Wednesday 7 December 2016

PDSA medication brings new lease of life for arthritis-stricken dog Bill

Published 01/11/2016 | 10:51

Bill, an 11-year-old springer spaniel, was so riddled with arthritis that he could barely get out of bed (PDSA/PA Wire)
Bill, an 11-year-old springer spaniel, was so riddled with arthritis that he could barely get out of bed (PDSA/PA Wire)

A dog who was almost put down due to crippling arthritis is walking again thanks to a pain-killing treatment.

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Bill, an 11-year-old springer spaniel, was so riddled with the condition that he could barely get out of bed, and when he did he dragged his back legs on the floor.

Owner Doreen Fawcett, 64, from Walker, Newcastle, wept when she saw how quickly her once-energetic companion had deteriorated.

She said: "He collapsed and couldn't walk at all. He just went downhill so quickly it was absolutely awful. I was crying my eyes out because I knew he was suffering so much."

She took him to the PDSA vets in Newcastle, where x-rays showed how badly the arthritis had affected his spine, knees and hips.

He had suffered from arthritis for years and was on medication but a few months ago he went downhill rapidly.

PDSA senior vet Clare Hinchliffe said: "Because Bill's condition was so severe, we had to consider putting him to sleep. But we decided, with Doreen's approval, to try a different treatment."

Bill was already receiving an anti-inflammatory drug and a joint supplement, but vets decided to try adding another medication that combats pain in a different way, as a last resort.

Ms Hinchliffe added: "We don't tend to use this combination of drugs as a standard long-term treatment for arthritis in dogs but in Bill's case it was the only option."

It has worked and now Bill's condition has improved, Ms Fawcett said.

She added: "PDSA have been wonderful and, thanks to the new treatment, Bill is so much better than he was.

"He couldn't get up at all before but now he can walk around and even climb up and down the stairs. Bill is such a happy dog, he loves everyone and he loves life."

The PDSA said older dogs need to be exercised regularly to maintain mobility and keeping their weight down can ease the strain on joints.

The PDSA is a veterinary charity which helps pets through prevention, education and treatment.

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