Last year, in June, we got Scott, a sweet Old German Shepherd, aged four months at the time. Scott was a dog with a good pedigree from a good breeder – an important aspect for us, since we wanted a dog who would stay with us for a long time. The first months went by without a problem, and Scott grew to be a strong young boy. In September he limped a bit on his right front leg, so we took him to the vet. He got some drops and after a couple of days the lameness was gone. Scott did well in his obedience training and became a good friend for us and for our four children. He played a lot and was very fond of tennis balls. We thought all was good with him.
Around Christmas, he started limping again with his right front leg and even making complaining sounds, so we returned with him to the vet, who also discovered that Scott was walking strangely with his hind-legs. To be on the safe side, we made x-rays of his hind and forelegs (Scott was then 11 months old). When the vet came back with the results, he told us drily that it would be best to put him down, since he had very severe arthritis both in his hind and forelegs, which meant nothing could be done. Waiting a while longer would mean that we would only get more attached to him (Scott was like a child of ours). We had to process the news and our children were very affected – how can anything be wrong with him, as he still walked and ran very fast? And now what?
It was clear for us that we would not put Scott down. He still played a lot and was too cheerful and sweet for such a drastic measure. We sought an orthopaedic veterinary surgeon who could give us a second opinion. His advice was not to operate Scott, since he had no good leg to stand on, and so many operations would not benefit him. There were also the costs to be considered.
Searching on the Internet, we came upon Dr. Aharon. On her website, I read the testimonies of people who came to her with similar problems. We were relieved after our first appointment with her. She checked Scott and felt that his front left leg was sensitive and that he still had growing pains, but on his right side, she felt a lot of muscle mass, which could give him a strong support.
She advised us to give him another kind of food, specifically made for growing problems and gave us some exercises for his muscles, telling us that Scott could very well recuperate. Indeed, an operation was not a real option with a dog with so many joint problems. We must make sure he doesn’t play with tennis balls anymore, but simply walks a lot, 20 to 30 minutes a couple of times per day. The vet gave Scott Rimadyl tablets against the pain. But since he didn’t limp anymore, we decreased the amount from two tablets to one.
We changed Scott’s food, and realised after a number of weeks a positive change in his way of walking. His fur also looked better. It appeared Dr. Aharon gave us very good advice and now, half a year later, Scott is still doing great. He runs, plays and swims, and it looks as if he never suffered from anything. We know that as he gets older, this would not be the case anymore. But it is still great to have our sweet dog with us and to see him free of pain, and without having to undergo expensive operations.
Dr. Aharon still checks on Scott, but because he walks so well, she doesn’t need to do much and we hope that it stays that way. Our advice to you is to go first to Dr. Aharon before you decide to operate your dog, or before you put him down.