8 weeks ago, we took our Sarah to Dr Stewart Halperin for Regenerative Medicine Therapy. At that session she was treated with had Plasma Rich Platelet therapy, Arthramid, steroid injection and lubrication during the surgery. Medication wise, we added Amantadine to her regime.
I really didn't know what to expect. Would the effects be instant? Would we start to see improvement in a few days or weeks or months? Would it work at all?
She regained her mobility quite quickly but still stumbled on her right hind leg for a while. When that sorted itself out, she decided to stumble on her left hind leg. A week after surgery we also added twice weekly hydrotherapy to her physiotherapy routine using the 10 metre pool at the House of Hugo.
As I walk behind my girl at least 3 times a day, I constantly took videos of her walking which I could refer to for changes. For five weeks, it seemed that not a lot was happening. But then she started to walk symmetrically, balanced and with more confidence. And her thigh muscles began to appear. This was quite evident as she developed alopecia over her operation area - meaning she has two baldy patches over her thighs. You could see through to the muscles - not good for her but good for me to judge progression. You can see in the video here, when she stops, she quickly corrects her hind leg placement. A couple of months ago, a rapid turn like that would have sent her legs flying in different directions resulting in a fall.
Dr Halperin also removed her bad front teeth. Now that doesn't sound a lot, but she must have been in pain from them. Removing that discomfort seemed to help with her mobility recovery.
Yesterday we had our 8 week review back at his Chiswick surgery. I was looking forward to a fresh pair of eyes assessing the outcome. Encouragingly, he was pleased at the change. He agreed with us that a major improvement is how she stands up from a sit with less effort. He followed us walking down Chiswick High Street while taking a video for his records and agreed with my opinion, which is that she is clearly pushing from her rear legs now rather than pulling with her front. Meaning she is regaining strength and confidence from her hips and thighs.
He performed a physical examination. Her wrists no longer crackled when moved, her elbows and shoulders felt more solid and her right hip had considerably more movement. She still showed some reluctance in her left hip, but hey, any relief to her discomfort of bone rubbing on bone has to be a benefit and a result.
It was decided she did not need a top-up this time. The plan now is to continue with the medication and physical therapy routine with a review around Christmas time.
As I said a month ago in my first post about her surgery, "it's just arthritis" doesn't have to mean the end. There are options for relief including physical therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, medication reviews with your Vet, laser therapy, making simple but effective dog friendly changes inside your house (we’ve just added ramps everywhere) plus all the new innovations coming along which can give us dog Dads and Mums, more hope now.