Bonnie and Fergus are Labradors, and Rosa is a Cocker Spaniel. Much of their life is spent zooming around the countryside, on long walks in the forest, swimming— they’ll even turn their paw to paddle-boarding.
Aimee is this furry threesome’s camerawoman, social media assistant and adoring pet-parent.
When Bonnie was little, Aimee noticed a problem with her mobility. At first, she thought it was nothing, but her owner-intuition told her something wasn’t right.
“I think she was maybe 7 or 8 months old. She sort of skipped a little bit on her front left. So we rested her, but it happened again a couple of months later. It was like a misstep. Not a proper limp. So we took her to the vets. They examined her and said she was fine.”
But the same thing happened again, and this time Bonnie refused to walk. Aimee knew there was a real problem and took her to the vet practice where she works.
“To be honest, I was a bit pushy, but I knew she wasn’t right. She had a CT scan, and they found a little fragment of bone in her left elbow.”
Bonnie was going to need surgery the next day.
“The surgery didn't go quite to plan”, says Aimee. “They cleaned the joint up but couldn’t find the fragment, so she had to have a second trip to the CT scanner to find it. Then she needed another little incision to clean it out.”
Bonnie’s road to recovery was a long one.
“She initially had six weeks of bed rest before the vet signed her off and said she could go for hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. We did a little bit of physio at home, just very, very gently. And then we started hydrotherapy which she absolutely loved. She still absolutely loves it, so even now, we keep up with the occasional hydrotherapy session.”
Aimee knew that after surgery, Bonnie was likely to develop osteoarthritis (OA) in her future.
“It was so frustrating to know she had this injury because we've always been so careful with her! You see people with puppies, walking them six or seven miles at four or five months old—but I used to set a timer for 10 minutes when she was little. I didn’t let her go upstairs, and she didn’t jump off the sofa. I followed every rule in the book and was so careful, but she still had this injury.”
After any joint surgery, there is a much higher risk that the joint will develop osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disease requiring long-term multi-modal management.
Bonnie was young when she had her surgery, and Aimee knew that now she needed to support her long-term mobility and joint health with a powerful joint supplement.
Working in a veterinary practice means that Aimee has access to a huge variety of supplements, and she was determined to find the best one for Bonnie.
“I did a lot of research! I had made myself my own little table of what each supplement had in it. It’s hard to compare them because everything's got different levels in it; they use different units and ingredients. It was a nightmare.”
“I can’t remember how I came across Antinol®. We had a box delivered to work, and then I met another dog who was using it, so I'd already got it at the back of my mind. It always gets really good reviews online too. It's difficult for me to compare Antinol® to anything else because it’s made in a different way, with a different process to anything else— it just seems that bit better!”
Aimee gave Antinol® a try with Bonnie to support her long-term joint health, and now, she is also feeding it to Fergus. He is a 5-year-old, so she wants to give him the best chance to stay active and mobile, and she is confident that Antinol® will help.
Bonnie and Fergus have been having Antinol® for almost 2 years now, and Aimee would recommend it to anyone concerned about their pet’s mobility.
“I've definitely recommended it to other pet owners. I always suggest it for younger dogs as well, because it's something that they can have long-term. It’s really easy to feed too. I can literally give it to them out of my hands.”
The recovery process was a tough one for Bonnie and Aimee. We asked what advice she would give to other pet-parents facing a long return to normality after surgery.
“Keep their brains busy. I remember taking Bonnie to the pond and sitting in the car boot with her, watching some ducks and little boats for two hours at a time—just so that she could stimulate herself with something that wasn't the living room.
Get lots of enrichment toys for your pet, and know that they will have good and bad days. Just take the good days.”
Thankfully Bonnie doesn’t just have to watch the ducks from the car anymore. She is back to swimming and getting out into the wild with Fergus, Rosa and Aimee.