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Julia’s Weekly Column For The Middy

Some dogs might look threatening, but if you treat them properly you’ll find their bark is worse than their bite

When a Rottweiler growls at you, you don’t argue back!

I have known quite a few Rotties, and most are owned by very sensible people who understand how dangerous a large dog can be if not properly under control. So my patients are generally safe for me to examine and inject, but it is still hard for me to overcome a certain fear at a very basic visceral level.

As a student I recall being in a consulting room with the lovely Roger Johnson and a Rottweiler who seemed intent on ripping him apart.

Another Vet I also admired immensely had one flaw: she was genuinely afraid of Rottweilers, and declined to treat them at all. And I have since worked with a colleague whose arm is now very badly scarred after having a Staffie lock onto her with its teeth and decline to let go.

So if a giant breed like a Rottweiler should ever give me the eye, and let out even a quiet growl, I know I am going to think carefully before proceeding.

But just when I think I have my mind made up about intimidating dogs, I meet a pet like Monty. He looks like a Rottweiler on the outside, but offer him a small cube of cheese and he is a pussycat. Unrestrained I can inject him as often as I like. As long as he has his cheese, he doesn’t even notice.

Which is lucky because, like many giant breeds, his joints are starting to give him some trouble now that he is easing into middle age. His owner noticed a subtle dropping on his foreleg, and I found when I checked him over that it was his elbow that had signs of arthritis.

His owner had friends who had had good experience with a medication called Cartrophen Vet, so she requested that we trial Monty on it.

Cartrophen Vet is a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug with very long-lasting benefits. I inject it once a week for four weeks, and the positive benefits last for up to six months.

Monty stopped limping after the second injection, and became much more bouncy and cheerful once the course was completed. We found the benefit lasted for five months, when he received a single top-up dose which allowed him to return back to full bounce again. His owner was so thrilled that six months later we didn’t hesitate to prescribe another four injections.

And Monty never even curled his lip!

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