Maddy is a young-at-heart, 12 year old Kelpie cross, who six years ago found her forever home thanks to the team at the Animal Welfare League in Adelaide.
Within a few weeks, her new owners noticed that she was limping on her left front leg. X-rays showed she had early arthritis in both elbows, likely due to a condition called elbow dysplasia. (Elbow dysplasia is a problem with the cartilage and bone development in the elbows that is fairly common in large breed dogs and if caught early enough can be treated surgically). Maddy was already too old for surgery, so instead started an arthritis management program - Royal Canin Mobility food and a course of joint protective injections every 6 months.
Maddy was comfortable and mobile on this program until a year ago when her limping progressed. She started to lag behind on walks, and after a long run with her friends at the dog park she would be extremely sore that night and the next day.
A repeat of X-rays showed that there was a progression of her elbow arthritis, but nothing more serious. Maddy also had a blood test to check that her kidneys and liver would be able to process the two pain relieving medications that she would need.
By using a number of medications together consistently everyday, much better pain relief can be achieved as it prevents “pain wind-up” (where the pain and inflammation itself creates more pain and inflammation). This strategy is known as multi-modal pain management and is the cornerstone of good chronic pain control.
Maddy is now feeling 100% and is back to racing around at the park and beach and once again has a big smile on her face!
If you think your dog is showing symptoms of aching joints, contact your local Vetwest Animal Hospital for an appointment.