German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Berlin got X-rays today of his legs and shoulders....because of the random short periods of lameness/pain he has been having. His left elbow is clearly not growing evenly. The radius and ulna are growing unevenly... causing his trochlear notch to sometimes not align right with the trochlea of the humerus. When it doesnt, he becomes lame, and is in pain until it re aligns. I really dont know what this even means for him in the future.. He was prescribed some Rimadyl, and I am not allowed to do any heavy physical activity with him and NO jumping. His front feet are likely to always point east-west too.

I am so upset and this is not the news I wanted to hear today. I was hoping it was just pano... :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,373 Posts
Hoping for the best for Berlin and you~ Also hopefully someone here has some experience with this and can give you some support or answers, experience.

double bumps
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,612 Posts
I hope Berlin will be ok. I didn't even know berlin was having problems :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,367 Posts
I'm so sorry Katie. I wish I had some words of encouragement or advice.
I'll say a prayer for Berlin. Did they give you any prognosis for his condition?
Big hugs to you and Berlin!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
So sorry about Berlin's elbow. Did they do bloodwork before prescribing Rimadyl? There are other anti-inflammatories that are safer.

Is there anywhere locally you can take him to swim? I imagine that would be the best way to exercise him right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Here’s the good news- you have caught this relatively early, so the results of treatment are going to be better.

Consider how much you would like to spend on him. There is a study that showed that there was a huge discrepancy in the diagnosis of radio-ulnar incongruency even amongst specialist radiologists. CT provides more accurate determination of incongruity and you should be able to find a specialist veterinary surgery that has one. University vet clinics are also likely to have them. If your vet is a good one they should be happy to give you a referral.
With a more accurate diagnosis you can pick the best treatment for your dog. I would do this soon, as if they recommend surgery- it is best done before 12 months.

I agree with BowWowMeow- swimming would be an excellent way to burn off some of that puppy energy. There will be much less pressure on his joints.

One of the things that this could mean for him in future is an increased likelihood of osteoarthritis. So it will be important to keep him at a good body condition score. You may also want to ask or research Cartrophen.

Re- Rimadyl is associated with a low level of side effects. All NSAIDs have the potential for side effects but there has been an increased awareness of those caused by carprofen recently, especially in the USA where the drug has been used extensively.
Read the information that comes with it so that you know what to look out for- mostly gastrointestinal effects.
Also as BowWowMeow said if your vet did not do bloods before prescribing it- go get them done. You will need his bloods re-checked periodically to make sure his liver is coping.

Obviously I haven’t seen your dog and I don’t know what degree of lameness he has, so take it with a pinch of salt (i.e. the vet who has seen the x-rays etc should have the final say).

Sorry for blasting you with information~ I hope it’s helpful :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Poor thing. Take care of Berlin and things might be better than expected in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
I am SO sorry to hear that :( I know it can sound heart breaking

Not too familiar with it, although I see a fair share of elbow abnormalities since I work in a clinic with orthopedic surgeons. That is why my advice is to go see an orthopedic surgeon. A board certified specialist. They will give you the best advice/answers. Trust me a problem like this is beyond the scope of a regular general practice vet. specialists are there for a reason.

Hopefully lameness will resolve when he is done growing. However poor conformation will always lead to an increased risk of osteoarthritis, so keep that in mind. Talk to the orthopedic surgeon about joint supplements, etc. Keep at a lean weight. Swimming is a GREAT low-impact exercise, I've been taking Berlin swimming almost daily since he's obviously way too young to do any other serious exercise with.

As far as medication, I would not say other anti-inflammatorys are necessarily "Safer" than rimadyl. Yes, rimadyl can most certainly cause organ failure. Which is why dogs on it long term are monitored with NSAID pannels on blood work. I fill rimadyl prescriptions every single day, it is probably the most commonly prescribed medication in the veterinary field. So you wonder why it may "appear" to cause more problems?

Honestly, I would rather have my dog on rimadyl than metacam, for example. I think it is a GREAT anti-inflammatory, it works very well for many dogs. Zeke was on it for 10 days when he had pano at 9 months old. My aunt has a 13 yr old lab/shepherd mix that can hardly walk because it's hip dysplasia is so bad, and gabapentin isn't working for him. Her dog can't walk yet she's scared to put him on rimadyl because it MIGHT cause organ failure?

EVERY drug has side effects. Rimadyl is most likely to cause GI upset, potential bleeds. Rarely organ failure. Again, blood work to monitor if on it for long term.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies everyone. After trying to process this yesterday (and crying all day because this sucks so much) I am ready to try and tackle this and make Berlin's life as great as possible, regardless of money. No they did not do a blood test, and I know about Rimadyl, I work in the pharmaceutical field, I hate giving him meds, but he is only on it for 4-5 days, so its very short term for the time being. He didnt react negatively to the first pill, but I know what to watch for and will monitor him closely.

I am trying to find an orthopedic vet in the area, and will take him to see one ASAP for a second opinion, and if the outcome is still the same, figure out how I can manage this, and possibly surgery if needed.

Anubis, where do you take little Berlin (hehe) swimming? A lake/pond? A pool?
There is a dog park in the area that has large swimming ponds for the dogs...but I worry about Lepto. Idk where else I can take him.

Im going to attach the X-rays, maybe someone who knows how to read elbows can tell me how bad they look. Its the left elbow.



here's the right


and the left


What we are dealing with here is the tiny gap between the radius, humerus, and ulna. It is not as wide (?) as it should be, like in the right. Which eventually may lead to forms of elbow dysplasia. I dont know if they can grow out of this? I sure hope so........

Anyways, any opinions on those, and any recommendations on a GREAT joint supplement, and anything else I can do for him is very much appreciated. For now I just bought Nupro Joint, and he gets Salmon Oil as well. He is fed 75% raw.

Thank for the kind words, again.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
There are places all over that have pools for dogs for this kind of stuff. There is one in Des Plaines, which would be closer to you then the one in Naperville or Chicago Ridge. Most of the places allow you in there and they have a person that will go in with your dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thank you Lisa :) I will look into those swimming places for him!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
Keep in mind I'm no radiologist or vet. However the elbow appears rotated to my in the first xray, and my coworker agrees. Personally neither of us see anything. Now again we both suck at reading elbow radiographs so I'm not denying the diagnosis. However we both agree that we would like to see the elbow straighter. Maybe it IS straight and that's the deformity? However even the angle of the legs to each other make us think it's rotated.

That being said have you contacted vet teaching hospitals? even if you can't physically meet with an orthopedic surgeon (that would be preferred), I would at least email the radiographs to them and get a consultation that way. Also speak with them about supplements. I know I've personally talked to our board certified surgeons about supplements for "ittle" Berlin ;) just to help, and they are honestly up in the air about if it really does much in a younger dog with no osteoarthritis problems (now granted, if there was a predisposing factor like "big" Berlin it would probably be a different story, but I would get their opinion).

I personally give Zeke glyco-flex because I can get it for cheap off Amazon. However all the surgeons I work with prefer Dasuquin or Cosequin because the supplementation is actually much better regulated and established in those brands.

As far as swimming, we go to local reservoirs, lakes, my schutzhund club has a 4 acre pond, rivers, anywhere really with water. Granted Colorado has a lower incidence of Lepto. But Giardia is endemic here. My dogs are just vaccinated for lepto, and any diarrhea/GI upset is treated with metronidazole for 5 days and they are back to normal. There are many indoor swimming pools as well, I believe someone posted some links for you? Keep in mind even though lepto is a dangerous disease that should be watched for, it is considered a rare disease for dogs to have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
Upon further review, the Left leg IS rotated, as can be seen when look down at the metacarpals (the inner two are overlapping showing the limb is rotated inwards.)

I have seen some severe dysplastic elbows, that even I can tell are bad. So if that's any comfort, it's not SEVER enough that I can obviously see it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,994 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Yes Anubis, the leg was rotated I believe. He wasnt put under. The difference between the two elbows is so slight... lemme attach this picture I did of a close up comparison of the side views.

left-right. Left is apparently the 'bad' one.


His front legs can definitely both stretch outwards straight.

Glyco Flex was recommended to me by someone else as well, but if the other two are better, I may order one of those..

There is a vet specialty center in the area that has a few board certified ortho surgeons, so I will be getting him in ASAP. They arent in until Tuesday though. Thanks sooo much for your reply!
BTW, is it possible for his bones to not be done growing even though the growth plates are pretty much closed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
I see a slight decrease in joint spacing on the left elbow. If that is the concerning part to your vet then I HOPE *knock on wood* that even if his elbow is dysplastic it is very mild.

As far as growing - to be really honest once again that is something I do not know. 10 months seems a little young to be done growing, and I doubt ALL his growth plates are closed. I recall doing xrays on a young dog once, I want to say about a year old rottie, maybe a tad older, and her growth places on her pelvic bone were still open.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,237 Posts
Not sure if you have done so.... but in my experience (and I have had a LOT of canine ortho issues), I would always, always seek the opinion of a canine ortho specialist. I differentiate because I have spent 1000's at an ortho specialist who really did large animals and threw that money away. The money spent at a quality vet is worth every diagnostic and treatment penny.... and usually less than if one tries to save money by sticking locally.
Many will also review xrays for a fee, without seeing the patient.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top