Elbow Dysplasia Surgery and Behaviour Frustration - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-31-2014, 06:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Elbow Dysplasia Surgery and Behaviour Frustration

Hi There,

I have a 7 month old with Elbow Dysplasia in her front left leg (Ununited Anconeal Process type). The advice of the specialist is to do surgery to pin the bones back together. At the moment she is symptom free and in fact we think that the lameness we had that lead us to this diagnosis was probably caused by the HOD that she was also diagnosed with at the time (she has recently been x-rayed again and the HOD is clearing up which supports my thinking). Does anyone have any experience with this and know whether it is best to operate or not operate?

Secondly, has anyone had the surgery done on their dog? If so could you tell me what happens afterwards in terms of mobility? i.e. does the dog have to go without exercise for a certain amount of time? It's already killing us that we can't let Penny run as she is a very high energy, difficult dog. To be honest we are possibly the most miserable dog owners on the planet. I grew up with the most delightful, gentle, placid GSD. Everything that Penny is not. She is very strong willed and still an enormous land shark despite teething having finished a month or two ago. Yes, I have read the bite inhibition thread several times. I am also in the process of reading just about every training book mentioned on this forum too. Nothing has worked to stop the biting. In the end all I can think to do is exercise as much as possible to tire her (which we're not really meant to do) and put her in her crate when I really can't cope. The crate manages the biting and bad behaviour (lunging at us, barking at us etc) but doesn't stop it. She likes tug of war but unfortunately we tire before she does. We've also noticed that sometimes it actually just hypes her up causing the bad behaviour. But then if she is bored we get the bad behaviour anyway (she bites to ask us to play) so either way she plays up.

I have found food dispensing toys to be fairly useless. I make my own out of cereal boxes and juice bottles etc which she loves to destroy. That seems to help keep her occupied for a little while. Training doesn't seem to tire her and just gets me totally frustrated. I'm very aware that we probably made a mistake getting a puppy. I actually wanted to get an older rescue dog but was told by many breeders not to since I have children. They advised that it was better to get a puppy to grow up with them and whom we could mould. I can't help thinking that I followed the wrong advice. Surely any baggage a rescue dog came with couldn't be much worse than the dog we have who bites the crap out of everyone if allowed (When her teeth were little my hubby and I looked liked we were cutting ourselves...she often drew blood. Now she has bigger teeth I'm covered in bruises). I should have gotten an older dog who was perhaps less energy, maybe already trained (because unfortunately I'm not sure my patience is the best no matter how hard I keep trying) and who just needed someone to love them. I thought I was getting a pet to love who would enhance our family. Instead she has cost us a fortune, may cost more if she needs surgery and has caused nothing but stress. It's a good job I don't work because "solving" this dog has become my full time job!!

Anyway, just trying to find out what I can about this health problem....but as you can see the behaviour is probably more of a concern to me.

Thanks, Jennifer

PS I put this in the health section because I'm primarily asking about the ED I guess. But I'm hoping lots of people read this because I really need some advice or support or something.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry, i do not have any suggestion for the surgery but i do have something to say.

7 months is still a puppy, and everything you are describing is a puppy being puppy, i also have a high drive pup and ya i know they can be handful sometimes. Every dog has it's baggage of some sort, if you had adopted i am sure you would find some baggage in them too, the only difference is the puppy is small in size and less intimidating that the adult one. Guess which one is easier to teach some behavior?

Second thing, the pup will want to run, play regardless of the stage they are in, we are the ones who have to think about the time they can run around, we have to have the bigger picture. If week on couch can give him few years mobility then why not?

Your pup is still in a puppy stage, get him to a obedience class if not yet done, get him to a behaviorist if obedience is not working and see she will amaze you. I have been around Tibetian Mastiff since my childhood and believe me they are can be really gentle when they are adult, if a TM can then a GSD will be more than you expected.

Help her impress you, get her into training, get her something to do, try NILF, try 2 balls fetch, try mind games...try everything you can think of. It's never too late.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have had the surgery, ours was successful. She MAY or may not have a slight hitch to her gait- more of a slight swinging of the leg, but not very noticeable. The KEY CRITICAL factor is recovery. AT LEAST 6 TO 8 weeks of leash only, slow walks.Your vet may suggest more or less time for recovery. NO jumping, bounding, etc. I will be honest, it's not an easy thing to accomplish ( our GSD girl was 9 months), but we were successful in her recovery and she did fine after. Look at my avatar, this is the female.
As far as the biting and energy, I would suggest a training class IMMEDIATELY, it will work wonders. IMHO. Bob
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There is no way we could do 6-8 weeks. Oh and we have already done a training course too as well as all the books and videos I'm watching.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with your pup. Not being able to expend her energy will make her settling down more challenging, that's for sure. I've also had to limit exercise with my pup, after a mishap during play that unfortunately repeated itself.

One thing that might help is to try to redefine what she thinks of as play. Knowing that you make your own food dispensing toys that you allow her to destroy is an example of that. If you're letting her ramp up and wreck things, then you're working against what you want the most. The Buster Cube treat dispenser is a great toy because they have to think to get the reward - they have to manipulate it around for the food to fall out. That's way different than shredding cardboard, lol. I do think that teaching her to lie quietly on a bed would be good too. The crate can be overused, and it's good for the dogs to learn self control on their own, not just because they've got no choice. Good luck with your pup!
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