Could it be osteochondritis dissecans in your labrador dog
Large dogs like a Labrador dog are more prone to Osteochondritis Dissecans because of its body size and weight. A Labrador dog has long bone and this bone has the tendency to develop cracks in the cartilage as it grows. This crack usually affects the weight bearing surface and may extend deep to the soft bone beneath the cartilage. Shoulder, ankle, elbows and knees are most commonly affected with this disease.
How will you know that your Labrador dog might be suffering from this so called Osteochondritis Dissecans? Well, as what I have said, large dogs like Labradors, German Shepherds and Rottweilers are more likely to suffer from this disease. So watch out if you happen to own one of those large breed of dogs. First sign of this disease is an intermittent limp in one front leg. Other symptoms of this disease include joint pain, stiffness and even locking of the joint. Locking of the joint is a condition wherein the joint can only be moved within the limited point. For example, a joint in the elbow is locked when it can not be moved beyond 90 degrees instead of the usual 180 degrees.
There are variations on theories on the causes of this disease. Some people believe that overweight or obese dogs are more prone to this disease compared to physically fit dogs. So therefore, diet is always important. When feeding your dog, make sure that what he get is just enough to keep him fit and nourished. Check the food contents and its nutritional value to ensure that he gets the right nutrition needed by its active body. One tip is to choose foods high in protein and fat rather than foods high in carbohydrates like corn, wheat and soybean oil. But, make sure also not to underfeed your dog.
Visit your vet to check if you see signs of OCD in your dog. Once your dog is diagnosed with this disease, treatment should be done. Ask your vet for recommendations as to what approach should be taken in treating this disease. One way, called the conservative approach, involves confinement of the dog to a pen for a number of weeks. In this period, jumping and other strenuous activity is minimized. However, this treatment only assures sixty percent chance of healing.
Surgical approach is another way of treating this disease. During the surgery, the veterinarian makes an incision and accesses the joint. He will then inspect the joint and the surrounding area for any irregularities and work to correct the problem. After surgery, vets usually recommend at least two weeks of rest and then slowly return to normal activity from then on.