What is the fragmentation of the coronoid process in dogs? How does it manifest and how is it treated?
The leading cause of forelimb lameness in large dogs, fragmentation of the coronoid process should be classified as elbow dysplasia. It is, in fact, the result of lesions affecting a very specific part of one of the bones of the forearm of the animal. Let’s see the characteristics of this disease, as well as its diagnosis and treatment.
Fragmentation of the coronoid process: what is it?
To discuss this problem, which mainly affects large dogs, it is first necessary to recall what the coronoid process is.
The coronoid process corresponds, in fact, to a bone point located on the ulna, a forearm bone comparable to the ulna in humans. 2 coronoid processes can be distinguished in dogs: a lateral and a medial. It is the medial that is affected by fragmentation since it supports the weight and pressure exerted by the middle of the humerus, the dog’s arm bone (between the shoulder and the elbow).
The full form of the term for the disease is, therefore ” fragmentation of the medial coronoid process ” (FCP). It is one of the different forms of elbow dysplasia.
How is FCP diagnosed?
When it comes to fragmentation of the medial coronoid process, establishing and confirming the diagnosis requires CT. This is the only method that allows a reliable and precise examination to be carried out.
Indeed, due to their reduced size, lesions affecting the coronoid process cannot be detected effectively by a simple X-ray. However, theX-ray may highlight symptoms associated with the disease, such as osteoarthritis.
It is by noting lameness in the dog that the veterinarian can suspect the fragmentation of the medial coronoid process and request a thorough examination (the scanner, therefore). It takes into account other factors such as the breed and age of the animal.
Treatment of the fragmentation of the coronoid process in dogs
Fragmentation of the medial coronoid process in dogs is a condition that is effectively treated today. The prognosis is favorable in the vast majority of cases: 9 out of 10 young dogs and up to 8 out of 10 adults.
The treatment of fragmentation of the medial coronoid process is provided by means of surgery, and more specifically by arthroscopy. In other words, a miniature camera is introduced into the affected joint.
The method offers the specialized veterinarian who operates the possibility of having a detailed visual rendering of the lesion. At the same time, arthroscopy allows him to treat it with optimal precision.
Once the operation is completed and the dog is taken out of the veterinary clinic, the dog will have to observe a period of rest of one and a half months. The animal should therefore not perform any physical effort and walking should be reduced to their simplest expression during this period. It is therefore recommended to limit yourself to outings of a few minutes, enough to allow the dog to defecate.