Cornell is looking for a few good dogs (actually puppies!)
Do you have a puppy under 12 months of age that’s occasionally lame in
front or stand with its elbows tucked in? If yes, you should get him/her
evaluated for elbow dysplasia.
Large-breed dogs like Labradors, Newfoundlands and Rottweilers can suffer
from a forelimb lameness when they are puppies, which may result in a
significant lameness later in life.
One of the more common causes of this disability is a bone problem within
the elbow joint called fragmented coronoid process, or FCP. The condition
is a result of the ulna (one of the three bones that makes up the elbow)
growing faster than the bones next to it, creating extra pressure in the elbow
joint and causing the ulna to chip.
For year, veterinarians have been removing the bone chip to help dogs
heal, but this treatment does not prevent the dogs from developing arthritis
later in life. Now Dr. Ursula Krotscheck, assistant professor at the College
of Veterinary Medicine, is evaluating if an additional procedure to treat
FCP that may prevent arthritis for these dogs in the future. When Dr.
Krotscheck removes the bone chip in dogs with FCP, she also makes a cut in the
ulna that allows it to rotate out of the way, reducing any unnecessary
pressure in the elbow.
“The ulna is a non-weight bearing bone, meaning that a cut in it will not
affect the dog's gait or comfort,” she explained. “The bone can sink down
if it needs to relieve pressure. And the dogs heal completely after six to
Dr. Krotscheck is conducting a study funded by a grant from the Morris
Animal Foundation. Dogs with FCP under one year old are randomly assigned to
have the traditional treatment or the new method, and then followed for a
year after surgery.
To date, eight dogs have entered the study, which is completely free to
their owners. Twelve more are required before Dr. Krotscheck will have any
preliminary results. Drs. Margret Thompson, a lecturer in Radiology, Jeremy
Rawlinson, PhD, and Rory Todhunter, professor of surgery are collaborators
on the study.
“We have hopes that this procedure will improve the lives of these dogs,
and help them maintain healthier joints later in life,” Dr. Krotscheck said.
For more information regarding this study or to make an appointment, Dr.
Krotscheck can be contacted at the Cornell University Hospital for Animal
(607) 253-3060 or at firstname.lastname@example.org