My 3 year old chocolate lab has been diagnosed with severe bilateral elbow arthritis. She is on supplements, having hydrotherapy, and has had a course of Cartrophen injections. Her recent x-rays reveal the extent of her arthritis, and my vet asked for advice from an orthopaedic vet in Leeds. They said there is nothing they can do, and to continue with conservative management. I just find it hard to swallow. It feel almost like we have to accept this is going to shorten her life, and we need to keep her comfortable, and give her pain relief when she needs it. As a nurse, I know the things we can do for humans, and I can’t believe veterinary medicine appears so far behind this. I’m trying to be proactive, and am certainly not seeking for her to have radical, painful surgery if it’s going to make things worse. But, she’s only 3, I’m just struggling to accept her fate.
Yep, sadly the magic bullet is very elusive and every dog is different in terms of what drugs/therapies work, so it will be trial and error and then will change as time goes on. Perhaps regenerative medicine may be an option then? I’m not sure of the criteria for potential candidates but it might be worth researching for someone near you and speaking to a specialist about.