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The Story of Whiskey

Patient Whiskey, Singapore Special, Male, 16 years old
Owner Katherine Lim
Main Issues Geriatric Support Care, Osteoarthritis, IVDD, Muscle Atrophy, Pain Management

Medical History

Due to old age, Whiskey has been suffering from osteoarthritis and IVDD for the past 2 years and has not been able to get up or walk on his own for a year. By the time Whiskey came to RA, he is in such intense pain that even the daily NSAIDS (non-steroids anti inflammatory drugs e.g. Cartrophen), pain medications (e.g. Tramadol) and morphine patches prescribed by the vet could no longer hold off the pain. He started to display symptoms of teeth chattering and shaking. His entire spine, especially the lumbar invertebrate was so painful for him to be touched that he would attempt to bite anyone who touches him except his owner. This gave the wrong impression that he was aggressive when it was really his way to avoid contact. Due to the constant intake of painkillers and NSAIDS, his blood works has started to show elevated liver values despite taking conventional liver protectant supplements. Owner was also cautioned that Whiskey might suffer from the side effects of some of these conventional drugs which includes diarrhoea, loss of appetite and vomiting. Severe muscle atrophy had set in in his rear hind limbs as a result of his reduced mobility. Knuckling and weight bearing on front limbs and elbows were observed. At this point, Whiskey’s vet and owner were considering if euthanasia might be a better option since Whiskey’s qualify of life was almost non-existent. However, unwilling to give up, his owner found RA’s website after searching for other ways to help him besides conventional medicines.

Therapy Conducted

Initial part of therapy focused on reduction of pain and inflammation so that reliance on NSAIDS and pain killers may be reduced. Hence LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy), infrared therapy, electrical stimulation and light weight proprioception exercises were used mainly. Owner implemented the recommended home care diligently which included placing anti slip mats, ice-packing on acutely inflamed areas, nightly heat therapy with massages and gentle core muscle building exercises. Whiskey was also placed on additional human grade supplements such as Omega-3, Vitamin E, vitamin B, glucosamine and activated Curcumin. Aquatic therapies were introduced after his pain was noticeably reduced. Therapy was intensive during the first 3 months and subsequently scaled down as Whiskey’s conditions improves.

Outcome of Therapy

Generally, the time required to rehabilitate any dog is twice the time that they have suffered the condition. However, Whiskey was able to stand and take small steps after 2 sessions of intensive rehabilitation. Over the next few sessions, Whiskey was able to be slowly weaned off the morphine patches and NSAIDS and in time he was able to get about his daily life without pain medication. While it is most effective to administer pain killers and NSAIDS on the onset of pain and inflammation, studies have shown that these have their own side effects with prolonged use. Consequently, his blood works started to improve. After 2 months, he was able to get up on his own, jump up cars and go for his regular walks at his favourite beach. He has become such a chill dog that anyone was allowed to handle him. With conventional vet care and physical therapy, Whiskey is proof that senior dogs with age related diseases could still have a good quality of life. Currently, he continues to come for his “chill out” sessions at RA fortnightly as senior dogs generally are not so active at home and tend to go into muscle atrophy very fast.


Cold Laser Treatment

  • The role of cold laser treatment and osteoarthritis.


NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation)

  • The role of NMES and Canine muscle atrophy prevention.


Osteoarthritis, Arthritis
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is defined as the progressive and permanent long-term deterioration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. 


Importance of Omega 3 in Osteoarthritis
Did you know that fats and oils are a necessary part of a near to complete diet for dogs? A diet that provides about 10-15 percent fat (for normal, healthy adult animals) is best to maintain health.



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