Veterinarians believe elbow dysplasia is genetic, and the ailment tends to affect larger breed dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Labradors. Signs of the condition may begin appearing between five and 12 months of age.

Elbow dysplasia can manifest itself in a number of ways, including:

  • Fragmented Coronoid Process – this occurs when a small wedge of bone from the ulna (the long bone in the foreleg) at the bottom of the elbow fails to fuse with the ulna.
  • Ununited Aconeal Process – this occurs when a small wedge of bone at the top of the ulna fails to fuse during growth.
  • Osteochondritis of the Elbow – this occurs when cartilage fragments become loose from the elbow and float around in the joint.
  • Elbow Joint Incongruity – when the surface of the joint becomes bumpy, instead of smooth, causing friction around the cartilage.


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  • Published: September 2010
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: A037013