Star has bilateral elbow dysplasia

I believe that it’s not the breeder’s fault, nor any of the dogs behind him. I believe it’s because he was neutered too young (5 mos) and got heavy. According to recent research, if a dog is neutered or spayed too young (before the age of 12 mos), then the growth plates don’t close properly. The dog’s bones continue to grow, and become long and thin. Star stands 28″ at the withers, has long bones, but now is at a good weight (60lbs). The damage that we saw on the xrays also could have been exacerbated by his full-out ball and Frisbee fetching. Star has no middle or low gear.

We have begun researching our options. Surgery? Maintenance? One ortho specialist’s technician stated breezily, “Yes, it could cost around $30,000 to do the arthroscopic surgery.” I replied, “So we need to take out a second mortgage to pay for this?” That’s a rhetorical question, folks. Um, no, we can’t do that. I’m going to contact other orthopedic specialists to read his xrays and give us their opinion. What’s the grade (degree) of dysplasia? What are our options? I’m also going to contact a local pain-management-specialist vet who’s certified in acupuncture. We started him immediately on glucosamine/MSM supplements. Need to purchase additional supplements, and talk about anti-inflammatories would work best. Star already has arthritis, and still limps occasionally. Star toes in with his left foot, and shifts to distribute his weight differently. Our vet likens the sensation to having a rock in your shoe.

We’re in this for the long haul. We will do what we can to help him. Because we love him.


1 comment so far

  1. Natalie on

    We are here with you and for you. We love you and we love Star. Thank you for loving him so very much!

    hugs and kisses

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