With 1.2 million dogs in the UK suffering with canine arthritis, Hannah Capon MA Vet MB MRCVS has given up a successful 15-year career, to focus her professional skills and knowledge into educating people about this neglected and misunderstood disease.
Ms Capon, pictured with her 14-year old Rough Collie Holly, said she 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.
She said: “By 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 Ms Capon, accompanied only Holly, who suffers with canine arthritis herself, will walk 100 miles along the South Downs Way, in West Sussex to raise awareness.
From September 9-16, the intrepid pair will walk up to 15 miles a day completely unsupported. A purpose-built hand cart to carry all the equipment the pair will need has been made and Holly may rest and ride in it if required. The expedition will see the pair camping at night and walking for eight straight days.
Ms Capon said: “The Big Walk 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 ‘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.”