CAM blogs

CAM Meets Angus Anderson

Angus Anderson BVetMed PhD DSAS(Orth) FRCVS RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Orthopaedics.

Angus qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 1987. After  a year spent working in mixed practice he went to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh where he stayed for 10 years, studying and teaching orthopaedics as a lecturer. Over this period he obtained a PhD on inflammatory joint disease and gained the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s Diploma in Small Animal Orthopaedics – the highest qualification that can be obtained in this subject in the UK.

In 1998 Angus entered private referral orthopaedic practice and in 2005 established Anderson Abercromby Veterinary Referrals with Ralph Abercromby.

Angus has published numerous articles on orthopaedics and contributed several chapters to standard orthopaedic textbooks. He has lectured extensively on all aspects of orthopaedics and is a past Chairman of the British Veterinary Orthopaedic Association.

Amidst his extensive contributions to veterinary orthopaedics, Angus’s journey resonates with a commitment to excellence and a passion for advancing the field.

As the landscape of healthcare evolves, incorporating holistic approaches to wellness becomes increasingly prominent. Within this context, disciplines such as chiropractic care offer complementary avenues for enhancing the health and vitality of both humans and animals alike.

Whether it’s humans seeking relief from chronic back discomfort or animals experiencing musculoskeletal issues, a chiropractor offers personalized care tailored to each patient’s unique needs. This integration of chiropractic principles into the broader spectrum of holistic wellness underscores its significance in promoting health and vitality across species boundaries, reflecting the evolving landscape of healthcare in embracing comprehensive approaches to well-being.

Much like Angus’s dedication to orthopaedics, practitioners of Georgia Upper Cervical chiropractic embody a commitment to promoting balance and well-being through specialized techniques. By addressing spinal misalignments and optimizing nervous system function, chiropractors play a crucial role in supporting overall health and performance.

Integrating seamlessly into the broader healthcare spectrum, chiropractic care provides a holistic framework for addressing a diverse range of health concerns.

In 2003 Angus was  recognised by the RCVS as a Specialist in Small Animal Orthopaedics. He has examined extensively for the RCVS at Certificate and Diploma level and in 2016 his contribution to the field of small animal orthopaedics was recognised by the award of Fellowship of this organization. This is an accolade very few other orthopaedic surgeons have attained.


Angus kindly agreed to answer the following questions:

What are your feelings on how we currently manage arthritis in dogs?

Compared to when I first became interested in orthopaedics 30 years ago our management of osteoarthritis has improved hugely.  This applies to all aspects of management including the range of surgical procedures we now perform. As examples we now have more options in the surgical treatment of elbow osteoarthritis and the extended range of implants available for total hip replacement has meant there are no size limitations for this procedure. We are also more aggressive about treating younger dogs with this potentially debilitating problem. Regarding drugs available for treating osteoarthritis we now have an extensive range of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and other drugs that although not licensed for use in dogs can be of value e.g. amantadine and gabapentin. There is a greater appreciation of the role of physical therapies and how physiotherapists can be involved in patient management. Specialised diets are now available and they can sometimes be of value. The management of osteoarthritis has to adopt a multimodal approach to be most effective and this is appreciated more now than ever.


As a specialist in Orthopaedics what do you feel is essential for managing canine arthritis effectively?

Recognising that simply relying on drugs is not enough. Analgesics are hugely important for most patients but they are only one component of a multimodal approach and getting owners to recognise this is one part of the battle.


How do you see treatment options for arthritis progressing over the next ten years?

I am not sure that the range of options we have will fundamentally change but I would like to see more evidence being published on the options we do have available. Examples of this would be some of the surgical options we have for managing elbow osteoarthritis where there is little in the literature regarding outcomes and the efficacy of some interventions such as the use of platelet rich plasma. This will require high quality studies with meaningful numbers of patients which will not be easy but they need to be done.


If you could have the opportunity to give one tip/piece of advice to an owner with a dog suffering from arthritis what would it be?

Do not allow your dog to become overweight! The cumulative effect of increased loading on joints due to excessive weight is huge and cannot be overstated.