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Lester's History

Lester is a 12 year old Fox Red Labrador who I've owned since he was 2 years old. I rehomed him from The Home Office as a 'failed' prison sniffer dog in 2010.

Lester has loved being a pet dog although I continued his gun dog training which he enjoyed. He looned around with Lincoln, my other Labrador and they have had a lovely 7 years or so with good health

Lester started becoming lame in 2017, initially left foreleg which resolved and then right foreleg which he would go intermittently lame, seen by physio and put on joint aid supplement. Lameness appeared to resolve.

Lester became acutely lame on his right leg in 2018 and despite rest and treatment with  Metacam his lameness wasn't resolving.We went to Eastcott vets to see their orthopedic specialist in May 2018 and Lester had a CT scan where he was diagnosed with Elbow Dysplasia, Medial Coronoid Disease and Bilateral Shoulder Osteoarthritis

At that point his lameness was noticeable but not too severe so we decided not to do anything too invasive.Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and knowing what I know now I may have asked the specialist to clean this joint out whilst he was under, but we are where we are.

We  were recommended to continue with daily metacam and try hydrotherapy.

I felt treadmill hydrotherapy was actually making him worse so we discontinued this after 8 weeks. He was  already receiving regular Canine Massage and still does to date

Roll on to present day and things have gradually deteriorated to the point that Lester was noticeably continuously lame on his R fore and able to walk less and less. He remains on Loxicom and Paracetamol and a good joint supplement, Winston & Porter.

At various times we have tried Green Lipped Muscle, Boswelia and most of the popular supplements with little difference to this particular joint

So August 2020 I decided now or never for a more invasive intervention. We have no insurance now so the decision came down to what was affordable and  avoiding too many sedations/GA's.

Lester is now 12 but in good health  and bright in himself he enjoys walks and retrieving dummies. He is a happy, laid back boy who doesn't fret about things like my other Labrador so I knew he would cope well with the procedure which could be done at my usual vet surgery.

So after doing some research and listening to other people's experiences, I've opted for Arthramid\Aquamid injection into this joint to see if we can get any relief, if it works it may help him to shift weight more evenly through his limbs and enjoy up to 6-12 months benefit. Fingers and paws crossed !




August 2020

Lester at his worst Aug 2020

So what is Aquamid?

Aquamid also known as Arthramid is basically a hydrogel that is injected into the joint capsule, It's been used mainly in horses especially in Australia/New Zealand. I heard about it through a friend's experience and also the Canine Arthritis Website Canine Arthritis

This site gives a simple overview Aquamid

and here for Arthamid

02/09/2020

Lester was fasted from 9pm yesterday and arrived bright and early outside the vets at 8.15am.So the protocol will be to inject his right elbow with 2ml of Aquamid and a steroid, Depro-medrone . This was to be done under sedation rather than GA. Lester remained at the vet all day and I collected a very subdued boy at 4.30pm The procedure had gone well although Lester was still sore he came home and ate well and slept well all night

03/09/2020

This morning Lester is really thirsty! drank loads as soon as he got up, ate well, tried a little walk but although initially bright he was reluctant to walk much at all so we came home. He remains lame and still shifting weight off his right front. He has taken it easy all day slept most of the day, he walked up the stairs this evening. As always I would like immediate results!

Hoping that he's just sore post procedure. This evening he became a bit restless and was panting and wanted to go out in the night, not like him, but in between these events he slept well, I can see he is managing the stairs better.

04/09/2020

This morning he is bright and running around the garden! keen to go on his walk so we went a short way he is moving better and not frequently stopping, he wanted to go further but we kept it short. This seems like the steroid taking effect, but it's lovely to see him moving better however short term it may be.


Post procedure

Lester post joint injection

Lester 2 days post joint injection

06/09/2020

Quick update -Lester doing well still, far less weight shifting between front legs and today he's done 2 walks without any negative effects! I promise I will adjust his harness too :-)


4 days post injection

10/09/2020

Over a week now since the procedure and Lester is still doing well :-) He's had 2 walks today, the video below is from his second walk.Prior to his injection he'd have become really stiff following his first walk and would be noticeably lame. I'm pretty pleased with how he is moving for an afternoon walk! He remains on his daily Loxicom but I haven't felt the need to give him Paracetamol. I've made an appointment for physio assessment and hydrotherapy next week so we'll see how that goes

8 days post procedure

18/09/2020

Lester hasn't been as good this past week, I've noticed the familiar lameness and weight shifting off his R foreleg. Today especially he seems less happy, we may have walked a bit far yesterday :-( (stupid me as we have his first hydro today!) I still don't think he's as lame as he was prior to the procedure but definitely no progress. I'm presuming the effects of the steroid are wearing off, just hoping the Aquamid is gonna take awhile longer.


Lester hydro

1st Hydrotherapy

27/09/20

We have definitely plateaued :-(  no real change over the past week , no worse no better but shall remain optimistic that something may change.

07/10/2020

5 weeks now since Lester had his injection, I wish I could say we have seen noticeable improvement but in reality we haven't :-( I've even upped his pain medication a bit (Paracetamol)

He's had a further Hydro session and also had Laser treatment on both elbows following this.

There's still time but sadly I think Lester may be an unresponder

5 weeks since injection

22/10/2020

Over 7 weeks now since Lester's injection and I can't honestly say I've seen any noticeable benefits, which is disappointing. He's no worse, and I'll continue with his hydrotherapy and laser therapy whilst we can afford to do so.

02/11/2020

So we are nearly at 9 weeks now and for the past week I'm wondering if something has changed, Lester seems to be walking better especially during the second half of the walk. A few people have remarked that he looks less lame when they see him initially and I've observed at times he seems to be putting more weight through his right leg when he is standing. He also seems to be moving faster at times and is less stiff after resting, they are subtle changes and he still has moments when he 'hobbles' abruptly but maybe some good news?

4th Hydrotherapy