7-year-old Pebbles’ owner brought her to WVRC’s Internal Medicine Service because Pebbles had been experiencing limb weakness and troubles jumping, which had been worsening over the past few months. Pebbles could no longer jump, her rear feet had flattened out, and she was very hesitant to put weight on her front right foot. Her owners also noticed that both her front feet had become more “webbed” and her knees snapped when she stretched.
Previous to visiting WVRC, Pebbles’ primary veterinarian performed radiographs, which revealed that Pebbles had arthritis in her hips and prescribed medication. Unfortunately, the medication did not help her condition, so WVRC’s Dr. Brinson performed additional testing.
Dr. Brinson conferred with Dr. Rudich (radiologist), and Dr. Hurley (surgeon) on Pebbles’ radiographs and all confirmed that Pebbles had rheumatoid arthritis. Due to this condition, Pebbles had broken down her carpi (wrists), which had resulted in her walking down on her wrists. Because wrists are not equipped for weight bearing, Pebbles had repeated trauma to the skin and pressure sores started to form. Her tarsi (ankles) were also beginning to weaken, but no permanent damage had begun.
Dr. Hurley performed arthrodesis surgery on Pebbles, which put rods in both of her front legs, to permit better comfort and mobility. Postoperative radiographs revealed good joint alignment, complete obliteration of the articular surfaces, and appropriate implant placement.
It will be three years this August since Pebbles’ surgery and her owners report that she is very comfortable and back to running. We are so excited to see her progress and wish her many more years of running around!