Jan 27, 2011

Josephine Loves What She Does Best, Agility!

Posted by Bob under Dog Arthritis, Stem Cell Therapy

Josephine turned 11 years old in November. She is on her way to MACH 7 and still going strong nearly three years post stem cell treatment. It has been a miracle for her and has allowed her to do what she loves best! Agility!

As told by Helen King, Josephine’s owner, “In the winter of 2008, our top winning standard Poodle, Josephine (MACH 6, ADCH Teller Hollywood Dream, MXF, SACH, SCH, CD, HIT, CGC) began to show signs of a problem in her hind legs. She started to slow down on the teeter, dog walk and weaves. She was 9 years old at the time so we thought it might just be her age.

Eventually, she began to refuse the teeter. As the top winning standard Poodle in the Country every year she had shown, this was not like her at all. Shortly after that, she showed signs of lameness in one hind leg, especially on rising. After she would get up, she would hop on one hind leg for a while until she warmed up, then she would use the leg but only lightly put weight on it.”

“First we took her to our regular veterinarian who prescribed rest. We rested her for a month but she showed no improvement. So then we took her to an orthopedic surgeon in Ventura, California. He diagnosed her with partially torn cruciates in both knees and wanted to do surgery. He said her agility career was over.”

“We wanted a second opinion so we took her to see Dr. Jennipher Harris in Oceanside, California. She diagnosed the same things, partially torn ACLs. We had read about stem cell treatment and knew of another agility dog that has had great success with stem cell treatment. It just happened that Dr. Harris had been involved with a stem cell study so she was familiar with the use of stem cells in dogs. We were not ready to do surgery and Dr. Harris felt that Josephine was a good candidate for stem cell treatment. So that is what we opted to do.”

“Before treatment, Josephine was dead lame behind. Only three weeks after treatment, she was sound. One month after treatment she had no looseness on her knees. After 30 days she was allowed to move around as she wished but we restricted her running. We rested her for an additional month, then let her run as much as she wanted. After three months we put her back to work. We slowly worked her up to jumping full height (24″) and weaving. In four months she returned to competition, sound as a dollar.”

“We had no idea how long her knees would hold. Josephine was just short of MACH 3 at the time of her stem cell treatment. MACH stands for Master Agility Champion in AKC competition and it is not an easy title to achieve. After that she went on to become the first standard Poodle to ever reach MACH 4 then MACH 5 and then MACH 6. Josephine is also a champion in USDAA (ADCH). This is another agility organization and a more difficult title to achieve than the MACH.”

“She is the ONLY MACH 6, ADCH (Agility Dog Champion) standard Poodle in history. She is also the top agility point winning standard Poodle of all time. Josephine holds many other performance titles including, MXF (Master FAST Title – AKC), SACH (Standard Agility Champion – USDAA), SCH (Snooker Champion – USDAA), CD (AKC Obedience title), HIT (Herding Instinct Test), CGC (Canine Good Citizen), VCX (Versatility Certificate Excellent) and she was an AKC National Championship Finalist. Most of these titles were won AFTER her stem cell treatment!”

 Helen King, Josephine’s Owner

 Here are videos taken on November 28, 2010 the day Josephine turned 11.


I am constantly amazed at what canine athletes can achieve when their owners are committed to finding the right therapy and spend the appropriate amount of time to rest and then use graded exercise/rehab. Congratulations to Helen and Josephine!


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