Mia, a 4 month old Springer Spaniel, was presented to Vetwest Carine limping on her right forelimb after playing in the backyard. Dr Greg Carson, our wonderful veternarian examined her and found her to be painful in the elbow region. He sedated her immediately and took some radiographs.
Because Mia's elbow had not fused (ossified) properly she was prone to fracture of the lateral (outside) aspect of the humeral condyle if she did anything that involved a sudden jolt through her arm (eg. when landing from jumping off stairs or over a fence). She had not broken her arm at this stage but the recent activity had probably given her a jolt through an unstable joint.
After much discussion, a decision was made at the time to rest Mia and recheck her in a month to see if the bone had properly fused as Mia's owner did not want to subject her to preventative surgery. About half of these dogs will fracture and half will be OK so we crossed our fingers that Mia would be in the good half.
Mia's surgery went well and she recovered uneventfully and was back using her leg again two days after surgery. She was well confined for a month and healed without any dramas. Mia is now happily running around like a normal puppy.
Fractures in puppies are common, and often require surgery to stabilise them and provide fast and effective return to full function. In Mia's case she is very happy she had surgery.