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.


Director & Registered Specialist Small Animal Surgery

Alastair graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science in 2003, and worked in mixed animal practice in Ashburton for 18…
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August 31, 2020

We understand that the COVID-19 virus can cause stress and uncertainty for all of our clients. We want you to know that we are following the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, the NZ Ministry of Health, and the NZ Veterinary Association to ensure that the risk of transmission of the virus is reduced in our hospital. We are working hard to ensure that we are able to stay fully operational and continue to provide care for our clients and their pets.

There is currently no evidence that animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19 to humans, or vice versa.

From Monday the 31st of August, the Auckland region is under Alert Level 2.

Veterinary Specialists Auckland will continue to operate under Alert Level 2.

If you have any questions or need more information, please view our COVID-19 page or feel free to get in touch by clicking the button below.

Thanks, the VSA team.