If you were to own an Otterhound or a Clumber spaniel for
example then the debate is not so much whether your dog
will have a problem with it's hips but only to what extent.
"Bailey" is also an increasingly common example
of problems that I see with elbow arthritis in Labradors.
At the age of only 15 months he has a fairly severe expression
of osteochondrosis and subsequent osteoarthritis affecting
his left elbow. Consequently, the range of movement in his
elbow is considerably reduced.
This type of disability is all too common amongst his breed
type and the focus of treatment is aimed at slowing further
degeneration of his joint. Whilst appropriate medication
is very important the mainstay of successful therapy is
A recent study demonstrated that a lean Labrador lives,
on average, 2 years longer than an overweight one. Given
the high prevalence of joint disease it is very easy to
understand the significance of this study.
Fortunately for Bailey his owner is all too aware of his
needs and keeps him in excellent condition allowing him
to lead as active a life as possible. He may not grace any
winning podium but he will certainly enjoy himself trying!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
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