29 March 2016
Toby is a 5-year old male Labrador mix. He loves all the typical Labradorian things in life: running on the beach, surfing waves, and eating a big bowl of food afterwards. This is Toby’s life now, but three years ago he either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do any of these things.
Toby had juvenile medial compartment disease of his elbows, which had worn down the cartilage and he was walking on the underlying bone. While minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgery confirmed this diagnosis, it was not able to relieve Toby’s pain completely. Thankfully, the cartilage damage was restricted to only one half of the joint, meaning that Toby was a candidate for Sliding Humeral Osteotomy (SHO) surgery. This surgery realigns the weight distribution within the elbow, so that less weight is transferred through the damaged cartilage. Over time, the joint pain subsides and “scar” cartilage regenerates over the damaged bone.
Toby followed a strict rehabilitation and recovery plan, which was quite challenging for an energetic Labrador teenager. After six months, Toby was running around at the beach again, and three years on he is still able to keep up with his sister at the beach, but requires joint supplements every few months to help maintain his active lifestyle.