Case Study: Fred

11 Year Old Labrador x Staffordshire Bull Terrier
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What clinical signs were first noticed? A year after Fred’s IBS was diagnosed, he also had pancreatitis during this time, he was tripping and stumbling both front and hind limbs which initially worried the owner as she thought he may be neurological, however this was ruled out.

Any behavioural changes noted during this time? Although still a happy dog he displayed some difficulties exercising although motivated by other dogs playing with him.

What was the length of time before veterinary intervention was sought: Concerns were raised when he began to trip, approximately a year after his IBS diagnosis.

What was the veterinary diagnosis given: Bilateral hip arthritis, with his left hip being of greater concern. A year later upon x-ray it was suggested he have both hips replaced however this option was rejected due to his age.

What diagnostic tests were used?: Veterinary examination, X-rays, CT scan and arthroscopy.

Were there any coexisting conditions which meant treatment had to be altered or changed to suit the individual animal? Yes, Fred has IBS which means he could not be prescribed NSAIDs and needed Tramadol and Gabapentin instead. For this he also has a daily dose of Omeprazole to help the IBS.

Which pharmaceutical/ NSAIDs were prescribed?: Gabapentin, Pardale, Amantadine, Tramadol- with the pre-existing IBS long term pain relief was more difficult to prescribe.

Were any dietary alterations or supplements used?: Started Youmove some years ago, has since needed to increase dose of Gabapentin and added Pardale and Amantadine. More so due to the IBS Fred has all his meals in a slow feeder which works very well and slows him down and prolongs his eating time to approximately 15 mins.

Any lifestyle or home adaptions made following diagnosis?: Fred sleeps on an orthopaedic dog bed and his owner has found that keeping him warm (he sleeps in front of the fire) is the key to managing his arthritis. Limited running when on off lead walks. Fred is not allowed to go up flights of stairs anymore due to stumbling and he is also lifted in and out of cars for journeys. The flooring that Fred regularly uses has been treated with non-slip paint to increase traction and increase his confidence in his ability.

Was the dog’s daily exercise altered following diagnosis? Yes, although still allowed off lead exercise, running has been limited to avoid joint concussion.


Any complimentary therapies used? E.g. hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture etc? Regular physiotherapy sessions but cannot go to hydrotherapy at the moment for worry of flaring up the right side.

If used what did these therapies aim to target? Aiming to target the hips to build muscle in a functional way without causing too many compensatory postural adaptions. All therapies must be of low impact/ low exertion exercise so not to cause undue stress or tension which may flare up the osteoarthritis and potentially the IBS.

Have the clinical symptoms improved, worsened or stayed the same:
Since initial diagnosis Fred has had his medication increased accordingly in order to manage the pain (anti-inflammatories still not an option).