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Elbow Dysplasia Recovery. What Should I Know?

Elbow Dysplasia Recovery. What Should I Know?

Treatment options differ depending on the type and severity of your dog’s elbow dysplasia as well as the level of pain your dog is experiencing. Treatment and management is either surgical or conservative (non-surgical).

Whether your dog is recovering after surgery or is able to manage without surgical intervention, good care to ensure a good recovery is vital.

Elbow dysplasia recovery time

How long the recovery time is post-op depends on the type of surgery your dog has undergone but can be anything from 4-12 weeks. Post-surgical care involves many of the steps which conservative management does; weight management, physiotherapy, controlled exercise and anti-inflammatories. Applying a supportive elbow brace post-operatively can also help your dog’s recovery and support their elbow joint more fully.

Keep your dogs weight healthy

Keeping your dog a healthy weight is hugely beneficial in recovery and on-going management of elbow dysplasia. Excess weight puts more pressure and strain on your dog’s elbow joints, which in turn exacerbates symptoms and pain.

Regular short walks

Exercising a dog with or recovering from elbow dysplasia can be hard, balancing them getting sufficient exercise but not making the problem worse through over-exercise. So, you need to make sure your dog stays fit by doing the ‘right’ type of exercise. Regular, short lead walks are ideal. Prevent your dog from jumping, skidding, chasing, racing around and walking or running for longer periods. In young and active dogs this can be difficult but you can try something like a dog puzzle or snuffle mat to help occupy their brain. Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy are both very helpful in your dog's recovery process.

Elbow brace for support

Whether or not your dog has had surgery, a brace which can help support their elbow joint(s) can be very beneficial. Here at Zoomadog we recommend looking at two in particular. The Balto Soft is for a single elbow, or Balto Soft Plus is a double elbow brace. The Balto Soft offers excellent, moderate elbow support. The Balto Soft Plus Elbow Brace is a double brace designed to protect and support both your dogs’ elbows.  The second brace which we recommend and which receives excellent customer feedback, is the Kruuse Rehab Pro Dog Elbow Protector. This brace cushions and compresses the elbow joint, providing warmth and support to the affected area.

Elbow braces are here https://zoomadog.co.uk/collections/dog-elbow-braces

Your dog will develop arthritis

Unfortunately elbow dysplasia (even where surgery has been performed) will always lead to the development of arthritis / osteoarthritis in your dog’s elbow joints. Surgery can significantly retard the development of osteoarthritis but cannot eliminate it completely. Because of this, it is recommended to give your dog a joint supplement to slow the progression of this and keep your dog more comfortable and active for longer.

Further reading

Read more about Elbow Dysplasia and Weakness - Causes, Prevention and How to Help https://zoomadog.co.uk/collections/dog-elbow-dysplasia-and-elbow-weakness

Previous article Cara is a 14 year old German Shepherd. She regularly sees the vet and has rear knuckling linked to the typical GSD weak hips / neuropathy and some osteoarthritis. What would you recommend?
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