Jax Elbow Dysplasia

My name is Ashley and I have a 3 year old black Labrador Retriever named Jax! We live in Rhode Island and love to go outside and explore and also spend time relaxing at home! You can find Jax at @imjaxthelab

What makes Jax most special? What are his favorite things to do?

Jax has a one of a kind personality. He’s always listening to me when I talk to him, tilting his head. He also does something I call his tippy taps that look like he’s dancing! He does them when we play fetch out of excitement. 

When did you first notice that Jax was experiencing elbow dysplasia?

I took him to his vet, and they did x-rays that showed elbow dysplasia. They gave him pain medicine to help and I then was on the hunt to find a good surgeon to help Jax in any way possible.  

What steps did you take to get Jax diagnosed with elbow dysplasia?

Jax also has quite severe arthritis along with the elbow dysplasia, so at first his surgeon didn’t take Jax in as a patient because she wasn’t sure she could help him. But she called her mentor as well as other surgeons around the country and came up with a game plan of a surgery to help Jax live a better life. 

What modifications have you made to your home and routine to accommodate Jax's elbow dysplasia?

Before Jax’s elbow dysplasia and arthritis, we played outside as long as we wanted. Now the time is limited to about 30 mins each day at a time, but he still gets to play which is what matters. He’s on pain medicine to manage his arthritis and I try to keep him off of hard floors to avoid pain in his joints(which that can cause and irritate).

What advice do you have for other dog parents who have a dog with elbow dysplasia?

My advice for parents of dogs with elbow dysplasia would be to research everything you can and find out what you can do to help your dog. Even if surgery isn’t an option, there are lots of other things that can help them(laser therapy, injections, underwater treadmills, supplements etc). And lastly, that your dog will still live a good long life, it’s just finding your new normal with them. 

Has the Big Barker bed had an impact on Jax' treatment and healing? If so, how? 

Jax got his Big Barker bed after his surgery, because I knew he would need to be very comfortable and I also knew that Big Barker has great memory foam beds, after hearing about them through social media as well as looking through reviews. Even though Jax lays on the couch, he also likes to lay on the floor. To avoid that, I have him lay on the bed and he doesn’t limp when he wakes up from a nap the way he would after a nap on the hard floor. I know it will also benefit Jax as he gets older and his arthritis eventually progresses. I want Jax to be as comfortable as possible, and I myself have laid on his Big Barker bed. It’s very comfortable and is soft but also supportive and keeps its shape! 

If Jax could tell the world one thing, what would it be?

If Jax could tell the world one thing, it would be to never give up. I wasn’t sure how the recovery from surgery would go, but he was a champ. He knew he wanted to be able to play again, so he pushed to get better and even surprised his surgical team with his recovery. Jax fights everyday to this day to do the thing he loves most, which is play fetch with his ball. He’s the strongest dog I know and he has so much drive and motivation that it’s inspiring. Even through the hard and painful days, he finds a way to keep a happy panting smile on his face.