Solo, a young active and very lovely working spaniel, came to see us back in January with an abnormal gait, most noticeable when he was running. He was not stretching out and was arching his back. No obvious cause was found but his posture when walking indicated some discomfort and a course of anti inflammatories were prescribed.
We saw Solo again a couple of weeks later still displaying an ‘odd’ walk, he struggled to get up, his back legs were stiff and his back hunched.
His owner said he was a dog that didn’t show pain easily, so his manner and obvious mobility problems made her worry that Solo was in pain and that something quite serious was going on. His back legs appeared to be struggling to support him and he was lame on his left front leg. He was shivering as though in pain and we suspected a possible spinal or joint injury.
It was decided that Solo should be referred for a CT scan and further diagnostic tests.
X-rays and CT scan revealed that Solo was suffering from a condition called Incomplete Ossification of the Humeral Condyle or IOHC. The condition occurs when two parts of the elbow do not fuse as they should. The condition can cause exercise limitations, and most dogs will show lameness and signs of pain. Solo hid any discomfort he may have had and because he loved to work so much he didn’t let the condition slow him down. Unfortunately his bravery and relentless energy caused part of his elbow to fracture. The CT scan showed that both his elbows were affected and surgery was needed.
Solo has had to learn to take things easy these past weeks, which I think he may have found hard! He will be assessed again to check that his elbows are now as they should be, and with a gradual increasing exercise program with his owner, Solo should be working fit again soon.