Case Study: Cooper

5 Year Old Labrador
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What clinical signs were first noticed?

Cooper has had an odd gait since he was a puppy, which then progressed to shifting lameness since 2014. When this did not resolve he was diagnoseded with bilateral elbow arthritis.

Any behavioural changes noted during this time?

Cooper did not act like a usual young dog, he was often very quiet and subdued.

What was the length of time before veterinary intervention was sought:

Cooper’s owners have had concerns about his joints since he was 9 weeks of age and have had several consultations with the vet to discuss concerns.

What was the veterinary diagnosis given:

Bilateral elbow arthritis

What diagnostic tests were used?:

Physical examination and x-rays (of which 40+ were taken)

Which pharmaceutical/ NSAIDs were prescribed?:


Were any dietary alterations or supplements used?:

Cooper was placed on Youmove advance and he was also placed on a diet following advice from his physiotherapist as the excess weight he was carrying was causing undue stress on his compromised joints.

Any lifestyle or home adaptions made following diagnosis?:

Under physiotherapist guidance, Cooper’s owner has made several home adaptions such as restriction of going upstairs, the use of non-slip socks as runners. The owners have also stopped ball throwing & are now using brain games & scent work. As instructed, they are also performing exercises such as passive range of motion to maintain and improve mobility and comfort at individual joints.

Was the dog’s daily exercise altered following diagnosis?

Walks have not been limited significantly but made to be consistent- with a total of 20 minutes per day with no large variations in timing in order to avoid flare ups.

Any complimentary therapies used? E.g. hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture etc?

Hydrotherapy & canine massage therapy

If used what did these therapies aim to target?

Improved range of motion in all four limbs and control his pain to prevent any postural adaptions as a result of coping with pain.

Have the clinical symptoms improved, worsened or stayed the same:

Improved dramatically, Cooper is now acting like a 5 year old dog and is enjoying a new lease of life now his pain is under control and has increased muscle mass to support his frame.