November 26, 2018

Unilateral congenital elbow luxation in a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


In 2004, a 7 week intact Cavalier King Charles spaniel was diagnosed with elbow luxation. Essentially, elbow luxation is when the bones connected to either side of the elbow joint do not fit properly and are thus dislocated from the joint. This occurs often in humans following a fall or accident. In the litter of 3, there was one stillborn and a healthy male along with this female. The parents of this litter had previously given birth to a separate litter that did not contain any birth defects suggesting that this specific birth defect may or may not be genetic. In addition, all the bones in the area were are normal in size and density. The origin of this birth defect was uncertain. Closed reduction of the joint proved unsuccessful forcing the veterinarians to perform surgery by open reduction and the placement of the transutilateral pin. After the surgery, the dog was required to wear a splint and after 4 months of rehabilitation, the puppy returned to full weight bearing on the affected leg. The interesting thing about this article was this was the first case of Congenital Elbow Luxation in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Although CEL is almost unheard of in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the article points to possible hereditary traits in the lineage causing this. The article specifically says that. "Continued study of newly reported CEL cases with particular attention to history and pedigree is needed to support or disprove the heritability of this condition. Until further studies have been done, it is advisable that dogs with congenital elbow luxation are not bred.” (Heather L. McDonell) There are no other reported cases and the source of this disease is unknown which makes this specific case fascinating. 





Summary by Matt Halper



Unilateral congenital elbow luxation in a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Can Vet J. 2004;45(11):941-3.