Thommo has had sore front feet for a while - he'd seem fine for days then be three-leg lame on one front foot or the other. A fatty lump on his right foot confused diagnosis but radiographs today confirmed that he as osteoarthritis in both feet. Other joints seem clear for the moment.
Arthritis results from destruction of the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones that make up the joint. Cartilage destruction can be the result of normal stress on abnormal joints or abnormal stress on normal joints.
Thommo does subject his toes to quite a bit of stress through a pouncing action as he stalks sticks and toys. He uses the same pounce to come to a stop on the contact obstacles.
There has been lively 'debate' in Australia over the ANKC's decision to remove slats from the A-frame and DogWalk last year. However, though some say dogs can no longer tell the difference between the Dog Walk and the Teeter, the absence of slats will allow Thommo to continue with agilty for a while longer.
I'll limit him to one or two runs a day and watch him carefully. I know from my own arthritic hands that it's usually a day or two after exertion that I feel the pain so I'll certainly start off with a "less is more" approach.
Cartrophen Vet - a series of weekly injections for four weeks, in conjunction with
Sasha's Blend - a combination of marine concentrates with high natural anti inflammatory and joint protective properties, it contains the full range of GAGS (glycosaminoglycans) including Keratin, Dermatin, Heparin sulphates and the commonly known Glucosamine & Chondroitin sulphates which provide the necessary nutrients required to stimulate healthy joint function.
Rimadyl (carprofen) - for occasional use to manage severe pain.
We've cut back on swimming with the cold weather - but I'll get the wetsuit out and alternate swimming and walking. They both need to lose the couple of kilos they put on while I was away, also.