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Discussion Starter #1
Just got off the phone to our vet who has told me my lovely Judy has ED and secondary osteoarthritis in both legs -- to be honest everything she said after that was just a noise.

Judy is a five year old black lab with long legs and has loved using them every single day of her life. She lives to run and many have said she's the fastest lab they've ever seen, and many squirrels have come perilously close to meeting their maker at her jaws. Since we got Judy 5 years ago she has changed my life and much for the better, we've not had a holiday abroad as I simply could bear to be away from her for couple of weeks. We've grown to love the English countryside together and Judy's bond with myself and my missus is the strongest you could imagine.
There's no better sight than my Judy in full flight chasing a ball, swimming, jumping around or crashing through the undergrowth.

The week before Xmas Judy came back to us with the ball with a slight limp so that ended that walking session and the mext morning she was terribly lame, holding her right paw out to the side at an awful angle.
I feared the worst.
A trip to the vet left us c£300.00 lighter and x-rays were taken and Metacam given. No exercise for a week, she improved significantly and a further two weeks of lead walks whilst we awaited a call back from the vet who had mentioned elbow dysplasia.

Then this morning the conversation came which has hit me like a sledgehammer.... ED in both legs.

I cannot look at my lovely dog without welling up.

No idea what to do now so turned from being a long term lurker on this forum to typing my first post.
I just cannot imagine not seeing Judy off lead and running around like a super hound. She was always the dominant bitch in our little pack we walk with and kept all the other dogs in check with a good humping or teasing them into to try and catch her -- they never could!!

Be grateful for any advice anyone has got that has been through this themselves.

Thanks in advance
 

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Sorry to read about Judy. There's quite a few of us here who have dogs with ED. Our young dog was diagnosed over the summer and like you I was devastated. We didn't go a head with surgery and manage to keep him limp and pain free with supplements, yumove, and swim him as much as possible.
Laura (Luna-Tuck) is very knowledgable on ED, she wrote that Luna is mildly disabled and leads a very active lifestyle just modified a bit. We are learning what's best for our boy. He doesn't chase balls anymore, we lift him in and out of the car, avoid stairs and got rid of the wood floors downstairs. When I watch him running with our older lab it's hard to think he has anything wrong with his elbow, he certainly doesn't and we have to slow him down a bit.
Hopefully with rest and meds Judy will be more comfortable and be able to lead a reasonably active life just modified a little.
 

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ED is not the end of the road, far from it, my old boy has it, he was diagnosed at 3 years old, he is now 12 yrs old and riddled with arthritis, but up until about 3 years ago was still hoolying around, now he is a bit more bimbly granted, but ED doesn't end their lives, just means you have to adjust a bit.

Also, we gave up on NSAID's, went down a totally holistic route, we use Homeopathy now and it works.
 

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I've had three labs with ED over the years. It's very sad and a shock when it is diagnosed, but it is not a death sentence. At first it can be very upsetting, but once you find the best way to control it things improve.

Two of my girls did very well on metacam. We found that an injection of Cartrofen every 4 weeks and metacam when needed was enough to keep them stable. We did modify walks at first - no running like loons, no chasing balls etc, but eventually they could cope with a decent walk as long as they didn't go mad every day.

Milly however had to have 2 ops for her ED. They weren't pleasant and we had to keep her crated afterwards. She was particularly bad and she had to take a mild steroid every day. But she still enjoyed life and loved her walks, though she was unusual for a lab as she hated water and wouldn't swim.

Don't feel too despondent. You will learn how to modify her lifestyle and she will be fine once you sort it. Supplements of cod liver oil, salmon oil, evening primrose etc also might help, but I think this is very much personal to your dog. Our Rosie did well on clo whereas it didn't seem to help Gracie at all.

Anyway, good luck and keep us informed!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Littlelab said:
ED is not the end of the road, far from it, my old boy has it, he was diagnosed at 3 years old, he is now 12 yrs old and riddled with arthritis, but up until about 3 years ago was still hoolying around, now he is a bit more bimbly granted, but ED doesn't end their lives, just means you have to adjust a bit.

Also, we gave up on NSAID's, went down a totally holistic route, we use Homeopathy now and it works.
Thanks for the replies.

You say it didnt stop your fella "hoolying around" - does that mean he had off lead time?
Judy is a right old independent beast and will leg it off everywhere and the way she is limping at the moment I cant see that ever returning. I'm so gutted - not been able to do a tap work wise today.
Holistic wise I've already been giving Yumove and had sardines recommended and looking at one of these bio collars. Didnt want to get my mutt hooked on metcam so anything that avoids that would help.

Really feel like my life has ground to a halt at the moment
 

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He is never on lead :lol: :lol: , he did everything a normal Lab would do, he absolutely loved fetch, but instead of throwing the ball up which encouraged him to jump for it we threw it so it rolled along the ground.

We taught him proper retrieving al la Gundog style, so everything was more controlled, we learned a new skill and he enjoyed every minute of 'working' for his ball or dummy.

I know of dogs that do agility with ED, you in answer to your question, your dog can still do what she enjoys but perhaps instead of an hour of hoolying you do 4 x 15mins in a day or 2 x 30mins.
 

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You only have 1 post left, but the homeopath I use is a lady called Sam she used to be a member here and has helped many Dogs with ED and HD with her treatments, she saved my boys life last year.

You can email her [email protected]
 

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I totally comprehend that you are in distress at having received this news. I have not owned a dog so diagnosed but my thoughts are genuinely with you.

When feeling more composed speak to vet again so you have a clearer understanding as to the specifics & his/her suggested options for the future. I would want to be confident that my vet was best person to help me but would consider additional or other vet services &/or additional/other intervention if in dogs interest(s).

Though the condition is one that affects many dogs, however, there will be variations in severity, prognosis & longer term management.

There are a multitude of different sources of information online, many of which are detailed and written by veterinary &/or orthopedic experts.

....Two links below.........I can't vouch for the accuracy or relevance of the info The second link is from the USA so not sure how relevant to UK treatment options. (The second link is titled on my toolbar as "One Name for Many Different Problems). If others feel the links are not useful then I hope they clarify why & hopefully provide better info/link(s).

http://www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/our-services/surgery/conditions/fore-limb/canine-elbow-dysplasia

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/04/16/canine-elbow-dysplasia.aspx

I hope this helps . In the meantime I hope you subscribe here & become part of this community....Whether receiving advice & support, maybe later offering it or maybe sharing better moments

No need to acknowledge this post & especially in event you don't subscribe here & this cannot make more than 5 posts.

Good Luck :)
 

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Awww I recognise those feelings you are experiencing right now, it is totally devastating to think your girls life is going to change for ever :(

Please read every bit of advise and information you can glean from everyone on here, I promise you Judy will still be able to enjoy life, it is just a matter of you being able to learn how much she can manage at any one time, and also when to stop and give her a rest, the one thing I think needs curbing is the ball retrieving, it may mean adapting how you do it, we usually get our girl to lay and wait for it to be chucked to her, others have different methods but it does'nt mean their pleasure has ended :) .

Good Luck, I hope you both manage to adapt and enjoy your walks as before.

June
 

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I'm so sorry to read your girl is poorly but believe me that's not the end of the world. There are plenty of dogs with ED living active live & really enjoying it.
I remember when I found out that Barney has ED, I was just crying for few days but then we went to see our vet who advised us consultation with specialist - Barney finally needed surgery on both elbows but he's fine now. Of course there are some restrictions in his live but he's still a happy sparkle :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks once again to all.

I really dont know why I waited 4 years to subscribe to this site!!!

Good job my missus is a strong one as I've fallen apart and feeling this emotional isnt natural for a 45 year old in the building industry

Our vet is referring us to Fitzpatricks and hoping to hear back from them tomorrow. I'm clinging onto the stuff posted by people saying their hounds have still led fully active lives and I'll give anything and everything for that to be the case with my Jude. Fingers and paws crossed.

I was on the verge of getting another pup this summer but this has stopped me in my tracks. Too much change too quick and I dont think my ticker could take it now.

Will update with news and thanks once again to all - we feel welcome already!
 

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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 girl WILL reassure you better than anyone that she 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 girl 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.

Your concern and love for your Judy spills through the screen at me. Keep posting for support and you will find it here. There are many dogs of varying ages, with varying severity of ED and each approach to the infliction is tailored to the individual dog. Give Judy a big hug - I think you need one and I think she'll appreciate one as well xx
 

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I know exactly how you feel

My boy max has been diagnosed today with ED in 1 leg gutted but optimistic after reading this forum. I guess we'll adjust to our pups new lives.

Max is having an arthroscopic op next week to remove chips of bone

Hope all goes well for you too
 

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Discussion Starter #15
maxsdad said:
I know exactly how you feel

My boy max has been diagnosed today with ED in 1 leg gutted but optimistic after reading this forum. I guess we'll adjust to our pups new lives.

Max is having an arthroscopic op next week to remove chips of bone

Hope all goes well for you too
Thanks mate - just replied on your thread before I saw this

I'm waiting on FitzpatrickReferrals to get back to my vet on an appointment and feel a bit of table banging on tomorrow if something not sorted early doors. I'm not looking forward to dealing with the insurance but least of my worries at the moment!

I'm paranoid in nature but I swear Jude's already getting the hump and depressed at not being able to chase squirrels. I'm sure she's also wondering why I'm spending so much time on the floor with her and spoiling her with massage!

Due to the knowledge I've gained on this forum I look ahead still with dread, fear and apprehension but also with confidence and inspiration from other contributors

One of the big gutters for me is we were abouts to add another pup to our gang. With what lies ahead for Judy I don't think that's fair or right so that'll have to wait till next year. Right now all our energy focused on Jude (even though the Mrs would jump at another little nutter!!!) and we'll see

Thoughts with Max also
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got a referral to FitzpatrickReferrals next Tuesday with our Jude
Not cheap but highly recommended!!!

I've been advised to stick Judy on Flex Sprinkle Green Lipped Mussel by sister in law who swears by it. Has anyone else used this with any degree of success or failure?

Fingers and paws crossed for next Tuesday
 

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I linked the Fitzpatrick Referrals earlier in this thread so as to give a little more potential info, however, I don't know anyone who has used them. Thus I cant say anything good or bad.

As with anything it can be beneficial to do homework & look at various treatment &/or service provider options before going down a given route. Procedures offered may differ depending on individual requirements & opinion(s). That said I suspect there can be more than one approach to a given issue.

Please don't take above as any criticism whatsoever, I have never met you or your dog & even if I had I am not qualified to give specific treatment advice. Do also check with your insurer before agreeing on anything if cost is in any way a factor.

As with many specialists there can sometimes be various comments online ;) , albeit it can be hard to evaluate the integrity of all comments in absence of understanding & knowing full specifics.


Good to see you have subscribed btw :)
 

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I deal with fitzpatricks daily for work as I'm in pet insurance, They are amazing. They cared for my previous lab when he had cancer.

Max would be going there but my current vet is extremely skilled at arthroscopic techniques so he staying there.

Fitzpatricks do pioneer a technique of cartiledge replacement from the rear leg its unproven right now but might be offered.

Either way its a great place. Bit like a luxury spa lol the pens even habe tv and radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
maxsdad said:
I deal with fitzpatricks daily for work as I'm in pet insurance, They are amazing. They cared for my previous lab when he had cancer.

Max would be going there but my current vet is extremely skilled at arthroscopic techniques so he staying there.

Fitzpatricks do pioneer a technique of cartiledge replacement from the rear leg its unproven right now but might be offered.

Either way its a great place. Bit like a luxury spa lol the pens even habe tv and radio.
Good to hear - most things I've seen say they are fantastic but pricey

Which brings me to my next panic up...... The insurance!!!
Do you think I can find her policy documents anywhere?! I know we've got cover as it was charged to my Barclaycard last March but big panic now as cant find any paperwork!!! Will resume tearing the house apart tomorrow
 

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Who are you with.

Fitzpatricks can sometimes have issues with direct claims anyway so you might need to pay at least 50% of the cost at treatment then claim from Insurance as they might not do direct claims

Your insurance company should be able to get docs over to you. Give them a call
 
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