Skip to Content (custom)

      5 Questions a Doctor (and Former Runner) Asks About Mobility

      Dr. Sharon Golden opened Golden Veterinary Care in 2020. Located in Wayzata, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities, the practice sees a wide range of dogs and cats. Opening Golden Veterinary Care marked the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and Dr. Golden brings 30 years of practice experience to the clinic, along with a compassionate approach to care. She currently has two dogs and has been showing in Minnesota Hunter & Jumper competitions since she was “knee-high to a border collie.” One of the issues near and dear to Golden’s heart is orthopedic issues.

      A former runner, when we talked to her, she was one year out from her second knee replacement and has also had both hips replaced. “I have a lot of empathy for these dogs, and I want them to be as pain-free as possible,” Golden said. “Because of my own experiences, I am very in tune to the orthopedic needs of our patients and helping the clients to understand what their options are as far as what they can do medically.” She walked us through her process.

      Step one is getting some background, identifying why the dog may need orthopedic assistance. Is it because it’s a hunting dog or an agility dog? Is it a dog that’s had some sort of injury? Or do they have something genetic, like a luxating patella or some hip dysplasia? “And then we discuss what they’re seeing at home,” Golden said. She talks with families to assess the dog’s behavior. These are five questions she makes sure to cover in every conversation:

      1.  Are you seeing changes like decreased mobility?
      2. Is there a decrease in interaction with the family?
      3. Does the dog still want to go on walks?
      4. Does the dog jump up on the couch or in and out of the car?
      5. What kind of activity does the dog do, and what does the family want to be able to do? Are they a high-powered dog with a big job like competing in agility or going hunting?

      The variety of tools Golden uses in addressing these mobility issues include weight management, exercise, supplements, medications, chiropractic care and laser therapy.

      “We would talk first about weight management. Then my next thing would be supplements and keeping the joints as healthy as possible. And that’s where Rejensa comes in for us.” Rejensa joint care chews work fast. Dogs love the taste and perceive the chew as a treat, so owners feel good about giving Rejensa to their dog every day. Pet owners can visibly see a difference as well. “Plus,” Golden added, “they can understand the importance and follow through with those first steps of exercise, weight management and a supplement. So that’s where we would probably get started with most dogs.”

      Another tool in Golden’s toolbox is medication. “We have had patients who were really struggling, and we’ve been able to really have some beautiful success with medicinal options, including some of the new pain management medications. We’ve just had some wonderful wins with them also.”

      Chiropractic care is another service Golden Vet Care offers. As a clinic committed to whole body healing, Dr. Golden has a chiropractor come to her clinic routinely.

      Golden Veterinary Care also has laser therapy in-house. “I’m a big fan of laser therapy.” Golden said. “I think all of these things have similar effects on the body, where they’re decreasing inflammation and they’re promoting healing or health of the joints and used in conjunction with each other. I think that they just potentiate our positive results. I love the laser, whether it’s an orthopedic injury or whether it’s in a dog that has some known arthritis. We can get them some good relief by using those combination therapies.”

      Dr. Golden knows firsthand how mobility issues can set someone back. It’s why she is really interested in educating clients and getting patients all the help she can. “I’ve lived with different problems, and I can help them so much more now! I’m excited. I love all the changes that we have, and I just love grabbing all the different tools that we can use, and they can go on and continue to live a mobile, happy life. We know more, so we can do more.”

      To help clients gain a deeper understanding of orthopedic and mobility issues in their pets, we’ve created a printable document for your front desk or lobby. Download it free here > Wellness Watch Printable Poster

      Related blogs

      March 21, 2024
      Physical Rehabilitation Therapy and the Role Owners Play with Supplementation
      RVTs Lauryn Harker and Tiffany Downing of Canine Rehabilitation of Orange County share 3 illuminating case studies which illustrate that the combination of customized Physical Rehabilitation Therapy, supplements, and diet can mean all the difference in patients outcomes and overall quality of life.
      March 15, 2024
      Joint Wellness and OA in Dogs
      Dr. Sarah Lochner shares how she assesses where her patients are at on a spectrum of joint health issues, and how she subsequently determines the right mix of supplements, surgery, and therapy options to best protect pet joints now and as they age.