Breeds at Risk for Ununited Anconeal Process

Ununited anconeal process is a type of elbow dysplasia (ED) that includes fragmented medial coronoid process, osteochondrosis of the humerus, ununited anconeal process, and articular cartilage injury. These disorders are associated with varying degrees of joint instability, inflammation, and loose fragments within the joint that result in lameness and osteoarthrosis. This is a serious problem in large breed dogs. The present study was performed at a guide dog training school. This is important because dogs that are most appropriate for guide work are nowadays golden retrievers, Labradors, and German shepherds that have a high genetic disposition for ED.3

Ununited anconeal process occurs primarily in large and giant dog breeds, such as the German Shepherd Dog, with make dogs being affected approximately twice as frequently as female dogs. In about 30 percent of animals both limbs are affected. Clinical abnormalities are the result of the progressive degenerative disease of the elbow. Dogs may show lameness as early as 4 months of age. The lameness is intermittent and may get worse after exercise or prolonged rest. The advantages of knowing which breeds of dogs are at increased risk for ununited anconeal process are evident.

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Administration of hyaluronic acid, enzymatically hydrolysed collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and gamma oryzanol (Hyaloral) to animals diagnosed with elbow dysplasia significantly reduces clinical signs and symptoms. Moreover, giving this dietary supplement to Labradors starting at the age of 3 months may protect against the progression of osteoarthritic changes associated with elbow dysplasia.3


  1. Elizabeth LaFond, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Gert J. Breur, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS and Connie C. Austin, MPH, PhD. Breed Susceptibility for Developmental Orthopedic Diseases in Dogs
  2. Osteochondrosis of the Shoulder, Ann Johnson, DVM, MS Diplomate ACVS, The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS)
  3. Efficacy of an oral hyaluronate and collagen supplement as a preventive treatment of elbow dysplasia

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