Chest Bone Deformity in Dogs

Alex German
Feb 05, 2010
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Surgery remains the only treatment option for repairing this deformity. However, if the disease is mild and your dog only has a flat chest, then it may be improved without surgery. In such cases, your veterinarian will instruct you in manually compressing the chest in such a way that will encourage the sternum and costal cartilages to take on a more convex shape.

In some dogs, a splint application will work to reduce the mild defects. However, in cases of moderate or severe inward sinking of the sternum, surgery is indicated for correction of the defects. The technique used by your veterinary surgeon will depend on your dog's age and the extent of the problem. Dogs with respiratory problems that are directly related to this condition, meanwhile, generally improve substantially after surgery and will start breathing more comfortably.

Living and Management

Prognosis is very poor for severely affected patients, but a timely intervention and reparation at an early age may help improve the prognosis. Follow your doctor's guidelines for physical therapy at home if your dog has a mild form of the condition.

After surgery, your dog may feel sore and will need proper rest in a quiet place, away from other pets, active children, and busy entryways. You might consider cage rest for a short time, until your dog can safely move about again without overexertion. Trips outdoors for bladder and bowel relief should be kept short and easy for your dog to handle during the recovery period.

Your veterinarian may also prescribe a short course of pain killers until your dog has fully recovered, along with a mild course of antibiotics, to prevent any opportunistic bacteria from attacking your dog. Medications will need to be given precisely as directed, at the proper dosage and frequency. Keep in mind that over dosage of pain medications is one of the most preventable causes for death in household animals.

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