"Mia" - Labrador with Genetic Joint disease
It is an unfortunate consequence of working as a veterinary surgeon that a significant portion of my professional time is spent delivering bad news. It has been postulated by some, that this accounts for my miserable countenance although a "design" fault or my "dour" ancestry is probably more likely. Nevertheless, I am continually inspired and impressed by those clients who receive the information with a positive outlook and determination to make the best of their circumstance.
Six months ago, "Mia's" owners were summoned to my consulting room to be informed that their 5 month old Labrador puppy had a genetic joint disease (osteochondrosis) leading to premature osteoarthritis which would require lifelong support and treatment. Unfazed by the news, they have endeavoured to ensure that "Mia's" outcome is as optimal as possible.
Ensuring that her weight is kept within tight limits, exercising her appropriately despite her boundless enthusiasm, practising physiotherapy regularly, attending the hydrotherapy pool and administering her medication have resulted in "Mia" functioning at near normal levels. In contrast, "Mia" never understood the guarded prognosis I was giving. Consequently, she returns to my consulting room as if each time I am delivering the news that she has won the lottery and behaves accordingly; although the liver treats might be a more plausible explanation! Blissful ignorance is indeed a welcome advantage to our canine patients and it is hard not to smile, even for me, when "Mia" exhibits that "joie de vivre" that we could all benefit from emulating.