Elbow dysplasia is a painful, developmental disease that affects the elbow joints. The disease has a genetic basis, but nutrition and other factors play a role as well. Large breed dogs (such as Great Danes and Labrador retrievers) can be affected, as well as smaller dogs, like Dachshunds. Elbow dysplasia is essentially a failure of the bones and cartilage in the joint to grow and develop properly. Affected dogs experience pain, varying degrees of lameness, and may have elbow joints that are nonfunctional.