Case Report: Bilateral Elbow Dysplasia

Beamer, an eight-month old neutered male Coton-de-Tulear, was referred to the Surgical Division of the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia for bilateral elbow dysplasia.

When Beamer was about five months old his Mom noticed that he was limping on both front legs. When she took him to his regular veterinarian a few weeks later to be neutered x-rays were done. The x-rays showed that the radius and ulna (the bones below the elbow in the forelimb) were bowing on both front legs. This lead the veterinarian to a diagnosis of elbow dysplasia and a subsequent referral to the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia.

Dr. Ethan Morris found that the ulna was growing faster than the radius on both front legs making them bow out. This condition falls under the elbow dysplasia diagnosis because it does not allow for proper articulation of the elbow. This condition is also be considered to be an angular limb deformity.

During surgery a cut was made through the ulna at a designated point. This allows the radius to grow and catch up with the length of the ulna. The cut through the ulna will be healed in about six weeks as the bone grows and fills it in.

Beamer had an ulnectomy on his right front leg and was doing so well that he had the left leg done three weeks later. X-rays will be done six weeks after each ulnectomy was performed to confirm healing. Until then Beamer is confined to a playpen. We expect this lovely little boy will be able to enjoy puppy behavior and act his age in the next five weeks or so.