1.2 million dogs in the UK are suffering from canine arthritis. This staggering statistic affects approximately 80% of all dogs over the age of 8 years – it is likely to be the most common reason owners elect to put their beloved pets to sleep. Hannah Capon and her 14-year-old Collie Holly, from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex plan to change that.
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. Hannah 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. 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.
Please watch this short impactful video (under 3 mins) https://vimeo.com/212755962
To kick off the Canine Arthritis Management education campaign Hannah, accompanied only by her 14-year-old Rough Collie Holly, who suffers from canine arthritis herself, will walk 100 miles along with South Downs Way, in West Sussex to raise awareness. During 9th – 16th Sept 2017 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.

The Big Walk 9th – 16th Sept 2017
Hannah Capon explains: “The Big Walk #thebigwalk is a huge adventure for both Holly and me. It’s a very popular route with dog walkers and I hope to come into 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. The sad truth is that an arthritic dog will have been in pain for months if not years and coping undetected. Eventually, the day comes when they simply cannot cope anymore, and then they give up. I want to improve awareness of the pervasiveness of arthritis. By changing the perception of how dogs show signs of pain we can identify the disease much earlier, act sooner, and extend the life and the quality of that life.”

Note to Editors:
Interviews, video, social media, and photography opportunities are available so do please contact Deborah Risbridger below or search online here. www.caninearthritis.co.uk/thebigwalk/ https://vimeo.com/212755962 –