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PONSONBY PEOPLE + THEIR PETS ASK ALEX Each month Dr Alex Melrose answers readers’ pet related issues. e-mail yours to:


Just wondering if I can bring Maxi in one day this week, around lunch time, as I am really worried about him? I’d like to get his back legs and hips x-rayed. Everyone thinks he has got something wrong as he is struggling to stand straight at times and has lost much of his strength.

Also, is there a supplement he can go on to get his legs stronger? I know he’s getting on, (12 next month) but this seems to have happened quite quickly so I just want to rule anything out. Hopefully he doesn’t have to get knocked out for the above but let me know how drowsy he’ll be. Thanks, C, St Mary’s Bay.


Good plan to get some pictures, will give us plenty of information on why he is rapidly dropping back-end strength. We will be able to look for arthritis, disc degeneration, cartilage damage, bone spurs and chips, and vertebral bridging.

Despite how well behaved Maxi is, to get good x-rays of this area we will need to give him a general anaesthetic to allow proper positioning and get full muscle relaxation. We need him dropped off early in the morning, with no breakfast. An empty stomach removes the risk of possibly aspirating some stomach contents while under GA, as well as us having cuffed tubes in place in Max’s airways. Supplement wise we want him on Fish or Flax seed oil for its inflammatory modulating EFA’s, and also Glucosamine to assist joint surface repair. We also have a range of very safe non steroidal anti-inflammatory arthritis meds we can choose from. While he may be getting on at age 12 I’m sure there’s many things we can do to assist Maxi’s mobility and comfort for the next few years of his pampered life, we have loads of patients here at the clinic many years older than that (21 is the eldest!). See you and Maxi soon. (DR ALEX MELROSE, BVSC MRCVS) PN VETCARE GREY LYNN, 408 Great North Road T: 09 361 3500

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DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  

Christmas issue - covering December and January - news/views and all that is happening in and around Ponsonby