Saturday, 26 March 2011
Osteo Arthritis In Dogs
Bailey on Wednesday in sunshine
The last few weeks have seen my beatiful Bailey blossom as he goes through one routine after the other in training with Maxine the wonderful behavourist that visits our home to help me re train Bailey after the loss of sweet Taffy.
The training programmes began with basic steps at first to sessions involving lead work and walking with other dogs. He has been brilliant and I look forward to every new command and game we play which as an owner feels really special. Each day starts with small rewards inside the home followed by lead work/walks outside and then the training session in the garden. Working from home as an artist I appreciate I have the time to do this as I spend hours a day with my pet. I take breaks from painting and these are even more relaxing times to work with my dog.
Unfortunately during these training sessions both Maxine and I have picked up a problem in Baileys front shoulders and legs. At times he appears to limp slightly or walk differently. He hasn't had longer walks during the training sessions so this puzzled me. In fact he has had shorter walks while training with more focus on each new command. When Bailey was a young pup we were advised he may have elbow dysplasia but following specialist advise then and care as he matured all signs of the problem seemed to vanish so we had hoped this wasn't an issue.
We took Bailey to the vet this week where under aneasthetic x-rays we could look into what was really going on. Bailey has Osteo Arthritis. His x-rays showed very clearly where the problems lay. I feel so sorry for him because this condition can get worse as he ages. We return to the vets on Monday and will be looking into ways to handle making Baileys life as wonderful and comfortable as possible. Sadly we have been advised to avoid long walks which is such a shame for a young dog who adores running as fast as he can. His diet will be easy to monitor as he eats healthily already and is not over weight.
The mental stimulation he recieves from his training sessions will help so much to keep him happy and will now become even more important. I am going to research all the options for treating dogs with osteo arthritis. I know Maxine will be able to help me when she visits next.The vet has been fantastic so with help Bailey will still have a wonderful life.
As Bailey was under aneasthetic we have also opted for health reasons to neuter our dog which was a very hard decision to make. I realise it wouldn't be wise to breed from Bailey as his problem could be genetic. I also understand that prostate cancer in male dogs is a risk I don't want to put my wonderful boy in danger of. There were other issues that we were advised could be improved if the operation took place. Bailey has bounced back very quickly from his trip to the vets and is waiting by my side for his next treat and game so I had best get off this computer!
Any Bearded Collie owner will tell you it is absolutely impossible to ignore big brown eyes pleading for the next game or playtime!
I have been asked so I will mention,yes. I have contacted Baileys breeder to let them know how Bailey is which is always wise and in my view the correct thing to do when health issues arise.