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Dysplasia Advice
updated: Apr 17, 2014, 8:19 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

My 4 yr old dog has elbow dysplasia and has a persistent limp. Has anyone done the PAUL procedure to realign the elbow joint with any success?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 511711 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 09:34 AM

My vet told me about this procedure but my dog is almost 11 years old and I don't want to put her through the surgery and recovery period at this point in her life. Google it online. I found a link on the WebMD pet health exchange forum that contained comments of someone who did the procedure on their dog of a similar age. They were very pleased with the results a year later. Your dog is still young enough, it might be worth a try as the limp and pain will most likely get worse as he/she gets older. Good luck!


 COMMENT 511730 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 10:48 AM

One of my dogs had mild/severe hip dysplasia three years ago, we followed three simply steps to alleviate the pain and help her body deal better with the problem. 1. I adjusted her food portions to bring her to the recommended weight.
2. I started feeding her Liquid Health Dogs K9Level5000 Glucosamine-Chondroitin 3. I reduced the amount of strenuous activities, no jumping in & out of the car, no running for extended periods of time & no strenuous hikes. I found swimming in the ocean to be an effective way to wear her out & soothing at the same time. At the beginning this new routine felt limiting but after a few months it became second nature. I haven’t seen her whimper, limp or lame in over 2 years. I highly, highly suggest you give this a try!


 COMMENT 511737 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 11:10 AM

I second the suggestions of 730, and would add physical therapy for the dog to strengthen the surrounding muscles, and then after a few months if that doesn't help, consider the surgery.


 COMMENT 511742 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 11:38 AM

My dog was recommended for this procedure at VMSG, she is a fairly young boxer mix with a sensitive stomach and didn't respond to Adecuan injections well. She's been on glucosamine pills for a while with no apparent benefit. Also, whenever I give her pain meds her liver enzymes go way up which is bad for her health long term.

So I am considering it if I can come up with the $5K.


 COMMENT 511750 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 12:07 PM

My young dog was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia at 6 months. It is much different than hip dysplasia in that the misalignment causes the end pieces of the bone to chip off and is extremely painful to the dog. Like a piece of sand in your eye. We did the surgery with Dr. Bruecker at VMSG. It was very successful and she is painfree and able to run quite comfortably.


 COMMENT 511793 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 03:13 PM

Although never diagnosed, I've suspected my 4 yr old lab has elbow dysplasia - he has limped from time to time over the years - but he's also had a couple other issues with that same paw - he's split his dewclaw twice and wounded the pad of that paw once, so it might not be dysplasia, but could be...

I have weighed the option of having xrays taken and then surgery if recommended, but from what I read he would be better for a few years, then be more prone to arthritis by age 6. I happened to injure my shoulder when I was noticing his limp and since my shoulder is definitely not 100% after surgery, I decided to hold off and see how persistent the limp became - and trying to make sure he gets enough exercise, but not push him to pain. He's never been overweight and I do notice a limp occasionally, but he's always excited to get out and run around!


 COMMENT 511840P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 10:29 PM

info only, I do not work with or for these people. I don't know of another pet physical therapy (PT) provider. (sure would be great to have a PT who works with bipeds work on your dog as a side job! Do you know one?)


The individual's website is out of commission; I hope it's not for political reasons, but because she's full time at San Roque (I'm pretty sure the PT is a woman).

I think the autonomy and legality of pet rehab therapists' licensing is being fought in the CA state house, as has been done with other types of health techs and physician assistants, for humans and animals. Yes, of course you can swim with your dog without help from others, if anyone is thinking that.

VMSG is always recommended; you may also want to speak with Dr. Dalo at La Concepcion Animal Hospital, he has a good surgery reputation but not like VMSG does on the Internet:


or consult with CARE, or more with your own vet and whomever they recommend.

Also search Edhat's "Referral" section under "Pets"; there's been a LOT of discussion here in the past few years. Strange, seems there were more links a few months ago:

"Dog Elbow Sx"

Using alternatives before surgery is a great plan and will allow you to research and select a surgeon if you choose to go that way. I hope your dog likes water!

What kind of dog? How big? I'm just curious.

Good luck, I'm sure an update here would help other pet owners.


 COMMENT 511841P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-17 10:34 PM

also, be well-educated and do research about the post-operative and rehab period. Can your dog tolerate being crated and/or in an exercise pen for months? I agree that at 4 years of age it may be a good choice. I'm just pointing out some issues. Good luck!


 COMMENT 511852 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-18 07:02 AM

Our dog had torn ACL (knee) and was over weight. A knee surgeon who does humans told me that if the dog has full use of the limb, that is it can on rare occasion put all its weight on it, do not operate. If the limb hangs useless, you must operate. He also said there will be some pain whether it scars naturally or is operated on, so avoiding the trauma of surgery if possible. He had the knee on his dog operated on so he also had direct experience. Keep your dog at exactly what the vet says they should weigh. Our dogs run, jump and play as before the knee trouble. Run 'em lean!


 COMMENT 512400 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-04-20 12:33 PM

Awful experience with VMSG. I have written about them any chance I get. The story is convoluted and I haven't the time right now but will add that the dog is dead. There is a dog Chiropractor in town. Try that first before surgery.

I did the liquid health supplement for my dog. I lift him in and out of the car. No surgery. He's 13. PT, Chiropractic, there is also an acupuncturist for animals around. Google ought to have the info. Good luck.


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