How Elbow Dysplasia May Be Affecting Your Pomsky

Black pomsky laying on ground

Elbow dysplasia affects many dogs all over the world regardless of breed, age and other underlying conditions, and typically develops in younger, rapidly growing puppies. Though this condition does impact certain aspects of your dog’s life, they can still live happily for years after diagnosis. Your Pomsky doesn’t have a genetic disposition for elbow dysplasia, but they can still be affected by it. If you have suspicions that something is off about one or more of your Pomsky’s limbs or joints, be sure to get them checked as soon as possible to identify possible causes.

Elbow dysplasia is a very manageable condition that any Pomsky owner can handle easily to allow their pup a fulfilling and happy life. Having a good idea of what elbow dysplasia is, how it may affect your dog and when to get them checked can greatly benefit your pup in the long run. Here we’ll go over all of the signs, symptoms, treatments and effects of Pomsky elbow dysplasia.

What Is Elbow Dysplasia?

Elbow dysplasia is a common health condition that can occur in a number of dog breeds, including the Husky Pomeranian Mix. This condition can cause pain and a lack of function in the limb that is affected. The elbow joint consists of the radius, ulna and humerus. If these three bones do not properly fit together, elbow dysplasia may occur due to abnormal weight distribution.

Elbow dysplasia can be used to identify any abnormal developments your Pomsky’s elbow joint may have. This can include osteochondrosis dissecans, also called ODC, ununited anneal process, commonly referred to us UAP, fragmented coronoid process or FCP, and elbow incongruency. All of these conditions are referred to as elbow dysplasia, though they may be treated differently. Typically, elbow dysplasia comes with progressive arthritis in the elbow joint, which will also be treated and monitored by your Pomsky’s vet.

pomsky with head on sofaCauses Of Elbow Dysplasia

Though the exact reason that dogs develop elbow dysplasia is not clear, there are a number of theories as to what may cause it. Many experts believe that genetics, cartilage growth defects, trauma and poor diet may contribute to the development of elbow dysplasia in certain dogs. Unhealthy weight is also a suspected cause of the abnormal weight distribution within the elbow joint that may lead to the development of this condition. While all of these factors may play a role in causing elbow dysplasia, there is no primary cause. Many experts believe that this condition is caused by a combination of these factors.

While all breeds are susceptible, larger dog breeds are typically more likely to be affected. Since a Pomeranian Husky does have large dog genetics as a mixed-breed of Siberian Husky, they may be at risk for developing elbow dysplasia, though there is no link between this specific dog breed and this condition. Besides genetic disposition, environmental factors such as poor diet and trauma may result in the development of this condition. If your Pomsky has been in an accident or has hurt themselves before, they may be at risk of developing elbow dysplasia.

How Does Elbow Dysplasia Impact Your Pomsky‘s Life?

Given there is no cure for this condition, once diagnosed you and your pup will have to make some adjustments in your lifestyle. With simple management strategies, elbow dysplasia will not cause a huge disturbance in the life of your Pomsky.

Elbow dysplasia will typically cause pain and lameness in the affected area. This can usually be managed by your vet to improve your Pomsky’s quality of life even after diagnosis. Typically, 85% of dogs that receive treatment for elbow dysplasia will show improvement in comfort and mobility even if the disease continues to progress. Overall healthy dogs of all breeds including Pomskies that are diagnosed with elbow dysplasia can still live happy, active lifestyles with the correct treatment and care.

The main impacts on your Pomsky’s life that comes with the diagnosis of elbow dysplasia are medication and rehabilitation. Administering medication will likely become a daily activity in order to manage pain and slow the progression of elbow dysplasia. This can be a difficult task if your Pomsky tries to avoid swallowing pills, but most owners are able to easily manage. There are a variety of treats on the market for hiding medication and making this task much easier.

Rehabilitation is a common change in the life of a Pomsky with elbow dysplasia. This can include physical therapy done at home or in an office. These tasks are usually pretty straightforward, and most dogs don’t mind the process all that much. Besides having to schedule it on a regular basis, this change in lifestyle is usually not too overwhelming. 

Finally a Pomsky’s who is experiencing elbow dysplasia will likely undergo diet and exercise changes to accommodate vet recommendations, which can help manage this condition. Most dogs will not notice or even enjoy this adjustment as they get to spend more time playing with their owner or taking long walks, and what pup doesn’t love that?

Overall, while your Pomsky may experience some changes in their life due to elbow dysplasia, they usually adjust pretty easily. Lifestyle changes that come with a diagnosis of elbow dysplasia are not necessarily negative, and the pain they experience can easily be managed, allowing them to live a regular, healthy life.

pomsky taking a break from walking

Life Expectancy For A Pomsky With Elbow Dysplasia

While any diagnosis can be a scary thing to hear,  this condition does not shorten the life expectancy of your Pomsky. While they may experience some discomfort and pain from time to time, elbow dysplasia will not take any years off of their life. You can still enjoy a long, healthy life with your dog even if they are diagnosed with elbow dysplasia. This condition can develop in a puppy, an adult dog or senior dog. No matter your dog’s age when diagnosed, they still can live a fulfilling life. So don’t let the term “elbow dysplasia” send you into a panic. Your pup is still around to cuddle and play with!

Signs That Your Pomsky May Have Elbow Dysplasia

Have you noticed your dog or puppy avoiding putting pressure on one of their front limbs? If yes, and this seems to get worse over a period of weeks or months, as well as after exercise and does not seem to heal with resting and taking it easy, it may be wise to get them checked for elbow dysplasia. Sometimes both elbows may be affected, making an avoidance of pressure harder to notice as an owner. When your pup is unwilling to exercise for large periods of time at once or refuses to complete their usual afternoon walk, consider getting them checked for elbow dysplasia.

If you notice your dog walking or standing differently than they did before, this may be a sign of elbow dysplasia. Some dogs with elbow dysplasia may avoid bending or straightening the joint all of the way, which is a good sign to get them into the vet. 

Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure if your dog or puppy has elbow dysplasia without getting them examined by a vet. This condition is typically easy for professionals to notice, meaning there should not be too much involved in the diagnosis process. Professional examinations and x-rays can help to determine a diagnosis. Pomsky owners who are concerned about the possibility of their dog having elbow dysplasia can easily put their minds at ease with a quick trip to their pet’s vet office.

If your puppy or dog does have elbow dysplasia, this condition will continue to worsen with time, especially if left untreated. But don’t worry, they can still live a happy, normal life as they did before the progression of this condition. It is highly recommended to seek a professional medical opinion as soon as you notice possible signs and symptoms of elbow dysplasia.

Pomsky chewing on toy

Diagnosis Of Elbow Dysplasia In Pomskies

Diagnosis of elbow dysplasia for your Pomsky will typically consist of examinations first. During these examinations, your veterinarian may want to watch your Pomsky walk or lightly run to look for signs of pain upon bending or extending their elbow, as well as seeing if your Pomsky avoids putting weight on a specific limb. 

X-rays are very common to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of elbow dysplasia. This will allow your vet to look for signs of arthritis and or presence of minuscule fragments of bone within the elbow joint. Usually x-rays are able to diagnose elbow dysplasia, but sometimes additional methods are needed to double check the condition.

Though vets are usually able to confirm or rule out elbow dysplasia pretty easily and quickly, sometimes this isn’t the case. If x-rays are inconclusive, your veterinarian may suggest visiting a specialist in veterinary surgery to do further diagnosing. This can include possible MRI scans, CT scans or arthroscopy to obtain a clearer view of the joint. After further imaging, the specialist will work with your vet to find a correct diagnosis for your Pomsky.

Care And Treatment Of Elbow Dysplasia In Pomskies

Pomsky Elbow Dysplasia Treatment Options

Treatment options will depend on how severe elbow dysplasia is when discovered and varies greatly by case. Some may need to undergo surgery while others may just need medical management through medication and rehabilitation. Your vet will decide what is best for your Pomsky after diagnosing and gathering an understanding of the severity of the condition.

Pomsky out in rainy weather

Surgery For Pomsky Elbow Dysplasia

Typically, surgery will be advised in most cases of Pomsky elbow dysplasia. This can be performed either arthroscopically or with traditional open surgery and will be decided by your vet based on the cause of elbow dysplasia. These surgeries may consist of removing loose cartilage and fragments, adjusting your dog’s elbow joint to better distribute weight on areas that are not damaged or correcting the elbow joint and bones to be balanced. If the elbow has been pretty badly damaged, joint replacement may be an option for the best outcome. 

Surgery aftercare may vary depending on the type of procedure your Pomsky has received and what your vet feels is best for recovery. Plan on keeping your dog or puppy resting for an extended period of time that can range from two-six weeks. 

Alternative Treatments

If, upon diagnosis, elbow dysplasia is found to be very mild or severe, medical management may be recommended by your vet instead of surgery. This will only be recommended if operating is not believed to be the best option for your Pomsky. In this case, medications to manage pain and further development of the condition will be prescribed on an indefinite basis. 

Preventing Pomsky Elbow Dysplasia

Every Pomsky owner wants to make sure they are doing all that they can to keep their fur baby as healthy and happy as they can. Unfortunately there are no proven ways to prevent elbow dysplasia from developing as the exact cause of this condition is still unknown. The best way owners can avoid severe elbow dysplasia is by knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition and keeping an eye out for them. Elbow dysplasia that’s caught early when the condition is still mild is much easier to treat and manage. This helps dogs avoid surgery and fast progression when diagnosed before elbow dysplasia becomes moderate or severe. Watching for signs of pain or lameness in your Pomsky’s elbow will help their long-term outcome when managing elbow dysplasia.

Pomsky playing soccer outside

How Diet Affects Your Pomsky With Elbow Dysplasia

As of now there’s no way to reverse elbow dysplasia once it has developed. While diet may be linked to elbow dysplasia, it hasn’t been confirmed as a direct cause of the condition, though there may still be hope for managing existing elbow dysplasia through what your Pomsky eats. Studies have shown that dogs who consumed fish-based, nutrient-rich food had less severe elbow dysplasia compared to dogs who ate high-quality chicken-based food. Nutrient components of the fish-based food may have a part in helping slow the progression of elbow dysplasia and managing the condition. If your Pomsky has been diagnosed with elbow dysplasia, switching them to fish-based food may be a good way to help their journey with this condition be a little bit easier and more manageable. Always consult with your vet before changing your dog’s diet.

How To Help Your Pomsky Live A Fulfilling Life With Elbow Dysplasia

Though elbow dysplasia does need to be managed throughout your Pomsky’s life, it doesn’t mean it can’t still be a great one. Pomskies with elbow dysplasia can still live their best life possible with your help. Once you have consulted with your vet regarding a treatment plan, be sure to stick to any medications that may be prescribed and rehabilitation regimens suggested to you. Keeping your Pomsky on a consistent schedule aligned with your vet’s recommendations can help better manage their pain and slow elbow dysplasia progression.

In addition to medication and rehabilitation, be sure to watch your dog’s weight. Healthy diet and adequate exercise can help their body best combat this condition and prolong their life. Discuss with your vet how much exercise your Pomsky should be doing daily, This will depend on their age and severity of elbow dysplasia. With the right treatment and healthy living, your Pomksy can live a happy and fulfilling life with elbow dysplasia. 

And finally, be sure to love on your Pomsky just as much as you did before this diagnosis. Odds are that once pain has been managed and they are feeling relatively normal, all they are going to want is your love and affection as they did before. Quality time together is a great way to make sure your Pomsky gets the most out of their life, doing the things that they love, even with elbow dysplasia. 

Elbow dysplasia isn’t uncommon in dogs, especially in large dog breeds. While your Pomsky may be small or medium sized, they still have genes of a Siberian Husky, which is a rather large breed. This does not mean elbow dysplasia is inevitable for your Pomsky, but it can still happen. If you notice signs of possible irritation or discomfort in one of your dog’s limbs, be sure to get them into the vet to get it checked out. Elbow dysplasia may be the diagnosis, and if this is the case with your Pomsky, don’t panic. This condition can easily be managed through medical procedures, medication, rehabilitation and lifestyle changes. With the help of your dog’s vet and a caring owner, your Pomsky will still live a long life that’s full of long walks, belly rubs, playing fetch and their favorite treats! Elbow dysplasia won’t stand in the way of the best years of you and your dog’s lives.

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