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Dog Elbow Surgery
updated: Feb 23, 2014, 9:04 AM

My vet says that my dog has arthritis in her front elbow due to abnormal bones in her upper arm. Has anyone had elbow surgery done on their dog with a good outcome and can give me a recommendation for a surgeon?

Places People Are Talking About:

Adobe Pet HospitalDr. Fred EckhartDr. Lexi Rugg
La ConcepcionSB Pet HospitalVeterinary Medical & Surgical Group

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 497172 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-23 10:15 AM

No but a vet recommended hip surgery on my dog 10 years ago and we didn't do it. She lived to be 11 and though she could not do long walks, she got around fine for her whole life. (Died of an inoperable cancer). Another vet said my (different) dog needed spinal surgery, but we didn't get it (it might have killed her and we didn't think it was worth the risk). She recovered completely on her own and is not running around, standing up on her hind legs and such. I did get ACL (knee) surgery for another dog years ago. Will never know if she would have recovered without it, but from what I read, there is a good chance she would have.


 COMMENT 497177 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-23 10:33 AM

I have not been in this exact position, but I did have a dog very sick with pancreatitis and then a cancerous tumor. Zuri was my best friend and an amazing husky. Our vet recommended a place in Ventura for both issues (happened at separate time). It's VMSG - Veterinary Medical & Surgical group. It's by referral or emergency I believe, but this was the best experience I have ever had at a vet. Please check them out. They were not only top of the line, but gave me all the info about what was occurring and were upfront about pricing.

Zuri lived to be a happy and healthy 13 years old before we lost her :-)


 COMMENT 497208 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-23 01:23 PM

My dog lived until 16 years old. He had shots every three months for an arthritic condition the last two years of his long and happy life.


 COMMENT 497213P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-23 02:02 PM

What surgery treats arthritis?

Those shots may have been "Adequan," which was extremely effective in my dog also, though injections were monthly.
Look into joint supplements and acupuncture. Try another opinion. I've worked with Dr. Douglas at White's, among others. Yes, you may have to limit your dog's activity. They tend to overdo play and exercise even when in pain.




 COMMENT 497214P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-23 02:07 PM

Sorry, I didn't address your question! There was a good convo about this here:

I have only heard good things about VMSG. Locally, besides White's, you might want to check out SB Pet Hospital, La Concepcion (Dr. Dalo) and Adobe Pet Hospital (Dr. Haskell).


 COMMENT 497277P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-23 10:27 PM

My dog also has abnormal joints in elbow. She also was born without a left hip socket and right leg came out of the socket. She had surgery for both: the hip surgery was a great success, CARE did a femoral ostectomy and she's 100% good on that. What was less successful were the elbows, particularly the left. She's not quite 3 and already has bad arthritis, particularly in the left elbow. CARE did arthroscopy on both elbows & took pieces of bone & cartilage out of both. But that's a temporary solution for a long-term problem. Dr Otto said now there's nothing more that surgery can do for her. The only solution is to not let her jump up and down (good luck with that), she's still quite puppy-like. Limiting activity has to be weighed with the dog's overall happiness quotient. A dog puts 2/3rds of its weight on the front quarters. When they give out, the dog can't get up. Both vets recommended Cosmine DS (you can get at Cosco, human strength, much cheaper than vet version) and fish oil tablets. I'd love to find a solution to the elbow issue, but the only thing seems to be limiting their running/jumping up and down. If anyone knows more, I'd sure love to find out.


 COMMENT 497280 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 06:01 AM

Try the shots, they work!


 COMMENT 497290 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 07:27 AM

I have asteo arthritis, and and the super antibodies are attacking the reactive "b" the body stores in the joint. The msm binds to the reactive "b" to eliminate the "b". I have found taking msm (a natural sulfur) eliminates pains in the joint. it is also available as a lotion and as a supplement. I found mine on amazon. I have given it (low dosage) to my cat and it worked on her and she lived 17 years before passing away in old age.


 COMMENT 497292 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 07:39 AM

277P, that is great information, even if a little discouraging. Dr. Dalo also said my dog was not a candidate for elbow surgery given that she is 5; he said that if it had shown up when she was much younger then maybe the surgeries would help.

I guess my 2nd opinion should be VMSG.

The anti-inflammatories help her pain but then her liver enzyme numbers shoot way up. So she can use those only infrequently.


 COMMENT 497299 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 08:18 AM

Try Dr. Lexi Rugg, she treats with regular veterinary medicine and acupuncture. Might be a good first step before surgery.

Dr Peggy Larned at Artemis treats with regular veterinary medicine and homeopathy as an alternative

Also trying a grain free food for your dog might help reduce inflammation.


 COMMENT 497301 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 08:28 AM

I have awful things to say about VMSG. Awful. Never again. I drove all the way there, a dog with a fractured jaw (it was the very day of the C.A.R.E/Dr. Wright issue) CARE refers me to VMSG. "Oh yes, we have a surgeon waiting" I arrive: No surgeon. Off that day. At the beach. Then don't tell me that you have a surgeon waiting! Examine as a prep for 'surgery BEFORE they tell me that a surgeon isn't present. They charge me $130 for an exam that I don't need as there is not a surgeon to perform the surgery. I didn't pay as I was clear from the start. Exam I'd gladly pay for a surgery that was going to be performed. Mislead, mistreated...harassed for the payment for an exam that I didn't need...awful people.
The dog died. VSMG dinged my credit report as I repeatedly told them verbally and in writing why I had no intention to pay them. Awful place. Unethical.


 COMMENT 497305 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 08:47 AM

Try Dr. Fred Eckhart first. He does animal chiropractic and laser therapy. He worked WONDERS on our Black Lab and he does house calls: (714) 336-7272. He is frequently in SB on his way to/from Santa Ynez to treat horses...


 COMMENT 497326 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 09:45 AM

Missing Link and glucosamine are great suggestions. And do your best to not let the dog jump. I lift mine in and out of the car, on and off the bed if he chooses to come up.


 COMMENT 497376P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-24 11:45 AM

VMSG, experience of 301 notwithstanding.



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