The Royal Veterinary College recently completed a large study on elbow disease in UK dogs.  Researchers examined the records of over 455,000 dogs under veterinary care to determine the risk factors for elbow disease in dogs.

Here are some highlights of the study, you can read the full text of the results, published in Canine Medicine and Genetics HERE.

The breeds most prone to elbow disease are:

  • Rottweiler
  • Labrador Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • English Springer Spaniel

Besides breed, other risk factors include obesity, advanced age, male gender, and neutering.

The main causes of elbow disease in dogs include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Traumatic injury

The most common signs of elbow joint disease are:

  • Pain
  • Lameness
  • Reduced range of motion

The authors note that while there are treatments to help manage the pain in canine joint disease, prevention is important.  They advise dog owners to keep their dogs at a healthy body weight, especially if they have other risk factors, i.e. male gender, neutering, and breed.


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