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I've got a 80 lb 14 month gsd. He reached 25 1/2 inches at 9 mo. and hasnt gotten any taller since. Two months ago his right elbow started making a popping noise. It sounds like the noise a middle aged persons knees make the fist time they bend down in the morning. Kind of a joint noise pop. He absolutley shows no sign of pain, runs and plays, gets up without hesitation etc. Absolutely no sign of anything wrong other than the noise. The noise is mostly heard when he lift the leg while walking slowly. The pop noise is made about once every 8-10 steps he makes with that leg. It doesnt really make the noise when hes running. I've had him looked at by three vets. One said it was a ligament stretched over the joint that is being stretched and pops over to the side across joint back and forth. The other two disagreed and said problem is in the joint. All three vets felt his joint, wiggled his bones, and they made comments as though they felt normal and no excessive play in them. I am extremely hesitant to consider surgery because of money problems, therefore haven't done xrays either. I can afford to buy him Glucosamine. My questions are, would it help? If so what kind and what quantity? Anyone had any experiences with what I'm desribing. Anyone have any other advice?
 

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My GSD mix Rosa has a popping elbow too. She has been diagnosed with mild elbow dysplasia, but her hips were so bad that we weren't even worried about her elbows at that point!

If you are planning on getting your boy neutered, ask for elbow x-rays while he's under anesthesia for the neuter. That will save you money there instead of having it done at a separate appointment.

A joint supplement won't hurt your dog, even if he doesn't need it. Rosa takes Glycoflex 3, but you would want to ask your vet which supplement would be best. And you can get better deals on supplements online than through your vet office.
 

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Does Rosa show any pain or physical sign of not favoring the legs etcc, and when? I was thinking of goinr to Costco to get some that are meant for people. Does anyone see any downfall to that? Anyone else had an experiance with this?
 

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A visit to a chiropractor could maybe help. Penny has a carpal joint, basically her wrist, that pops, has for about 1 year. Chiro can't find a sublaxation of anything out of alignment but can feel a bit of decreased range of motion along with a feel of grinding so they say it is arthritis. She's already on joint supplements so I was told to do ROM to keep the joint as flexible as possible. I use Monica Segals joint complex, Joint Complex · 1000 mg and also adequan.
 

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I was thinking of goinr to Costco to get some that are meant for people. Does anyone see any downfall to that?
My only problem with human joint pills are that most are enteric coated and may or may not be fully digested in the short canine intestinal tract. If going human I would look for ones that aren't coated, or a capsule or you could crush or grind the coated ones. . .
 

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Yes Rosa does have some signs that her front legs bother her. If we overdo walks, she will limp. Also, when I use and Easy Walk harness with her, sometimes it's like she won't lift her front legs high enough and sometimes trips. She has already had one hip replaced, and that surgery just did wonders for her. She has a ton more endurance than she did this time last year (she had her hip done in April 2010). But her front legs do still give he occasional issues, in spite of the joint supplements, which she has been on for over a year.

This is where we get her supplement, they have a good price for that supplement.Dog Healthy Joint Care: Perna Mussel Supplements Geared for different dog support Levels

I honestly do not know if you can use OTC human joint supplements on your dog. If it were me I would not. The Glycoflex is nice because it's flavored and my dog will just crunch it right up, no problem.
 

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I had a dog who had some popping in elbows. She was dyplastic in her elbows and hips.

Have you had your dog xrayed or considered an orthopedic consultation?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Samba, what was the dogs outcome? This dogs right leg does it often and loud. His right elbow is swollen. Does anyone know of something I can give him to over the counter to reduce the swelling?
 

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I would go to the vet and have it x-rayed so that you know exactly what the problem is.

You can give a good joint supplement (I like either Joint Health or Longevity from Springtime Inc.), fish oil capsules and 2000mg Calcium Ascorbate or Ester C. You need to work up to that amount gradually.

Be sure he isn't doing any running or jumping.
 

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I'm with the others who have suggested a vet check and x-rays to help determine what the problem is so that appropriate interventions/treatments can be applied. The sooner you know what it is, the better the outcome in terms of knowing what you can do to help manage whatever the condition actually is.
 

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I totally understand where you people are coming from by xrays to see what the problem is, however what treatments are there besides surgery?? I can afford xrays, is the next step automatically going to cost a couple thousand? ? I'm not trying to be negative.
 

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Not necessarily. No matter what, I always want to know exactly what I am dealing with. My dog had popping elbows and they were eventually crunchy elbows. There was not a surgery for it. She lived to an old age and died of cancer. We treated her with some oral meds and injections for her joint issues over the years. She had an active life and competed in obedience for many years.

There is no way to know the best options without the definitive diagnosis.
 

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Samba makes an excellent point. It might be nothing at all, but you won't know until you x-ray. And if you tell your vet that financially, surgery just isn't an option for you, then she/he can suggest ways for you to minimize future damage to those joints and specific supplements. You may even be able to explore other alternatives like massage or acupuncture to help deal with the issue.

But knowing what is wrong (or not) is always the first step.
 

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It depends on the problem but for most joint issues you have the choice of conservative management or surgery. In some cases conservative management is recommended over surgery or vise-versa. It just depends on the problem.

Ultimately though, no matter what they recommend, you will be making the ultimate decision about what is done. The reason it's good to get x-rays is so that you know exactly what the problem is and can formulate a plan of action with that in mind.

Also, Rafi had popping joints and a lot of other poor joint symptoms when I adopted him at age one and now, 3 years later, you would never know he had joint problems. This is due to conservative management.
 

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There is no way to know the best options without the definitive diagnosis.
Exactly.

I am extremely hesitant to consider surgery because of money problems, therefore haven't done xrays either.
Having xrays done does not mean that surgery has to be done; rather, it is for diagnostic purposes.

Certainly nothing wrong with joint supplements, etc but IMHO it is important to determine what is causing the problem so that one can determine an appropriate plan of care based on the correct diagnosis rather than based on speculation of what it could be.
 

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Well, xrays may be what I'll do. It seems to me that I sould try to get the swelling down on his elbow before xrays. Reason being, if the swelling is down, the swollen tissue wouldn't be there to push on the joint. The swelling may give use an xray image of the bone being forced one way or another in the pocket.

Now I think alot of vets are businessmen and have payments to make. So when I walk in there, I'd like to be as knowledgeble as possible. Ideally I'd like to call the vet, have him prescribe some pills to help control the swelling before x rays. Can you people please guess on what a vet might perscribe and how much, based on your past experiance.

When I get in front of my dog when hes in the sitting position, I put my fingers on the back of his pointy elbow bone. I run my fingers to the outside and towards me and stop when I feel the peak of the bone on the outside, which is little more than 1/4 way around the cicumfrence of his leg. It is between the start point and stopping point I described is where the swelling is on his right leg.

Now I think ***** mentioned they gave there dog injections. Can you please tell me what the injection was, how often, what it would do please.
I thank all of you who are commenting on this.
 

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http://http://www.k9magazinefree.com/k9_perspective/iss3p17.shtml

We used Adequan injections to try and improve joint lubrication. We used a generic and I gave the injections as this was less expensive.

We also had the joints injected with hyaluronic acid to try and improve cushioning within the joints. This was done at university vet clinic.

Had good luck with oral nutracueticals like glucosamine. Also did some accupncture treatments.
 
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