Today, we have reached the final rung on our ladder. It’s time to discuss Other Veterinary Care.
Sometimes, more extreme measures have to be considered and this is where our ‘Other’ category comes in. Specialist procedures are undertaken by qualified veterinarians.
They may include:
- hip replacement – for dogs with severe hip dysplasia, sometimes a hip replacement is the last option remaining – a procedure undertaken by a surgeon with rehabilitation to follow
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections – this involves taking blood from your dog and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma portion of the blood. This fluid is then injected back into tendons and ligaments to stimulate the healing process. PRP injections seem to be the best hope for chronic tendinopathies that are hard to shift with other treatments.
- Stem cell therapy – in this procedure, adipose (fat) tissue and some blood are collected from your dog and processed on-site through a special procedure to release and purify the stem cells. The purified material is then injected into arthritic joints and intravenously to help repair damaged tissues directly and through circulation through the bloodstream.
Our dogs are benefiting from the research into regenerative medicine techniques; as our human population is living longer, they also suffer from diseases like arthritis for longer. Regenerative techniques, once proven, offer hope for chronic pain sufferers.
Depending upon your location, access to specialist procedures may be limited particularly because of the investment required for specialist equipment and training. If you feel that your dog’s condition isn’t being managed sufficiently with a mix of the other modalities mentioned in this series, then you should discuss specialist options with your vet who can refer you to a practice. (Be prepared to travel and for the costs of specialist expertise.)
I hope you have enjoyed the ageing dogs series. There is a lot we can do to help our dogs age gracefully and with a good quality of life.
Finally, a ‘plug’ for my practice, The Balanced Dog. You may have noticed my logo in all but two of the rungs on the ladder. That’s because my integrative practice focused on Fear-Free, in-home care, offers:
- In-home assessments
- Gait analysis and health history review
- Hour-long consults with an interview process involving the dog’s health and behaviour – to ascertain symptoms of discomfort, pain and anxiety
- Individual canine fitness and exercises programs
- Weight loss recommendations and coaching
- Food therapy
- Complementary therapies including canine massage, acupressure, low-level laser therapy, flower essences and supplementation recommendations
All new clients must submit a copy of their dog’s veterinary records and certify that their dog is under regularly veterinary care. Remember that we can go up and down the ladder as we re-evaluate a dog’s condition and care needs.
Got questions about this post? Please feel free to post a message or contact me through my practice, The Balanced Dog.
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand