A huge 58kg Bull Mastiff cross who had been left lame and limping is now running around like a puppy again thanks to treatment by our expert team.

Rescue dog Winston underwent an initial CT scan and X-rays which revealed degenerative joint disease and deformed hips.

That was in January 2021, and now, two years later, Winston is back bouncing around like a puppy thanks to a bold, non-surgical approach by our team.

Gemma Holloway, European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery, explained: “Winston had been rescued by the RSPCA and been rehomed to new owners who soon discovered he had issues.

“He was referred to Kentdale to establish exactly what was wrong and a CT scan and X-rays revealed bilateral hip dysplasia (deformed and unstable hips) and degenerative joint disease.

Winston also had problems with both front legs and so a minimally invasive procedure known as a joint tap was performed, during which a needle is used to draw synovial fluid from the dog’s joints in order to diagnose joint conditions.”

The results were shared among our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, nurses and physiotherapists and discussed with Winston’s owners, who were keen to avoid surgery and were looking for more conservative management of his problems.

A long-term, non-surgical programme of care was developed and Kentdale Physiotherapist Emma Woof said the results had been spectacular.

“For the past two years, Winston’s treatment has been focused on physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and swimming, pain relief and careful weight management. I’m delighted to say he’s responded really well.

It’s an ongoing process and includes a monthly Laser Therapy (Class IV) session in which we treat his wrists, back and hips, and also regular hydrotherapy swimming sessions.

Winston has some home exercises to maintain his muscle mass and flexibility which his owners help him complete, and they are delighted with his marked improvement and increased quality of life.

They say Winston is very bright and full of energy and frequently wants to play with his ball, so it’s a real success story. He’s done brilliantly.”

Winston’s owners, who live in West Cumbria, were full of praise after our team gave Winston a new lease of life. They said: “Not so long ago we had to carry him to the car to get him to the vets but now, through the approach we adopted, we have developed a very happy monster!

This week, Winston has had two walks per day at a pace, duration and distance determined by him, although sometimes we have to reduce this to ensure he rests sufficiently.

At home we regularly have to stop and play football with him for five minutes to stop him barking and running back and forth to the back door. Like many dogs, he often acts like a puppy and could easily overdo things and hurt himself.

The key difference is that he now has the strength and fitness to protect himself and he has us to manage his activity and rest. We would definitely recommend Kentdale Referrals as we have been very happy with his care both as an inpatient and outpatient. Currently, he is visiting monthly for Laser treatment and is always willing to go in – at 58kg we know when he is unwilling!

During the treatment he always falls asleep and he’s happy to be led away from us into another room to be weighed and is never in a rush to leave!”


Winston, a 58kg Bull Mastiff cross is back on his feet after treatment at Kentdale Referrals in Milnthorpe, Cumbria.