Canine Arthritis Management – The Big Walk

100 miles, 8 days, 9th – 16th September 2017

1.2 million dogs in the UK are suffering with canine arthritis. This staggering statistic affects approximately 80% of all dogs over the age of 8 years – it is likely the most common reason owners elect to put their beloved pets to sleep. Hannah Capon MA Vet MB MRCVS and her 14-year-old Collie Holly plan to change that.

Hannah has given up a successful 15-year career in veterinary to focus her professional skills and knowledge on educating people about this neglected and misunderstood disease. Hannah wants to show that the lives of beloved family animals can be improved and prolonged by simple effective management of the disease with little or no cost. With a few simple adaptations to lifestyle, diet, and owner attitude Hannah is helping pet owners and the veterinary industry to understand that stages of arthritis and to offer fascinatingly simple approaches to support pets with the condition.

To kick off the Canine Arthritis Management education campaign Hannah and Holly, her Collie who suffers with canine arthritis, will walk 100 miles along with South Downs Way, Sussex, to raise awareness. Holly will travel in a specially adapted cart, pushed by Hannah, for periods where she’s unable to walk.

Local dog owners from Winchester to Eastbourne will be encouraged to meet up with Hannah and Holly along the way, share their experiences and help spread the word.

Hannah Capon explains: “The Big Walk #thebigwalk is a huge adventure for both Holly and me. It’s a very popular route with dog walkers and I hope to come in to contact with many people and share our story. I have been a vet for 15 years and have seen countless people struggle with losing pets that they feel have “gone off their back legs”. Arthritis does not happen overnight, it’s a neglected disease that can be managed effectively with a few simple changes. The sad truth is that an arthritic dog will have been in pain for months if not years and coping undetected.   Eventually the day comes when they simply cannot cope anymore, and then they give up. I want to improve awareness of the pervasiveness of arthritis. By changing perception of how dogs show signs of pain we can identify the disease much earlier, act sooner, and extend the life and the quality of that life.”

For more information and details on the route visit www.caninearthritis.co.uk/thebigwalk