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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As requested ;) below are 2 posts I recently made on recent threads about elbow dysplasia (ED) and post-op recovery placed in a thread of their own.

I am no expert on ED or arthritis or elbow joints or anything medical at all. I have learnt and am continuously learning how to give my ED and HD suffering "Lunatic" as close to 'normal' a life as any healthy Labrador her age can enjoy.

There are other members on here with Labradors suffering joint problems who have more experience of it than me and/or haven't had surgery and/or use different medications and/or manage a different level of exercise/rest balance... for me every dog is different with different needs, wants and difficulties so the choices we make for our dogs are going to be as different as them. My posts are just about Living with Luna. There is no right or wrong in my experience just some trial and error, making choices on the information available and attempting to find a balance of activity/food/rest that suits.

The first post below is about her post-op recovery and the second is a wordy, lengthy post on keeping her looning daily.

If anyone can find any useful little gem from either post to help their Labrador enjoy life a little bit more then Luna is happy with her training of me ;)

If I can help anytime just post or PM xx
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Post-op:
Follow the post-op care instructions closely! Don't be persuaded to speed things up by a seemingly 'better' active dog! They may well convince you they are fine earlier than they *should* be but Be Disciplined! Stick to the plan! It is hard!!

Just to give you a bit of a heads up on what post-op care could involve: Luna was crated when I wasn't around so she couldn't attempt to jump on sofas. She was very sleepy for a good 24hrs after the op and was happiest sleeping safely in her crate. The stairs were blocked off. My sofas were covered in stuff or tipped up to prevent her getting on them when I was home! She usually sleeps upstairs with me but I moved a mattress downstairs and we all slept downstairs instead. She was on the lead in the garden for toileting. I used old bits of wood and planks to make ramps for her to use instead of steps. I covered tiled floors with rugs and carpet bits so she couldn't slip.

I cut her food back by a half/third and split it into kongs she could have throughout the day rather than in 2meals. She was given the ok to swim by the specialist a week after the op at the hydro pool.

I have some videos of her post-op recovery somewhere....

24hrs after on a toilet pootle:
http://vid706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/luna-tic_photos/February202013_zps169d04fe.mp4

The 2 holes made by the op on the inside of her elbow pointed at by the white arrow (the other redness visible is 'shaver cut/rash' and plaster adhesive rash):


20days after at hydro (Luna has the black harness on, Tucker the red):
http://vid706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/luna-tic_photos/Luna Hydro 20days after op_zpsy8gaiyn1.mp4

It snowed during restricted walk phase when she had to stay on lead - an oven timer came in useful when on walks that had to be a certain length of time (I set it for half the time required, walked until the beep and turned around for home - until I lost it somewhere when out and about...):


50days after:
http://vid706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/luna-tic_photos/130408 Luna nearly back to full loon_zpsmc5igkzz.mp4

53days after on her birthday with a brother unused to her attacks!
http://vid706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/luna-tic_photos/130413 Loonys birthday_zps7o0i2kas.mp4

and finally recovery complete, post-op restrictions lifted and reunited with her good friend Toby! She's the one in the pink bandana with a toy snake in her mouth:
http://vid706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/luna-tic_photos/back to full loon_zpsziii14fd.mp4

Almost a year on and the removal of bone fragments from her right elbow has left her much improved on that side.

She returned to Veteran agility, sometimes taking her own line around courses to avoid left turns on the arthritic left elbow, sometimes winning her class and pretty rosettes:


The latest video I have uploaded of her from Xmas 2013, she's the one with the white football addiction and bounce/prance impatience!
http://vid706.photobucket.com/albums/ww63/luna-tic_photos/Labrador day 1_zpseyebpfis.mp4

The best advice I can give is to take each day at a time, cross off the days on the calendar and plan the following days feed, exercise, meds etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Keeping Luna looning:
I diagnosed Luna before most vets who examined her so when the specialist finally properly x-rayed and examined her and diagnosed ED (and HD rather unexpectedly) it was in some ways a relief although I was very ready to be proved very wrong :(

Your dog WILL reassure you better than anyone that they will be ok. You will adjust, you will learn and you will figure out the best balance of activity with some trial and error for your dog to be happy.

I'll focus on her ED below but TBH I'm hoping to avoid her needing a hip replacement through managing her in the ways below as much as I'm managing her ED.

Luna will be 6 in April. She has ED in both elbows with arthritis forming in both... a lot worse in her left elbow. She has had arthroscopies on both elbows at separate times, her left first with some soft, damaged bone fuzz removed and her right about 18months later with a bone fragment and some fissured bits of bone removed. She had to have crate rest for 2 weeks after each op and then followed a strict guide on restricted exercise until 2 months after the op when she was normal again.

Luna's 'normal' includes as much swimming 'in the wild' or at a hydro pool as I can squeeze in. Involves around 45mins off-lead walking in the fields, woods, parks a day with a 20min off-lead or lead walk later on sometimes. I don't throw toys on land for her to retrieve as she has no control over herself and even when carrying out a controlled retrieve throws herself to the floor or does a handbrake turn! She is great at frisbee..... ITS NOT ALLOWED!!!!!!!! She can have as many retrieves as she wants into water even if it is into shallow water that she can't swim in. She loves to swim. I train and am beginning to compete with Luna at Rally O. She still enjoys veteran agility competing although I'm beginning to ensure that I avoid her doing left sharp turns on courses as her left elbow doesn't like sharp turns.

Luna takes 800mg of Marine Chondroitin each day, 2 tablets of Glycoflex 3 a day and I use 50mg or 25mg of Carprieve to support her the evening and/or morning before a LOT of activity and after. She loves Get-Togethers and hoolies with other dogs and so long as she has a rest day the following day is ok for an hour to an hour 30mins of playing, swimming, running etc. Pub visits after there is no time limit on Wink

Luna used to sit around 25kg in weight and this wasn't criticised by vets. She dropped to 23.8kg the summer Tucker joined our family and then the specialist suggest I get her down below 23kg. I did and then kept going. She is generally about 21-22kg in weight and I can see no ribs. I can easily feel them though. The lighter her weight has been the more active she is and the less stretching out or discomfort she seems to be in after activity. Swimming is great at keeping her weight down and she was having hydro just over a week after her 2nd elbow op. I had to carry her around the pool and grab her harness to keep her from escaping the water!

Luna has worn a bioflow magnet on her collar since about a year old and I am trialling a 'Back on Track' coat on her at the moment. I tend to lift her down from the car boot or insist she uses her ramp. I have steps for her to use down from sofas and beds in the house and she does use them. She is fine jumping into the car and onto the sofas and beds! I tend to carry her down the stairs now and I've had to gate off the stairs as I found when I wasn't home (by videoing) that she was going up and downstairs many times in the day for the slightest of reasons!

Many people we meet accuse her of being a young pup, they don't believe that she has joint problems. I know she does have problems and I wish a million times a day that I could wave a magic wand and make her problems go away.

Tucker so far as I know is a fit and well 3 year old labbie. He agility trains and has some longer walks at weekends sometimes but generally lives a similar lifestyle to Luna. I know that as time goes on I shall have to consider daily painkiller and maybe more restriction on her looning but I try to take each day at a time.
 

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Re: Elbow Dyslasia- Recovering from surgery and Living with

Luna-Tuck said:
As requested :wink: below are 2 posts I recently made on recent threads about elbow dysplasia (ED) and post-op recovery placed in a thread of their own.

I am no expert on ED or arthritis or elbow joints or anything medical at all. I have learnt and am continuously learning how to give my ED and HD suffering "Lunatic" as close to 'normal' a life as any healthy Labrador her age can enjoy.

There are other members on here with Labradors suffering joint problems who have more experience of it than me and/or haven't had surgery and/or use different medications and/or manage a different level of exercise/rest balance... for me every dog is different with different needs, wants and difficulties so the choices we make for our dogs are going to be as different as them. My posts are just about Living with Luna. There is no right or wrong in my experience just some trial and error, making choices on the information available and attempting to find a balance of activity/food/rest that suits.

The first post below is about her post-op recovery and the second is a wordy, lengthy post on keeping her looning daily.

If anyone can find any useful little gem from either post to help their Labrador enjoy life a little bit more then Luna is happy with her training of me :wink:

If I can help anytime just post or PM xx
I've discovered the "Thank" button and begun using it however really do need to put in words sincere thanks to you and others who have not only put some inspirational stuff up but also been very honest
I feel no shame in admitting as a 5 foot 9, 14 stone skinhead Manager in the building industry that I was in pieces when Judy was diagnosed with ED last week. I was confused, angry, scared and really really worried.
Thankfully I stumbled back across this forum and the support and hope from people such as yourself has been a major comfort. Judy and us are far from out of the woods but I'm a lot more positive.

Myself and my other half cannot thank you enough and owe you a large drink.
 

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As above I'm thankful for the advice and support.

No shame in being upset I'm 6"3 and was like a jelly from last week until today.
 

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Thanks for this thread, with one lab who has severe hip dysplasia and had a patella lunation fixed (thankfully the ortho vet thinks she is doing brilliantly on meds and is holding off a replacement currently, we did all the right checks when getting our pup, both parents score 0 for elbows but unfortunately as we all know that doesn't predict everything and he has had intermittent front leg lameness for 6 weeks despite rest and anti inflammatories.
Saw ortho vet today and he thinks it is likely in his elbow, Bodie is having his X-rays as we speak.

Reading this thread has given me a lot of optimism even if it is the dreaded ED. Bodie will be ecstatic that water retrieves are still allowed, his ball is his greatest treasure with water his next favourite thing!

Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll try and sort the videos out on this thread! Onetruemedia disappeared so the vids have too!

Luna has now retired from agility - she went out as 'Gundog of the Year 2014' :)
In the same week as she retired from agility she went on to win her class at a KC Rally O competition!

She is just about putting behind her a bad month in terms of soreness, stiffness and some limping... caused by her LOONING! She flipped when I told her to get off the muck heap in the field, she lost control, took a flying leap away from it at Loon-factor speed, realised she couldn't make the landing she'd hoped, tucked her front legs up, aborted the landing on paws and crashed and slid along wet grass on her worst left side! There was a flip over at the end of the slide, a moment where she caught her breath, stood up, shook and then felt 'not right'!
Rest, tramadol, carprieve, controlled lead walking and a massage have her just about back to normal, fingers crossed, the silly Loon!

Can recommend the http://www.k9-massageguild.co.uk/ for masseurs, Luna was definitely happier and faster <sigh> after her massage from Arwesa.
I'm looking to get a McTimoney chiro check out her alignment next. I remember now why we did some agility... CONTROLLED looning not lunatic looning!!!
 

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WTG Agility Gundog of the Year 2014 Luna that's a superb accolade for all your achievements, very well deserved! :) :) :) :)

However you will have Uncle Graham after your Mummy with those muck heap leaping antics PLEASE take more care of yourself!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bump for new member.
And a little update.
Luna doesn't like walking too far daily nowadays so she tends to do off-lead every other day and just short toilet pootles the other days. The Luna-mobile, aka doggyhut stroller, is now an attendee at Gts so that a rest on the walking section can be enforced on her! Still swimming as much as possible.
Back on track coat in use, memory foam beds everywhere now, she doesn't like wooden or laminate floors at all and lets me carry her on those. Have been using anti-Inflamms more regularly over the past few months, so wanting to get her blood levels checked to hopefully spot any issues before she gets ill.
She still VERY much enjoys a good flirt and play with young boy pups hitting maturity :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bumping up again :(

And probably time for an update.
Luna is seeing a Veterinary physiotherapist now and the treatments and exercises are going down well with Luna. The laser therapy particularly seems to be appreciated.

She is on Carprieve daily now and having 6monthly blood tests to keep an eye on levels. Luna doesn't have an offlead walk every day now, she has at least 1 rest day a week and a couple of days with short on lead walks, the other days are either a short off lead LOON of a walk or a swim.

Luna has completed 2 clear agility rounds this year, I've entered her in a couple of other runs but we've ended up taking her own line, I sneak her on the course at shows sometimes at the start or end of a day just to let her 'win' on a straight line of jumps with poles on floor or through a tunnel. She still adores contact equipment. Agility Obedience which is a twist on Rally Obedience is something that brightens up her day. She has gained her Rally Level 3 title with the Kennel Club and is one more qualification score away from equaling Tucker in getting her RL4 title.
The doggyhut she has asked to get into on walks sometimes now which is relieving. It's good to be able to take her to places further away than she can walk for adventures.

At the moment we are making a huge effort to get her weight down to the point that ribs are just below the skin, so she is on a weighed amount of food much to her disappointment! Tucker has joined her on the diet so she isn't lonely! He is VERY good with her and doesn't tend to knock her over when they are having bum tuck chasing moments. He slows down when they run together so she can catch up sometimes, Luna can still run fast though! She still chooses to jump logs some days in the woods :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've got Luna down below 20.5kg and this is the result...


She can play more, walk more and instead of behaving like a mature 7 years and 7months old is behaving like a 7month old LOON!!
RL4 title achieved, still enjoying physio and hydro :)

I can prevent the counter surfing so I shall enjoy my littler Luna looning :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bump!

Luna hasn't enjoyed the cold dampness of the winter.
I have rearranged the shed so that the Luna-mobile can allow her to go on some pootles further from home to create some variety of sniffs on a daily basis for her. She is hovering just above 20kg nowadays. Takes Carprieve daily but I am starting to think she needs something more or maybe a swap of tablets. Next vet appointment will discuss this.
I have looked into giving her turmeric and I am told that giving her 'Golden Paste' should allow me to drop her off NSAIDs. I am wary of mixing natural anti-inflammatories with NSAIDs and have been told that I am right to be wary of mixing NSAID/turmeric by holistic experienced people but very wary of removing her from the NSAIDs in order to try the turmeric. So am currently stuck and still collecting ideas on what step to take next!
Hydro and physio still being very much appreciated. Back on Track coat on as often as possible. Sofa and bed steps used all the time. I lift and carry her down stairs and out of the car. She still likes to jump in the car though.
Snufflemat gives an alternative work out to a filled Kong.
Hoping to take her along to a Rally Freestyle workshop next month to give her brain something new to work on. Not sure she will enjoy walking around the courses of rally competitions this year but will hold off on announcing her retirement until checking with her in the summer ;)
She has back paw boots to help protect her when we go to the beach in future as the way she pushes off into water gives her interdigit cysts and scrapes her pads.
I have a fleecy 4 legged jumper being custom made with a zip fully up the back in the hope it will keep her joints/muscles warm now she walks slower on walks.
She still enjoys a tail wagging steady walk up a lowered a'frame and dog walk and through a tunnel given the chance.
And just allow her the chance to have a drop of adrenaline in her blood and she will out-loon any young pup.

Luna isn't going to be 8 years old until April, she is getting old before her years now making her more and more and more and more precious. <3
 

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Ahh bless her, you are doing a fantastic job Laura, it sounds like although she is struggling her will power will keep her going as long as her little legs will carry her.

I closely watch your posts for info about pain relief and how you are going with it as my 2 older boy and girl are feeling the affects of arthritis, they are slowing down quite noticeably this past year.

Thanks for the bump and hugs for Luna from us.

June
 

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Laura --- you and that dog (those dogs!) of yours are an inspiration.

I will always, forever and till the end of time be grateful for your posts on Lab joint issues and showing that there is life and hope; pulled me back from the brink over two years ago now when Judy was diagnosed.

Keep looning Luna albeit in smaller doses. You've earned your more sedate approach and dont let any four legged puppy upstart tell you any different.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok well Luna went from being wonky to developing a regular hobbly walk since the last update.
We went back to the specialist to ask 'What next?' and 'What more?' and got a very honest 7 step answer!
I came away and researched his step 1 and a bit of step 2 and now she is booked into have PRP injections in all or some of her joints in a couple of weeks. I'm already feeling very nervous but need to try something to help her more.

Specialist couldn't believe that he hadn't seen us for about 2 and a half years, kept saying it in disbelief and pleasure! I'll take that as 'we must have been doing something right up to now!'

So keep your fingers crossed for her and this next step! Some info offers good hope of her improving...

PS she is still enjoying doggyhut outings, fox poop, swimming and flirting with attractive young males, toys are still waggled with, looning still occurs and her grin is still happy. :D
 
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