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Olympian Gail Emms releases video to raise awareness of Osteoarthritis in pets

Milton Keynes’ Olympian and MBE, Gail Emms has released a powerful video of her pet dog, Rafa, in pain in a bid to raise awareness of Osteoarthritis in older pets.

The uncomfortable-to-watch footage shows the 14-year-old West Highland Terrier in agony and discomfort as a vet manipulates his joints. After examination, the vet confirms Osteoarthritis is present in both shoulder and hips joints, which is a common disease in dogs.

It is estimated that there are over six million dogs in the UK and 80% of those dogs aged eight years or over are affected by Osteoarthritis [1], and even 20% of one-year-olds have been known to be affected by the joint condition.

The breeds most affected by the joint conditions are Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, although it is said that Osteoarthritis will affect 1 in 5 dogs across all breeds.

Over the past year, Gail noticed Rafa’s mobility had dramatically decreased and was unable to sit comfortably, he started to limp when walking and could not manage the backdoor step. “Rafa was a 30th birthday present for me and he’s been by my side since,” said Gail Emms. She adds: “Most recently, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in his ability to walk and manage basic movements around the house. It’s heart-breaking to think that your pet is in any form of pain or discomfort and I feel guilty that I hadn’t done anything sooner to support him.”

Through a recommendation by vet Philip Kilkenny BVSc MRCVS from the Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, Rafa was subscribed a natural joint supplement called Antinol, which reduces inflammation and targets joint pain. During the course of treatment, Gail recorded the progress of Rafa on her social media channels and returned to the vets after six weeks.

The three-minute video shows vet Phil Kilkenny conducting a follow up assessment. He says: “Rafa seems more comfortable and less vocal when I examined him today. He seems to be coping with things like stairs a bit better so all looks very good. It (the joint supplement) seems to be having the desired effect.”

Later footage shows Rafa jumping the step he previously struggled with and running with greater mobility. Gail adds: “To look at Rafa you would think he’s a different dog. It is incredible to think that the Antinol supplement has made such a huge difference over a short period of time, he’s a much happier, more active and healthier dog because of it.

“Our pets will often hide their pain and adapt to their condition, which will give most of us a false sense of ease, but secretly they’re hiding a debilitating condition that can be treated.

“I hope the footage I’ve had recorded helps to raise awareness to other pet owners about the prevalence of Osteoarthritis in pets and inspire people to visit their vet and seek treatment before the onset.”


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