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Elbow Dysplasia

x-rays of normal elbows
Above are the x-ray plates of a Grade 0 Elbow, 0 is the best Elbow score with 3 being the worst. The elbow as you can see above has to be x-rayed in two positions. The elbow x-rays are then sent off to the BVA for scoring, only the BVA can score x-rays. Whichever elbow is scored as the worst grade is the score used as the overall grade.

Elbow dysplasia is in the breed and it is fair to say that the condition is inherited but can be managed or further damage can be caused due to environmental effects such as feeding and exercise. Responsible breeders use the BVA testing scheme and decide on  their breeding choices taking into account the scores. In some cases elbow dysplasia can lead to crippling pain and horrendous lameness, which is distressing for the dog and leads to a poor quality of life, as a norm more weight is distributed to the front of a dog than to the rear so this further exasperates the condition. 

In the files section below it shows the results over the last 15 years, there were 31 Bloodhounds graded in that time, which in itself is not a great number, worryingly though only 15 of those Bloodhounds, 48.4% were graded with a 0 as completely free of the condition, this suggests a high proportion of the breed carrying the condition, many being bred from unknowingly, this leaves more than over half of the population of dogs tested and scored with a grade of 1 to 3. Furthermore 29% had a grade of 1, 19.4% had a grade of 2 and 3.2% had a grade of 3.  

Just because dogs are sound movers and show no lameness is not an indication that they do not have the condition, unless they are x-rayed you will not know.

Elbow dysplasia is a generic term and means malformation of the elbow joint. The name refers to several conditions that can affect the elbow.

Different types of elbow dysplasia are:

FCP - Fragmented Medial Coronoid Process

OCD - Osteochondritis Dissecans

UAP _ Ununited Anconeal Process

Medial Compartment Disease

Genetics, nutrition and exercise can all play a role in the formation of joints.

It is important not to feed high energy dog foods which contain high protein and fat levels, the calcium intake also needs to be controlled and the calcium phosphorous ratio needs to be looked at, if feeds exceeding appropriate levels are fed whilst growing it can cause bone overgrowth and disruptions in the rate of growth, if there is a precedence for elbow dysplasia in the dog this can exasperate the condition, leading to arthritis later in life.

 If your puppy is lame between 7 and 9 months there may be an elbow problem, for diagnosis you will need to see your vet for an x-ray, males are more susceptible to females, the condition is of polygenic inheritance so the condition is hard to eradicate.

The advice is to operate on hounds when they are young if they have elbow dysplasia, however the lameness should be given time to go away , some people are rather hesitant to operate if the condition is self limiting and the dog is not in any pain, does not require any medication and is leading a full and active life. Seek advice from your vet and breeder.

Conservative methods of treatment can be employed by supplementing with omega oils and glucosamine, keeping the weight under control and the hound well exercised to keep muscle tone but not over doing it.

Bloodhound Information,
20 Jan 2017, 04:58
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20 Jan 2017, 04:34
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25 Jan 2017, 17:31