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Meet Colby, a 15 week old Labrador Retriever. Colby presented to the clinic with his breeder at 8 weeks of age limping on his front left leg. An examination found he was painful over his left shoulder so he was given some pain relief, sedation and X-rays were taken, The X-rays revealed that the head of the humerus (the ball that makes up the shoulder joint) was completely missing.

As this isn’t something you see every day, we sent the X-ray’s off to a radiology specialist to get his opinion. The specialist confirmed that this was certainly an unusual case. He requested full-body X-ray’s to be done to see if any other joints were affected and thankfully no others were. The conclusion from the examination and X-rays was that Colby’s missing bone was most likely due to trauma at a young age, such as the bitch accidentally standing on the puppy or an infection.

The body would have then realised the bone had been damaged and absorbed the bone. Long term prognosis for Colby is unknown. One leg may be shorter than the other causing stress on the other joints. He may get early onset arthritis. He may have on-going pain issues in the shoulder, meaning the only way to give him a good quality of life would be to amputate the limb. As Colby’s case isn’t straight forward and his future unknown, his breeder wanted him to stay in New Plymouth and under our care. Thankfully the perfect parents were found with a young couple being absolutely smitten by him and were happy to take on whatever the future would hold for him.

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