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Dog Waving Paw

Elbow dysplasia is a complex condition affecting a dog's elbow joint. The elbow joint is made up of three bones and there are several areas where the bones may be mis-formed or malaligned.

Diagnosis of elbow dysplasia

Dogs will often present with forelimb lameness at a young age, but not always.


Progressive front leg lameness which is made worse by exercise and doesn't completely resolve with rest will be evident. It will often affect both elbows.


Your vet will perform a clinical examination and x-rays and may suggest further imaging.


There are surgical options available for elbow dysplasia but sometimes dogs are just medically managed with diet, supplementation, medication, exercise modification and physical therapies.

Massage treatments for dogs with elbow dysplasia

Remedial massage therapy can be a great complement to medical management strategies. A dog with elbow dysplasia will modify their posture and movement to unload the compromised joints.


Massage helps to reduce tension in compensating musculature ensures they retain the best mobility available to them. Once there is cartilage wear and inflammation present there will also be arthritis.  Massage is adept at managing arthritic symptoms and provides pain relief and reduce inflammation in the joints and surrounding soft tissues.


Canine massage therapy is useful in both pre-op and post-op care by preparing tissues for surgery, facilitating healing and reducing pain. Whether they receive medical or surgical management or a combination of both, remedial massages will improve their quality of life.

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