Baxter was only 5 months old when he was diagnosed with immune-mediated polyarthritis. He is a black male Labrador puppy who is in a great home with a caring family. His upbringing had been quite normal and there was no obvious cause or reason for this problem.

Baxter had had the usual puppy vaccinations and was eating Hill’s Science Diet dry food.  When the problem started, his family had gone away, but he was staying at his grandmother’s house.

The first symptom was a high fever of over 40 degrees. After this he began to get pain in his joints. He was treated at his regular Vet with an injection of a conventional pain medication and this helped him with the pain however soon he became very lethargic. The Vet then collected some fluid from one of his painful joints and a diagnosis of immune-mediated disease was made.

He was started on stronger pain relief and then prescribed cortisone to suppress his continual fevers and pain. The cortisone would improve his symptoms, but to be on such medicine at his age is not a good thing as it will eventually cause problems with other organs and upset his bone growth.  The medicine may have been easing the symptoms but it was doing nothing to cure the disease and improve his strength.

Baxter immune-mediated polyarthritis Arthritis high feverHe began treatment at The Natural Vets with Dr Henry, and we used some acupuncture to clear his meridians and give him strength and vitality. We began some Chinese herbs (Xiao Chai Hu Tang and later changed to Xang Fang Huo Ming Yin) to ease the pain and fever and rebalance his immune system. We also treated him with homeopathic medicines to help strengthen his immune system at a deep level and clear any vaccine reactions that may have contributed to his compromised state.  Joint support herbs and supplements were also provided to protect his joints, and he also needed digestive support at stages when he developed diarrhoea.

Slowly over the next 6 weeks he was weaned off all his conventional drugs as his pain eased and the fevers abated.  His energy and interest in play picked up again as he improved.  He became itchy on his skin as the condition cleared outwards from his body, and this is being treated with herbs and homeopathics.  He is now on a fresh diet and growing well with bones and joints that are now pain free and normal.

It is difficult to know what caused this condition in Baxter.  It is possible that the separation from the family played a role, or his diet of processed dry food, or his rounds of puppy vaccinations.  There may be other factors as well.  Seeing an outward clearance through the skin, ears or feet is always a good sign in cases such as these, and we were pleased to be able to help Baxter return to a normal life full of fun and play that is every puppy’s birthright.