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Old 12-04-2012, 01:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ununited Aconeal Process

Just got back from the vet with bad news. Keiko, whom we adopted form rescue just a few weeks ago, started limping last night. When she ran, she would hold her foot off the ground and not even use it. It was her left front leg. She was still doing it this morning, so I took her in to check it out. Her elbow area was swollen.

Vet did x-rays and discovered UAP. Keiko is 18 months old. The vet said we could do surgery for it, and she could refer us to the best orthopedic vet in the area (about 1.5 hours away).

I've just started researching this issue, and I'm seeing different recommendations as far as surgery goes. I see some saying 18 months would be too old, and then others saying it's not. She does have some arthritis in the joint already.

The vet gave us a supplement - Glycoflex II. She also gave me some pain pills to give as needed. She hasn't yelped in pain or anything like that. Just wasn't using that leg when running. Of course, she still wants to play rough with Dax.

This girl is soooooo wonderful. I hate to see her with a lameness issue so early in life, when she's an active young dog. I was planning to do agility with her, because she jumps/climbs everything. I guess that's out now. We start obedience class in January, and I know she'll do fabulously there. She learns so quickly. She also has the most fabulous temperament. She's just had a rough time lately, being dumped with 2 puppies a few months ago, having complications to her spay surgery (they had to go back in and cut her stem to stern), and she's reacting to the internal sutures of her spay and is on antibiotics again for that. Not to mention the UTI she had when she first got dumped. This girl is going through the ringer. And she is the sweetest, most loveable dog.

Anyway, any info you can give me on UAP would be great.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We have dog with this same issue, we opted to not do the surgery.
Post surgery she'd need 8-12 weeks of crate rest - crate rest! With LEASH only WALKS. No running, jumping, playing.

I believe our dog's quality of life is much better than 8-12 weeks of strict crate rest and leash only walks. If the dog even jumps or leaps or bounds once, you can undo the surgery.

Plus the surgery (in our case) only has a 30% chance of success.

Something they may not have told you...they can't diagnose the actual problem without an MRI and surgery. So you could spring for the surgery and it was something not easily addressed by the surgery.

Our surgery-team-to-be told us they have another surgeon on staff there that makes owners repeat after him "You will not fix my dog", because the odds are so low of it actually helping.
Coupled with the struct crate rest/leash walks, our decision was to forgo the surgery and make his life wonderful while he's with us.

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Old 12-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't throw the dog out with the bath water just yet. I got my girl when she was 4 years old. Less than 6 months later she was diagnosed with UAP. I opted for the surgery since she was young and very active. We had just started doing agility also. I had a great surgeon and about 4 months of therapy (mostly swimming). She competes in Nadac agility now and is doing great. I jump her at the lower jump height of 16". I also take her to see a chiropractor sometimes and she is on Ligaplex 2. I am very happy I did the surgery. I hope this helps you.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We had a 2 year old female GSD in rescue about 2 years ago with UAP. She had surgery and is doing fantastic now.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I know of 2 dogs with UAP. First was pretty symptomatic when initially diagnosed. She had the surgery at around a year old and did fantastic afterwards with no more problems. Second has only very minor symptoms. Minor enough that quality of life really hasn't been an issue, so his owner has opted to not do the surgery. He's now 5 or 6 and still doing fine with very few effects.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I know nothing about this ... BUT ... at 18 months old ... that's YOUNG ... I say, if they are telling you a strong chance of recovery with surgery (and you can afford it ... cause it ain't gonna be cheap!) go for it. 8-12 weeks of crate rest is nothing compared to 10 years of quality of life.

My last dog tore her ACL when she was a year old ... did the TPLO surgery. She was on 6-8 weeks crate rest (I actually bought a "dog pen" and put it in the corner of the living room, tied a huge sheet halfway up so she wouldn't "jump" up). Was it hard because she was young? Yes, but I used it as the perfect time to nail down training! Then we did swimming, other physiotheraphy, etc. 6 months later you would have never known she'd ever been hurt!

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's easy to second guess other people's motives when it isn't your dog.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Rafi has elbow issues--when I adopted him (at 1.5) he had a very bad limp on his left front leg and hip issues as well. I started him on Ester C and joint supplements (I'd go with Glycoflex III) and 5 years later he is doing great!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There's always Adequan, too, if things get worse as they age. Our primary vet has suggested that as well, for later, if Ruger declines.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleigh View Post
I know nothing about this ... BUT ... at 18 months old ... that's YOUNG ... I say, if they are telling you a strong chance of recovery with surgery (and you can afford it ... cause it ain't gonna be cheap!) go for it. 8-12 weeks of crate rest is nothing compared to 10 years of quality of life.
That's exactly what I'm thinking. IF the surgery will give her 10 years of quality life, I'm a-ok with 6-8 weeks of crate rest. I think she can handle it. She was crated 90% of the time while in rescue anyway.

I made the opposite decision when a problem showed up in my last dog, Kira. Kira would NOT have done well with crate rest. She was older as well, and I knew that whatever was wrong with her, it would either be something that couldn't fix or something that required major spinal surgery. I knew Kira. She couldn't have handled that. So I did not diagnose further, and now on the other side, I suspect it was probably something that there is no surgery for anyway. I think I made the right decision.

But Keiko... I think she could handle crate rest for this period of time (afterall, she basically had almost that for 2 months while in rescue), and she is still very young. She's technically a puppy! Though she's also a mama, so I call her a "teen mom".

I'm in contact with the rescue group, and one of them will even go with me to the consultation with the orthopedic doctor. They said he's good about telling you whether surgery is worthwhile or not. I guess I'll see what he has to say. If he thinks there is a good chance of this going well for her long term, I'm open to surgery. If he thinks it's not likely to do any good, we won't do it. But if she's limping NOW at age 18 months... I'd like to do something if I can. She should have 10+ years ahead of her, and as an active dog (who just screams "agility dog" when you see her leap up the stairs without touching a single step), I'd like her to be able to remain active if she can.
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