Well, it was Deb's comment on the post about Tank's arthritis that made me think that I should give you an update on his progress. We changed his diet, eliminating wet food ( just because Ms Trixie has such a delicate digestive system) added cottage cheese and Glucosamine/Chondroitin for humans, upped his fish oil to 8 a day and also added the SamE. He has dropped the extra weight and they both have very glossy coats.
Now then, the other news is that I bought retractable leashes for our walks (as opposed to the heavy six foot static kind). He is getting used to being on a leash now, every time we go outside with two dogs, even when we "go to work", across the driveway, to the studio. It got to the point that when I took them out to "just pee", they would egg each other on and run off. The last time, Tank came home after an hour On The Lam, to a LOT of joint pain, which had to be addressed with a dose of meds. I realized that I was not doing him any favors and now, he is used to being on the 16 foot "tether" and can run a little bit, before coming back in.
Our hikes are much more fun now, with him being able to run a little, stop for grass, run, grass, repeat, while Trixie runs up and down the hills, crashing through the bushes for HER amount of exercise.
The point is that we decided against radical surgery and as long as he does not push himself by running for an hour on a naughty "walk-about", he is much more comfortable.
I think that the vet will be amazed and if it gets to the point where he is having trouble, Deb's wheels sound like a great non-surgical solution.
Trixie has been so good for him (and us) and while the issue of his arthritis came to the surface, in a big way, we also found out how to keep him comfortable while getting him more exercise. He likes the lightness and 16 foot freedom of the new leash and does not fight with me over getting "hooked up", any more. Trixie gets leashed when we walk in areas where we need to get both of them under control right away and then she gets to go off leash when we are up in our hills. She gets to run amock but will always follow us, as long as Tank is tethered. It seems to be working. I guess that means that WE are learning how to be better dog parents, eh?