A dog whose crippling arthritis became so bad he was almost put to sleep to end his misery is now able to walk again – thanks to PDSA vets in Newcastle.
Bill the Springer Spaniel was so riddled with the condition that at his lowest point he could barely rise from his bed. And when he did, he was only able to drag his back legs across the floor.
Owner Doreen Fawcett was left devastated at how quickly her loving and energetic companion deteriorated before her eyes.
She said: “Bill has suffered from arthritis for several years and was on medication for it but a few months ago he suddenly became really poorly.
“He collapsed and couldn’t walk at all. He just went downhill so quickly it was absolutely awful. I was crying my eyes out because I knew he was suffering so much.”
Tests carried out by PDSA in Newcastle found that Bill had spondylosis of the spine, a degenerative condition, as well as narrow space between his spinal discs and severe arthritis in his hips and knees.
Bill’s condition was so severe the vets considered putting him to sleep. They decided, however, to try a different treatment to see if that would help Bill.
He was already receiving an anti-inflammatory drug, together with a joint supplement but the vets decided to try adding in another medication that combats pain in a different way, as a last resort.
PDSA senior vet, Clare Hinchliffe, said, “We don’t tend to use this combination of drugs as a standard long-term treatment for arthritis in dogs but in Bill’s case it was the only option.”
Thankfully the new regime of drugs began to take effect and there was a significant improvement in Bill’s pain levels and mobility.
Doreen is thrilled at the improvement Bill is showing. “PDSA have been wonderful and, thanks to the new treatment, Bill is so much better than he was.
“He couldn’t get up at all before but now he can walk around and even climb up and down the stairs. Bill is such a happy dog, he loves everyone and he loves life.”
Pet owners can play a vital part in alleviating the discomfort caused by arthritis, as PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman explains: “We see many cases of arthritis where the pet can be helped not only through veterinary care, but also through weight reduction and appropriate levels of exercise.
“Recognising symptoms and taking early action can help alleviate pain and slow the progression of the condition.”
It’s important to keep pets mobile even in their twilight years. Older pets might look happy curled up on the sofa, but a short walk – even if it is only to the end of the road or a trot round the garden – on a regular basis, could help keep joints moving and stiffness at bay. Find out more about PDSA and what you can do to help your dog here.