Labradoodle Ursa was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia at two years old, and subsequently with spondylosis at three. She has arthritis in the ED affected leg which I have managed with osteopathy and hydrotherapy pretty much since her surgery five years ago. The spondylosis used to cause all kinds of compensation issues, which took ages to diagnose. I moved vets about two years ago because I really wanted a vet who was interested in collaborating in the care of a dog with a progressive condition rather than doling out pills. A friend with a young Labrador with connective tissue/joint issues recommended Paul at Lewes Coastway so we switched. Paul has a particular interest in orthopaedic conditions, and so he’s perfect!
When we visited early this year, he suggested that Ursa might be carrying more weight than she should, so she went on a diet and came down from 28.3kg to just below 25. The change in her is remarkable: her gait pattern is vastly improved (she used to pace a lot), no limping when walking and running and hugely improved stamina on walks. The only real evidence of her arthritis is that she’s a little stiff on rising after a rest, but that wears off after a few seconds.
She was on a low dose of Previcox, so when I went back in the summer for a new prescription I was really delighted to hear Paul suggest that we could try doing without it: her weight loss has really given her a new lease of life.
So one of the reasons I’m nominating my dog is because she’s just the sweetest creature you could ever hope to meet – until March of this year I ran a B&B and Ursa featured in the glowing reviews all the time.
But the other reason is seeing how weight loss has transformed her – and transformed her future too – is that I have been inspired to follow my own regime and I now know how she feels. So far I’ve lost 14kg and there’s plenty more to go, but even so I understand how transformative this is for me and for my dog.
We keep fit together and without her I know I’d never be out in the woods or up on our favourite cliff-top walks. She’s transformed my life.
Best Staff: Paul Lawrence
Because Paul listens and is willing to collaborate in the ongoing care of a dog with arthritis. This is a completely different experience for me: I prefer to see the same practitioner (and not just “whoever is doing small animals that day”) and I want more than a repeat prescription when we visit.