How my arthritic Labrador is losing weight

This is a story all about my lovely pup Cookie. Cookie is a 10 year old chocolate Labrador and the most loving dog I have ever had ! She is so cuddly and friendly, a real people dog too.

Two years ago, she tore her Achilles tendon on the hind right leg whilst Gary and I were touring round Europe over the 6 week summer holidays. I had taken her out for her morning walk and she was chasing the ball (she loves chasing the ball) and twisted quite sharply as she came running back to me. By the time we got back to the motorhome to have breakfast she was holding the back paw off the ground fully. She was not happy.

So at this point we were in Klagenfurt in Austria, beautiful place with a huge lake. I did some googling and then rang Vets 4 Pets at Clifton Moore to find out what I should do and what pain killers I could give her. 1 Paracetamol and plenty of rest but by the next morning she was still lame so googled again for a local vet that spoke English and booked her in that same morning.

On or return to England 3 weeks later we then discovered that she had degenerative arthritis on both her ankles, or hocks as they are called in dogs (same as horses), along with a torn Achilles tendon that they wanted to operate on. However, we opted for a leg brace and gradual improvement ensued.

She was only having 3 short walk a day, no off the lead walking, no running no chasing sticks or balls.

It took a year for her to recover from the torn Achilles and she was doing great. The vet had prescribed her You Move, which she has been taking every day and that has helped her arthritis a lot. It has glucosamine and chondroitin as well as manganese to help support and maintain healthy cartilage, tendons and ligaments around joints.

Whenever Gary and I go on holiday, Cookie goes to stay with Jackie and Hedley and their two black Labrador bitches. She loves it there ! About a year ago they told us about giving their pups turmeric to help with their joints, so after researching it I found that you can make a simple mix. Heat turmeric gently in a pan with olive oil and add a sprinkling of black pepper to activate the curcumin. This increase its absorption into the body.

So then Cookie was taking the You move and the turmeric in olive oil with her breakfast every day. She was back to 2 walks a day, 30 mins each and even some stick and ball chasing ?

About 3 weeks ago I noticed that her other hock was a bit red and swollen.

We had just been chasing the new tennis ball that I had gotten her, not a great idea but she was doing so well and loves chasing the ball so much. Basically, I had set her back and now her other leg was suffering. Not a great feeling ☹.

She was hardly putting any weight on her left hind leg and the right previously injured leg was having to support most of her weight. I kept her in for 5 days, letting her go out for necessities only. I was placing a cold flannel on her hock to reduce the swelling and inflammation and now I added 1ml of CBD high quality oil to her breakfast and dinner. CBD is a great pain killer and anti-inflammatory and that helped to get it back under control.

Our CBD oil is totally safe to give to dogs as it has no THC, which is the psychoactive chemical that gives the high. CBD oils can have up to 0.3% THC legally to be sold in the UK, but that’s why I prefer our products as they have none. Olympic athletes and professional sports people can take our product safe in the knowledge that they are not ingesting any THC and not going to fail a drugs test.

I also placed the support that she used to wear on her right leg onto the left whenever we are out on our walks. This helped her to put more weight on it. But because she had 5 days with no exercise I noticed that she was putting on weight. The last thing we needed as now her joints were under even more stress.

Amanda Potter recommended only using the brace when out walking and not round the house to reduce the possibility of reducing her muscles mass. So that’s what we are doing now. Brace on when out for walks, no brace at home so she can maintain some movement.

So this week, on the 11th May, I started her on a new fitness regime, along with reduced food intake and a brand new bed. I also ordered her the Senior Your Move, which has added Omega 3 fish oil and Vitamin C which is also good for her joints.

Cookie’s new bed is orthopaedic, and she absolutely loves. It’s made from memory foam, has a plush surface and even came with a free bone squeaky toy! This gives her more support on her joints, so she gets a more restful sleep. Sleep is the most important factor for our bodies to heal and recover, as well as enabling us to lose weight. Amazon are amazing and it arrived the next day.

I have reduced her breakfast and tea amounts by a quarter, but she still having her Yumbone at lunchtime, after her swim. She is also having slices of apple, strawberries or blueberries as treats instead of doggy treats. She will eat anything ! When possible I opt for fruits with Vitamin C.

Our new fitness regime consists of 3 walks a day and a swim a day. In order to stick to these times and for them to become a new habit for me and for Cookie, I have set 4 alarms on my phone. We go for walks at 7:30am, 4pm and 7pm and we go for the swim at 12pm.

Our walks are limited to 10-15 minutes each, but I will increase these to 20 mins over the next few weeks as she loses weight. We go to a different part of the village for each walk too, so she is getting different sights and smells ?

For the swim we have been going to Naburn, which is about 10 mins by car. There is a nice ramp just by the Ouse Sailing Club where she can safely and easily get in and out of the river there. Cookie is a strong swimmer and loves to fetch a stick or ball, though she swallows water with a ball so we have been using a stick, that actually came from our apple tree !

She is a bit reluctant at first, I’m guessing the water has been a bit cold this week. She has been fetching the stick between 6-7 times. Swimming is by far the best exercise for her as it is not weight bearing, but also 1 min swimming for dogs is equivalent to 6 minutes running so I don’t want her to over do it. We will build this up to 10 fetches over the next few weeks. I do think she has lost weight already after only 5 days and is walking better too. No hobbling.

On Friday I saw Sara Mason walking her black Labrador Luna with her husband through the village. I waved to say hello and as we got closer, she commented on how much better Cookie was walking. No prompting so it was great to hear ?. She even got a comment about her weight-loss but having no way to measure her weight it is all visual at the moment.

Sarah did give me a great tip, to weight myself first and then pick Cookie up and weight both of us. I hadn’t thought of that ! So seeing as it is the end of week 1, wish me luck ! I just need to get Gary to check the scales whilst we are both on there and stop her from wriggling to get down.


Joyelf orthopaedic bed and You Move are available on Amazon, the Turmeric mix you can make at home and the CBD oil is available on my website or give me a call on 07798 911 071.


  • Angela Milburn
    23rd May 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Great to hear that Cookie is improving so much!

    11th June 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Oh bless Cookie, she looks a really lovely old girl. I’m glad she’s doing so well.

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