Chase began as a happy, crazy and active puppy. It was around 9 months of age that I started to notice something was wrong. He was outside (it was winter) running around like usual and he suddenly fell. He never fussed about hurting himself so as per usual he popped right back up and tried to run to me. I noticed he had a limp. My initial thought was he tweaked his ankle or sprained it and he needed time to heal.
We did the usual vet trips, got some medication, an xray, etc.
It had been months and his leg was no better. I can remember taking him out for a short walk, within 3 minutes his limp was so bad he could not walk. I had to carry him back to the house (and he is not a slight fella!). Another troubling moment came when he was out in the backyard and he kept laying down after walking a few steps. It was awful and my vet was out of her element.
I did a lot of research through medical/veterinary sites and studies. I discovered he was displaying all the symptoms of elbow dysplasia (which had an occurrence rate of less than 1% in shelties).
I was finally sent to an orthopedic specialist, who took a series of x-rays and was still not sure what was going on. I had brought research with me and showed him what I believed it was. He wanted to confirm so off Chase’s x-rays went to a even special-er specialist. Sure enough, Chase had elbow dysplasia in both legs, along with oestoarthritis.
How could a puppy have this many problems! Chase was the first dog that was mine, I picked him out, I bought him and I was responsible for taking care of him. I started wondering where I went wrong, did I pick the wrong dog, the wrong breeder or did I do something wrong raising him? These questions would not change things.
I needed to spend my energy helping Chase get his life back!
The specialist wanted Chase on Metacam. I was too trusting and bought the Metacam right away (for about $70, yikes!). I gave Chase one dosage, it smelled awful too, then I did some research later that day. I was not impressed by the things I found. For example, people reported their dog going into liver failure after only a week on the medicine.
I thought: Chase is 1 years old, he has so much life left to live. How could I put him on this powerful, harmful and sometimes deadly medication each day?!?
The specialist had also mentioned putting Chase on Glucosamine. This is a natural and very safe medicine.
More online research showed me that human glucosamine can be used on dogs, making it cheaper and readily available. Being a full-time university student, money was an issue as well. I confirmed with my vet that human glucosamine was safe for dogs.
So, I put Chase on Jamieson liquid glucosamine (HCL) and later added Ascenta Omega 3 supplement. Both of these brands are natural and Canadian!
After a month or two, Chase’s leg lameness/limp were gone! He was back to an energetic puppy and even started running again! Chase has been on this routine for about 9 months now and he is doing great!
I hope my story can help other dog owners, regardless of the dog’s age!