51 Leicester Road Hinckley Leicestershire LE10 1LW

Email: enquiries@fairfieldvets.co.uk

Fairfield Pet Stories

Fairfield Veterinary surgeons Terry Dunne and Geraldine Young write "Interesting Pet Stories" articles for the Hinckley Herald, published by the Hinckley Times.

View our Pet Stories below from dogs, cats and all kinds of other pets and wildlife. The stories are all genuine cases from the Fairfield archives.
Warning: Some images may be upsetting for some viewers.

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"Teal" Springer Spaniel with Arthritis and possible IOHC

It always seems to surprise people how common "arthritis" is in the canine population particularly young dogs. Osteoarthritis is accepted as a "wear and tear" process in humans that culminates in a stiff and painful condition after 50 or possibly 60 years. It is obvious that our pets do not live that long and although a working Springer Spaniel like "Teal" may rack up the miles even she should not be able to produce worn out joints like hers after 5 years without a predisposing disease.

"Teal" was presented to me at Fairfield as a "problem lameness". It was clear on examination that she had become persistently lame on her right front leg. Further radiography of her elbows demonstrated a very severe arthritic process in both legs with the presence of a number of large boney osteophytes within her joint space. These boney projections had become so significant that even under sedation I was unable to extend her elbow to it's full range of movement. This inability to fully extend her elbow resulted in "Teal" effectively having a "short leg" on her right side. Interestingly, had Teal been affected to the same degree on both left and right front legs her lameness would not be so apparent as both legs would effectively be short but the same length!

Surgery to remove the offending otesophytes is usually futile as they simply reform within a relatively short time. Treatment is largely based on physiotherapy to help improve the range of movement and the use of anti-inflammatory medication to allow "Teal" to maintain good function.

It has been proposed that a condition regularly seen in Springer Spaniels (IOHC; incomplete ossification of the humeral condyles) that involves insufficient hardening of the bones of the elbow as a puppy may have given rise to "Teal's" current predicament. Remarkably, like so many of her stoic canine compatriots "Teal" never complains and continues to make a mockery of this "painful" disorder. Currently, like so much medical research these days genetic profiling is being undertaken at the University of Cambridge to try and gain further insight into this potentially debilitating condition.

Terry Dunne

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Fairfield Veterinary Centre

51 Leicester Road,
LE10 1LW

Tel: 01455 637 642
Fax: 01455 631 898


Emergency Number
0116 255 6360

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