Sunday, 23 November 2008

Arthritis?

Well, yes and no. Arthritis is a useful catch-all term that covers many different conditions. When making the acupuncture appointment for Ollie, Helen Gould said "it sounds like this is spondylitis - I would expect a good pain-relieving result with this condition", so of course, I have to investigate spondylitis in dogs. Google can be a blessing (or a curse) but on balance I would not like to return to a time when I couldn't easily search for information.

The description of Spondylosis Deformans perfectly matches Ollie's symptoms and the illustration at the bottom of this page mirrors the bone overgrowth and "bridges" that have formed and can be clearly seen in Ollie's X-rays.

This is his upper back and the three areas marked in red show where osteophytes have joined up and the two vertebrae are fused. Sadly this is not all the fused bones, just the ones that show up best. Of the pair marked in green, the left-hand vertebra clearly has a bone spur growing.

This is his lower back. On the pair marked in red it is obvious how the two vertebrae are fused together. The pair marked in green are where we believe the current problems to be. The gap between the osteophytes is about 1mm and we think it is these two bone surfaces which are grinding together if Ollie moves in such a way as to bend his spine just enough for them to catch. It sounds awful, but he will be in less pain when the condition progresses further and these two spurs fuse together.

There is more information, but not much, here.

On this hip x-ray the top of the left femoral socket shows some degradation, but nothing to be too concerned about at his age. The right hip can clearly be seen on the x-ray (but will not scan) and is in fairly good condition.

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