a condition of the elbow that is typically seen in dogs from 6 to 12 months of age and usually affects dogs of large to giant breeds.
There are three bones that make up the elbow in canines: the humerus is the bone above the elbow and the radius and ulna are the bones below the elbow. UAP occurs when one of the bones in the elbow does not fuse properly.
The anconeal process is a bony protrusion in the elbow joint that should fuse to the end of the ulna by the time a dog is 5 months old. If the fusion does not occur, it is known as UAP. The anconeal process becomes a loose, bony fragment that ultimately causes damage to the joint and speeds the progression of degenerative joint disease in the affected elbow. The condition is likely caused by the uneven growth of the two lower leg bones, but can also be attributed to Osteochondrosis lesions in the joint (for more information, see Osteochondrosis Dissecans under veterinary orthopedic procedures). Surgical correction is the only method for repairing the joint and slowing or halting the progression of elbow dysplasia.
- Most often occurring in young German Shepherds, Basset Hounds and Saint Bernards
- Symptoms include:
- Lameness in involved limb
- Possible swelling and tenderness around the elbow joint
Surgical options for correcting UAP include the use of screws to permanently attach the anconeal process to the ulna, the removal of the anconeal process, and ulnar osteotomy, which relieves pressure on the UAP. Depending on the age and size of the dog, as well as the type of procedure that would provide the best prognosis for full recovery and prevent further development of degenerative joint disease, the surgical procedure will be chosen by the board certified veterinary surgeon and pet owner to provide the best possible results.