I took my herding dog Hope to Mountainside Veterinary Rehabilitation to see Dr. Carlson as she had injured a muscle in her upper right front leg as well as her toe. Through rehabilitation involving acupuncture, chiropractic and massage as well as exercises to assist the muscle in healing, Hope is back competing. Dr. Carlson provided excellent care as well as taught me how to continue to support Hope as a working dog.
Cooter was adopted from a rescue in Washington in 2009 after my husband lost his Labrador, Roscoe. We picked him up after a night at Brewfest in Placerville where my husband enjoyed the night, and I was the DD driving to Washington after.
He had a wonderful life and enjoyed many adventures but then in 2018 I noticed him get up and there was a very subtle awkwardness to it. It was gone as quick as I saw it but, being a vet, I thought the worst and took him in for radiographs. I found severe elbow arthritis that I couldn’t imagine him not having a more severe limp. Maybe it was the Omega 3 he had been on since he was 7 years of age or the Wapiti Labs Mobility he had been on since 5 years of age but he had shown no signs before this.
For those that aren’t aware, elbow dysplasia/arthritis is a very hard condition to treat in dogs as they carry more of their weight in their front legs. We immediately started him on Galliprant, an anti-inflammatory so that the inflammation would be controlled which would slow the boney deposits and give him some relief. We also started him on a treatment plan of Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy and soft tissue work. We tried superpulsed cold laser, but it didn’t give him as much relief as acupuncture. We also purchased him a PEMF bed from Respond and that made a huge difference, he loved his nightly treatments.
He did well until 2019 when I noticed that he was getting a little stiffer. I tried radial shockwave therapy, and it helped but I wasn’t getting the control I wanted. So, we made an appointment at VCA, and he had his first PRP injections for his elbows. It was the game changer. Based on his response I purchased my own PRP equipment and continued his treatments. He was able to go 6 months between treatments and if you didn’t know he had dysplasia you couldn’t tell as he had no limping/discomfort until 2021.
2021 we noticed he wasn’t responding as well but after a great trip to Shelter Cove where he seemed to improve amazingly our hope was renewed. Not 1 week later our chow hound came in for dinner and slowly ate, very out of character. Again, as a vet I thought the worst and took him in immediately for an ultrasound. Cancer. He had a tumor on his spleen that had ruptured, his gums weren’t pale, and he seemed better in all ways but for these tumors if they rupture there is a >90% chance they have already metastasized. We made the heartbreaking decision to let him go before he had to experience all the possible outcomes of these tumors.
I thank him for being such an incredible inspiration in the treatment of my future patients with elbow dysplasia. Without him, I wouldn’t have gotten as comfortable with the use of PRP, radial shockwave or PEMF beds.