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CuraCore Academy Talks
January 2022
Flooring with Dr. Hannah Capon

Narda Robinson: Hi, everybody. Welcome back to our CuraCore Academy Talks, and it’s my pleasure again, to introduce you to Hannah Capon. Hi.

Narda Robinson: Hello, and today we’re gonna discuss flooring, and the importance of ensuring good footing, especially for your quadrupeds at home, dogs and cats, but it seems like dogs even more so, ’cause they’re higher up from the ground a lot of times, and slip around more so, and, you know, it can affect more than just animals with arthritis. There are neurologic problems, there’s dogs that are vision impaired or hearing impaired, and they just, they need to feel secure where they are. So, Hannah, what have you noticed in your work that really stood out to you regarding flooring and floor coverings?

Hannah Capon: It’s very important, right? To be fair, I think it’s my main USP with CAM is the environmental adaptions are just game-changers, and there’s really incredible people talking about osteoarthritis, chronic pain, rehab. And I guess my little kind of area being just on my rehab journey, and just at the beginning is flooring, guys, flooring, flooring, because when I started bringing in a rehabilitative perspective to being a vet, so I’m a vet, guys, and I’ve been a vet for what? 11 or 12 years before I started getting interested in chronic pain, and then I did a clinical massage course, and it was like, “Whoa, this is crazy!” And adding that to pharmaceutical, and you know, bringing in your weight management, and bringing in, you know, chronic adjunct medications, I set up a little home service, and I was going to people’s homes, and I am originally did it for no charge, because I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, so I got volunteer owners to let me go to their homes, and very quickly, I found myself giving advice about the house, just friendly advice. I was like, “So you know he tripped over that step?” And they’re like, “Did he?” I was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, just tripped over the step.” And then like, seeing them stumble down the stairs, I’m like, “Did you not see that?” “No, I didn’t know at all.” And before I knew it, I was giving people house advice, which wasn’t the intention at all, ’cause it was just so common sense. And then we took that advice, and did it on Facebook, and that’s how CAM was born.

Narda Robinson: Right.

Hannah Capon: And flooring was just a big part of that. The amount of owners, like I’d say, 95% of owners have slippery floors. That’s bit laminates, a bit tiles, bit woods. People think it’s animal-friendly, and it’s not at all, you know? So, it’s probably the most common hazard that our dogs face, and we need to mention it in our treatment plans, because it has the ability to completely destabilize the treatment plan. Can you imagine this, you know, you’re four weeks in to twice a week, and you see how the dog’s beginning to do well, and then it slips, and it deteriorates, and they feel that they’ve wasted the money. They feel that they’re probably not gonna bother trying again, or maybe they only just started to see a little bit of improvement, and now they don’t, so they’re like, “Well, it didn’t work.” So, it’s a huge, huge, important part of your management plan.

Narda Robinson: Right, right, well, and I think too, for the diagnostic component, like, or just the history-taking component, I mean, we ask what supplements are they on? What drugs are they on, when did this all start? But just the contribution of slippery floors to a back problem, or, you know, continued issues with hip ligamentous laxity, and all that stuff. So, if we don’t ask about it, then it doesn’t come to anybody’s awareness, and we can’t, you know, change it. So right at the front end, I think, for people that have history forms, that would be a good thing to, you know, to say what’s what are things like in your flooring? Just like for certain human practitioners they might ask, how old is your mattress? What kind of mattress do you sleep on, you know? So, things that you’re exposed to all the time that impact your body.

Hannah Capon: I usually do, and I’m always just really lucky. I’ve just finished interviewing Duncan Lascelles, who’s probably pain God of the world.

Narda Robinson: Yeah.

Hannah Capon: And what was really lush about the interview is that he, I said to him, “What do you feel the future holds?” He says, “I think there’s gonna be improvements in three areas.” And I said, “Okay, tell us what they are.” And he was like, “There’ll be improvements in the way that we can monitor, we can identify, monitor, and observe, and measure pain.” I was like, “God, yeah.” So, accelerometers, you know, and wearable devices, and there’s gonna be advancements in pharmaceuticals, which is really exciting. So, there’s gonna be more ways that we can actually hit the pain pathways, yes. And he went, “and I think we’re gonna have a greater understanding about other ways we can influence pain, such as the demeanor, reducing the anxiety, improved sleep.” I was like, “Yes, yes!” But what’s interesting is that a big cohort of people have been talking about this for years already, you know? Amber Batson is the sleep guru, as far as I’m concerned, and she’s been lecturing about the importance of sleep in pain management for a long time, so it’s funny that you’ve all these different, excellent areas of pain management. You go, want me to interrupt you, but yes. So back to the point, if you’ve got a hazardous environment, and it’s going create anxiety and fear, these are gonna be negative emotional states, which is going make the pain worse, so that’s one aspect. The next aspect is it’s going to be hazardous, so you are likely to have trauma, and the trauma could be repetitive slips, so they’re just going to place it, lose it, place it, lose it, place it, lose it. So, you’ve got microscopic trauma that’s leading to macroscopic, or you’re going have outright macroscopic trauma with falls, and they’re gonna land poorly, and they’re not gonna have the power, the agility, and stability to correct that, so it’s a no-brainer. It’s a no-brainer. That’s why we say more rugs, less drugs.

Narda Robinson: I like that.

Hannah Capon: This is something else I was gonna be really facetious. I have a doll’s rug.

Narda Robinson: Oh, yeah.

Hannah Capon: And I was going wrap it up, and put it in a little medical box, you know? Like a little pill box. I was going to give it to her, and say, “There you go.”

Narda Robinson: Love that.

Hannah Capon: But I realized that people might be offended, but I found it really funny. I prescribed her a rug.

Narda Robinson: Right, it was a sample. No that’s yeah, no, that’s great. And yeah, and just reading well, it’s about different people’s I was gonna say stakeholders, but that’s weird to talk about in a home, but just reading a little bit about flooring and all that, that, well-

Hannah Capon: Caregivers.

Narda Robinson: Caregivers, yeah. With flooring, like that some sites recommend against carpeting. I mean, I don’t, I don’t, I like rugs, little things that you can wash, and vacuum, and everything. I think over time, carpets can be an issue, especially if there’s, you know, inappropriate urination, or things that accrue in carpet, but rugs, area rugs, or rugs that you can get cleaned, or just clean well, I think is a real improvement, and yeah, laminate is like, one of the worst in terms of traction, and all that. Can you hear me?

Hannah Capon: Yeah, 100%. Yeah, no, no, absolutely, and I have, on occasion, used a slightly more heavy-handed approach, so let me tell you a story. I had a guy with a black elderly Labrador, and obviously, the diagnosis of OA and significant pain was a total shock to him. He knew something was wrong, but when I described what I found, he was absolutely heartbroken, and his dog was his life. Everything about the dog catered for, but he’d made, moved into a bungalow for the dog. It was a bungalow for the dog, and he made it beautiful, and he just laid down a parquet floor, three and a half grand parquet flooring, and I went, “Well, so you’re gonna need to get some rugs and some runners.” He went, “Excuse me?” “Excuse me?” “No, I’ve just had that floor put down, and it’s three and a half grand. It’s just being varnished.” You’re like, “Okay, you just said to me that you’ll do anything for your dog, and you’re not gonna put a rug down? Are you for real?” But you really have to show them this, and so what I ended up doing is collecting video clips, and I have a really good video clip of an overweight pug without clinical problems, according to the owner, walking across a laminate floor, and you just see it’s back foot never having full traction. It places it, and it slips away, slips away, slips away, but the dog just gets on with it, because what’s he gonna do? It’s got to get on with it, hasn’t it? But I’ve got an array of clips from that, all the way through to a dog that sat in a doorway that won’t go on out.

Narda Robinson: Right, right.

Hannah Capon: You know, you do have to give them kind of a visual. You have to explain it, and it is really worth learning some lingo of why they struggle. So, if they’re weak, it goes to agility and power to correct any slips and trips, but they’ve also lost these proprioceptive capabilities, so their placement is likely to be poor. So, they’re going weight bear. They’re gonna transfer weight onto that limb in a slightly wrong position, so it’s more likely to slip, and they’ve not got the ability to bring it back, and that’s gonna pull some soft tissue, and you’re just gonna rectify the pain, and they’re gonna start going, “Okay, yeah, I get that.” But if you just say, “Put rugs on the wood.”

Narda Robinson: Yeah, right, well, and then like, from my osteopathic background perspective, then it’s not only the feet, and you know, maybe the hips, but it comes back to the back too, and the neck, and so they’re kind of walking like this. They’ve learned to keep themselves together really stiffly, but that’s no good. That’s not helpful, and you know, just worsens all kinds of things. So, but from a palpation perspective, I think, especially dogs with hip problems, and they have ligamentous laxity in that coxofemoral joint, that they’re slipping, I mean, and maybe that pug too, they’re slipping out like that, and so they hyper-activate the internal muscles, the gracilis and the adductors, and so when we’re doing our palpation exam, one of the things I alert my students to is that there, you can find tenderness to palpation in that medial thigh region, because they’re using those so much, and then also in the front limbs, oftentimes, like, the pectoral region is really tight, because again, they’re holding everything and-

Hannah Capon: Just holding it together.

Narda Robinson: Yeah.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, and I also found another phrase that I say quite a lot is I’ll say, “You know when people say that they’ve put their back out,” and they go, “Yeah, yeah,” and you’re like, “Well, you know that’s muscular in the big majority of cases, isn’t it?” And they’re like, “I thought it was like discs.” I’m like, “No, no, no, it’s muscular.” And they’re like, “Right.” So, they’ve got an underlying problem, and they’ve got that really, really tense muscles that have been guarding that area, ’cause they’ve got, maybe it’s poor posture kind of like mine, or it might be they have got something wrong with the muscles. And then they slip, or they something up from the floor, and then they’re like, they pull a muscle, and that’s excruciating pain that have people later on, you know, doctor says, “Don’t move for a week. Take some pharmaceuticals, or heat sack yourself.” I’m like, “That’s happening to your dog.” You know, people really assume that the pain state, if it’s worse, then it must be related to the joint disease. They find it hard to look at the bigger picture, so you do have to educate, and we have tools to help. So, anybody that uses the CAM website, there’s a tool there called It’s My Home Too, hashtag it’s my home too, and it’s got 17 questions that really start trying to get the owner to see the obstacles in their dog’s environment. And you can either use it online, and it’s got some pictures to guide you, ’cause owners need visual, or you can print it off as a PDF, and you can hand it out to them. It’s not got too many pictures, ’cause it’s too expensive on the ink, but yeah, very helpful to you guys.

Narda Robinson: That’s wonderful, because I think that again, with this not being something that most veterinary students learn in school, then to come up with the questions, I mean, it would be a good learning experience, even for veterinary professionals to go to your website, and yeah, Canine Arthritis Management is CAM, and that’s what you head up, and that’s why we’re doing this talk.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, you’ll be pleased to know, we trained final year vet students, so I did Glasgow on Monday. We’ve done Liverpool, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. We’re looking for contacts abroad, you know? If anybody has any connections to universities over in Canada and America, we’re the people, we can do it. But yeah, we’re bringing this kind of information to the final year vet students, so that they go out much better-equipped, you know?

Narda Robinson: Oh, that’s wonderful. So, what does the program look like, I’m just curious, with the veterinary school?

Hannah Capon: It’s a nine to five. I talk from nine to five. So yeah, basically when we start talking about pain, and understanding much more about the pain pathway, understanding about pain being perception, and therefore, how the emotional and the cognitive component fits in, so that veterinary students will expand their mind to give much more multimodal advice. But we go into what causes OA. We talk how the drugs work. We talk about lifestyle. We talk about where all the complimentary therapies, integrative therapies fit in. We talk about nutraceuticals. We talk, it’s a big day, it’s rammed.

Narda Robinson: That’s amazing, that’s great. Yeah, well, I’ll pass the word around for US vet schools.

Hannah Capon: I enjoy it, I really enjoy it. It’s exhausting, but we get, because I’m not a tutor, I’m not one of their tutors, I can be outrageous.

Narda Robinson: Yeah, right.

Hannah Capon: They’re like, “Oh my God, did she just say that?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I’m not your staff.”

Narda Robinson: That’s great, yeah, and speaking about the vet schools, then I think our vet teaching hospitals, and even the clinical hospitals, how you build a clinic should include consideration of the flooring, I mean, and as a model for the clients. And I know when I taught at Colorado State University, that those, the janitorial staff in the evening, ’cause I would usually do my acupuncture treatments after hours when it was calm, but they would polish the floors for hours, you know? And there was one small hallway that seemed to have more of a rubberized flooring, and that was when they were doing neuro exams, or something, but these poor dogs, they’d try to hug against the wall, so they wouldn’t slip, and people just didn’t understand, but here’s the, you know, the students are learning this is how to keep a clean place. And so since then they’ve changed some of the tile, but it’s still tile, but I think, I mean, what do you, how do you keep it the cleanest possible without having enormous laundry bills from little, you know, area rugs and things?

Hannah Capon: Mats, you know, rubber walkways, really.

Narda Robinson: Oh yeah, sure.

Hannah Capon: I think we at our unit have exactly the same, but there are vets that are realizing this, and they’re either going for low-cost adaptions, which would be by a load of yoga mats, cut them in half, roll them up, and have them in the waiting room, so that at least that dog’s got traction in transitions.

Narda Robinson: Yes.

Hannah Capon: And then he can lay on the mat, and at least he can get up, and it’s just a little bit in the right direction. They should be available in every consult room. There should be rubber mats in the consult room. Personally, I don’t use the table anymore. I can push the tables over, and work on the floor. In every kennel, it should have rubber matting. That dog’s vulnerable coming around from a sedation or an anesthetic. There should be slings available within these, so if you can see that they’re gonna be skiddy, then get a sling underneath, and just support them, stabilize them. You wouldn’t put a child on a bike that couldn’t ride a bike without stabilizers on concrete block, would you? You just wouldn’t do it, so why do we think dogs? So, I think we can step in the right direction, but we’ve got a product here called PawSafe. It’s a commercial company. They’ve got a liner that’s got really good traction in it. They sent me a sample, and I did yoga in fluffy socks on it, and I was pretty solid on it, and it was okay. So, some vet practices have looked into now using that, instead of going for shiny, shiny, shiny.

Narda Robinson: Right.

Hannah Capon: And it’s noticed. Let me tell you a little ditty. Holly’s Army, which is our community groups got 10,000, nearly 11,000 owners on it now, and there was a dog training program on national TV this week, and this dog trainer, you know, he is one of them. They know everything.

Narda Robinson: Right.

Hannah Capon: Anyway, the dog was not wanting to get off the sofa, and he wasn’t wanting to walk, and the man said, “What a diva, just pull her.” And the dog was really struggling. You could see posture change, physical changes. Holly’s Army, these educated owners, all went crazy. They all went crazy, “Oh my God, he should get struck off. The BBC should not put things on like this. Can’t he see? It’s blinking obvious the dog is scared of the floor.” And the message is getting out there. It’s great.

Narda Robinson: Yeah. What was that?

Hannah Capon: Into the trap of not doing anything, so if you’ve got owners, you need to be aware, and if you completely don’t acknowledge it, they’ll notice.

Narda Robinson: Right, right, right, right. Yeah, I used to have this recurring dream. It’s been a long time now, but that I was wearing high heels, which I really never ever did, but just for maybe the one time of trying it on, but, and just, I couldn’t get traction. I was trying to walk on a floor, and I was just slipping all over the place. It was really scary. Yeah, and that’s what these-

Hannah Capon: Yeah, absolutely. You talked a lot to behaviorists, and they’re very aware of it, because it adds to that deep-seated kind of negatively aroused state that so many other behaviors worsen through. So yeah, it doesn’t have just physical effects. It has emotional and cognitive effects.

Narda Robinson: Well, and definitely, and then if the person is modeling a trainer like that domineering individual that you just mentioned, then they’re like, “Oh yeah, I’m supposed to pull them. I’m supposed to say, ‘Don’t be a weenie,” or whatever. And they don’t understand, so yeah, I just can’t stand that level of ignorance, but yeah.

Hannah Capon: It’s tricky, isn’t it? ‘Cause we have a group a bit like yours. We’ve got a Facebook group called CAM Advocate, and anybody that’s done in the CAM Advocate course can go in, and they can share ideas, seek advice, just vent, you know? And actually, it’s an area where people can vent about what they’re seeing, or how they’re having to work with maybe other allied professionals that don’t have their understanding, and how hard it is. And one lady, she’d come on to vent about exactly that, you know, how can people not see the signs of pain and distress, but some people don’t, sadly. And I ended up saying, we’ve got to be grateful for what we do have, in that we’ve got definitely a movement towards people that do understand it. Now there’s the collective, the volume of us is growing. One of my inspirations is a lady called Sarah Heath, and she got into clinical behavior 30 years ago, and that was when nonsteroidals weren’t prevalent. You know, that was, preventative analgesics weren’t even available, and she’s talking to vets that don’t even believe in pain relief.

Narda Robinson: In this day and age, yeah.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, and so if she can do it, we can do it, you know? Come on.

Narda Robinson: Right, right, right, right. Well, and I think-

Hannah Capon: She’s stuck with it-

Narda Robinson: Yeah. Well, and as you’ve done with Holly’s Army, that a tremendous resource, you know, is this grassroots people, dog lovers, just animal lovers, I mean, that’s where you have the numbers, and the, you know, so many changes have come out of that. I mean, of course, in the US, there’s cannabis, and that’s literally a grassroots thing, but changing like, formulations of animal food, the diets, and becoming less, you know, gross, and more natural, and having more inclusion. So, the pressure does work, and, you know, I think, even having taught at vet schools for a long time, I mean, if they didn’t, if you don’t, if you’re in a closed system, and not exposed to these new ideas, then you just keep on teaching the things that you were taught. And so I just love what’s happening nowadays with the more awareness from practitioners, and people, caregivers. One thing that I’ve been seeing a lot of lately is that when people are coming through our acupuncture, or rehab programs, and they finally start doing the myofascial examinations in their clinic, and like, one of my things is you don’t have to cause pain to find pain, and I talk about orthopedic exams, and how you can do that without making the animal scream, and that we don’t force their necks around to see when they’re gonna yell out. And when that sinks in, I mean, it’s very clear, and they, when we do maybe a live session like this, they’re like, “I feel so bad about the number of years I have done that to animals.” So, I mean, it’s a beautiful awakening, but they do kind of have to reckon with what, you know, their past, and they didn’t know, I mean, and that’s where you go into vet schools, you’re saving all of those schools.

Hannah Capon: I didn’t know, you know? I was looking at that video of my own dog, and my interest in pain management, and I’m like, “Oh my God, I’ve got so much to learn. I am so at the beginning.” And, but my knowledge back then was even less, and I look at the way I picked her up, the way I handled her, in fact, I kicked her football. I, you know, stones on the beach and, you know, I just wasn’t aware. So, I just want to make sure that any information that we put out there comes with kindness, because there’s two different kinds of like, ignorance. There’s ignorant ignorance, you know? And there’s just ignorance, you know? Where people didn’t know, and they were actually really good people. So, we have to put it out in a really kind way, and in many ways it has to come out in a very passive way, so that’s why we have these tools, and they’re well-branded. We know that people buy into branding. They get confidence. If there’s a continuity of color scheme, font, the layout, you know with your own branding, it gives people reassurance, but it’s a gift. It’s being given to people to take in their own time. We’re not forcing it; we’re not telling them. So that’s just another tip, you know? Passive giving of information, and then people kind of figure it out, it’s quite a nice way as well. Or you go for the proper blunt, which is what I’ve had to do sometimes is, “You’ll get used to the sight of rugs, but you won’t get used to the loss of your dog,” and I’ve said that probably about two or three times.

Narda Robinson: Wow, that’s great.

Hannah Capon: Because it’s true. Put those rugs down for a period of time, and they just become part of the furnishings. They’re there, aren’t they? The heartbreak will stay with you.

Narda Robinson: Right, oh yeah, absolutely, I know. So, my mother lived at my house for a period of time, and the area where she lived, I did have, it’s wood-look, porcelain tile, so it has some traction to it, but I don’t have dogs. I have cats and they do pretty well, but her thing was little rugs that she would put around for her cat, and I mean, in my living area, I had like bigger Oriental rugs and stuff, but she would do these little rugs, and it wasn’t really my color scheme, and so then, but then she broke her- She fractured her pelvis, ’cause she just kind of felt faint, and she went down on my hard, porcelain tile, and fractured her pelvis, and then went to rehab, and then is now in a nursing home, and she’s doing well, and she walks around. She’s like that most highly functioning person there, but still, so number one, the hard floor was not good for her, but, you know, so I think there, but there is like, when you have an older person in the house, and if they would be in a wheelchair, then that’s probably something that you can discuss, or whatever, but anyway, so when she moved out, then I took out all the little rugs, and I just had it bare for a while, and then I thought, you know what? The floor is pretty cold, and so now I have almost every bit of that area covered with these very colorful area rugs that I can put into the washing machine. Like, so there’s multiples. They’re all like, it’s almost like a full carpeting, but I can pull up each piece, and wash it. And I got these, this style, this company that makes these great colors, and so I have one room with like, a deep purple, and then I have kind of like, a coral, like, that color, or, you know, it’s just a really pretty, orangy pinkish, and then a really nice teal, or blue green. I mean, it’s just so much fun.

Hannah Capon: Yeah.

Narda Robinson: And they feel great to walk on. It’s not just the usual sort of bathroom mat rug kind of thing, but they have these little loops. It’s a great company, they have a rubber backing, and I’m just enamored with it, and it just changes. It changes the color. It changes the feel.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, you have to be very positive about it. You have to give them all the pros. So, in my house, I ended up having roll-up runners, so it was more of like the Hesse, kind of hempy, kind of woven, but the good thing about that is when I go and stay at my parents, I could roll some of them up. I could take them with me, because they have wooden floors everywhere. And sometimes you’ll say something like that to an owner, and they’ll go, “You know, that’s a good idea.” And if you’ve got an owner that’s got, maybe somebody that is like a high-risk trip hazard, where we can’t have rugs down, you can say, ‘Well, you could have rubber-backed, you know, just door mats.” And you can get these ones that are very thin, and it is like a doormat, so very waffled, and it’s got this kind of rubber edge, and you can put them in a row, and you can have lengths of it. And they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t know that.” So, it sounds daft, but you have to be ready to coach. It’s counseling. At the end of the day, its counseling, you know? Don’t give up is what I’m trying to say. I, at one point, used to carry samples with me. People could actually kind of go, “Oh, I didn’t realize there was so much choice.” There’s a company over here that has where you rip the top of the rug off, and then the base layer stays down. So, it’s a thin thing that you can fold up and put in the washing machine, and then you lay it back down, and it sticks.

Narda Robinson: Oh, I see.

Hannah Capon: That’s really good as well, but I think I just want to stress is that it makes a difference. I’ll tell you a story about a little dog. She’s called Millilats. They were south African, and they, I went in as I worked there, and I couldn’t touch the dog. It was so painful to touch it. And so I’m thinking, “Oh my God, what am I gonna do with my time? I’ve got to give them value for my service.” So, we did a house inspection, and as we’re doing a house inspection, it came out that the dog had a thing for pigeons, and I was like, “Oh, that’s interesting. What do you mean his thing for pigeons?” She said, “Well, you would never think she was in pain. She runs from one side of the house to the other, and she smashes into this glass door trying to get the pigeons at the end of the garden.” I’m like, “Right. Did you ever think to stop her?” But because they couldn’t- Why would a dog ever do that when they were in pain? Why would they do that? Because it will create pain. It’s much more complex than that. But what we ended up doing is I spoke to them about pain. I spoke to them about how dogs live in the now, and all the neurochemicals, and I persuaded them to put some translucent glass at the base of the door, so they couldn’t see what was on the lawn. And we put runners, rubber-backed runners around the house, and we just fenced off her having this high-speed pathway. Within three weeks, full body massage. So it was that behavior was driving the pain state. Her emotional state, she was getting more angry at the pigeons, because when she hit the glass, she was like, “That hurts, and you pigeons are at fault. I’m gonna really run you off. I’m gonna tell you to go away properly next time,” smashed even harder. So you’ll always just be kind of a little bit of a detective, huh?

Narda Robinson: Yeah, yeah, and maybe if the floors were slippery also, she couldn’t brace herself, and stop that easily. And even though I mentioned cats, and that they are slower, lower to the ground, but if the floor, the flooring still is an issue, because number one, if we, if we’re playing, whether it’s with a little penlight laser, or a little toy, or whatever, they want to be on the rugs, so like on my, let’s say a nine by 12 rug that I have. And if I go over to the side, they’re like, they wait till it comes back to the rug, because they don’t want to go on the ceramic tile. So that’s one thing, and then there’s, when they do what I call crazy cat, and they just go berserk, and run, and meow, and go, just, they, the zoomies, or whatever people call it, but if they do hit a patch of floor, then they’re like, shhh, and that’s not good for them, and so it does affect cats too. I definitely know that, but when I have done house calls in places with a lot of dogs, I mean, so it’s a different quality there, where there’s just a bunch of ’em, and they might knock into each other, and there there’s like more mayhem, and then they might go up the stairs and get knocked around, so I think it’s amplified, especially if there’s like, then the doorbell rings, and they’re all running, and barking, and everything, and yeah, there’s a lot of mayhem, but what are the consequences if they’re slipping around there? And there are consequences, like for one person to slip on the ice for a second, as you’re going out to your car or something, it’s like, oh, that was scary. Well, what if that’s your reality all day long?

Hannah Capon: I agree, 100% agree. I just think that we need to realize that, you know, there might start to be a bit of antagonism in the multi dog households, and you’re like, “Well, why didn’t they stop?” Or was it because there’s an underlying pain state, and the dog slipped, he bumped into his fellow housemate at the same time he slipped and hurt himself, and now he relates that it’s her. It’s that dog’s cause, and you just sit there going, “Oh my God, this is huge. This is huge.” And let’s even think about, could it cause OA?

Narda Robinson: Yeah, oh yeah, right, I agree. Good point, I mean, with stretching the ligaments continually, and changing the ability of the muscles to keep that joint solid, definitely. And then another thing that I’ve noticed in practice is that if there is a dog, for whatever number of reasons, and they do have some kind of a back problem, and maybe spinal issue, maybe neurologic, like spinal cord, disc disease, or whatever, then they can, like with your book, you know? That they can start to be proactively standoffish, and maybe even snap at one of the other animals to like, stay away from me, and just, it seems like they know that they’re vulnerable, and they don’t wanna be knocked into.

Hannah Capon: No, absolutely, and we definitely haven’t, we haven’t captured the academic more kind of specialist about could flooring affect development? Because we’re still very, very in the mindset that OA specifically is a developmental joint disease. It’s more genetic. It’s more dietary related, et cetera. But I really can’t believe that we’re not gonna collect evidence over the next decade going into how there’s a huge environmental component, because you know, the joints, yes, it’s formation. it’s gonna be very genetically driven, but there are going to be outside influences that’s going to affect the modeling, and if we’ve got abnormal joints, we’re gonna get OA. So yeah, nail care, if we’re talking about nail care, you know, how that that can affect posture, and therefore it can lead to problems, then certainly flooring can.

Narda Robinson: Right, and the interaction between the two.

Hannah Capon: Oh, God, awful. Can you imagine? Like, have you ever worn shoes where your toe is touching the toe of the shoe? So every time you place your foot, you just get a nudge, just a nudge, and it starts off, you go out wearing those shoes as the lady, ’cause they match the outfit, and you’re like, “Oh, I can put up with the slight discomfort. They’re only tight.” And you’re at a wedding or something, and within an hour like, “Jesus Christ!”

Narda Robinson: Right, right.

Hannah Capon: That little nudge, nudge, nudge, nudge, eventually it becomes quiet, “Oh my God.” And if that’s the nail, floor hit, floor hit, then how tender the feet become.

Narda Robinson: Well, right, and then the compensatory thing is if their nails are too long, then they start bending backwards like that, you know, so hyper-extending, and then that’s gonna put a strain on the muscles, various muscles, in various ways. It’s gonna impact their posture, and of course, their steadiness, and all that.

Hannah Capon: And it’s so sad. I work in practice, and a good percentage of adult and senior dogs have overgrown nails, and you sit there going, “This is such a battle to fight. They don’t understand.” And I had a friend who had a housemate, a had a lovely Vizsla, who really overgrown nails, like, really overgrown, and they have wood floors, and the dog was often very vacant, behaved quite strangely, and they were like, “Oh, she’s just a bit weird in the head.” And I was like, “She’s in pain, and she doesn’t know what to do.” So, she’d go and kind of like, hang out by the wall, but they weren’t, they wouldn’t take it off wood. They said, “Oh, she doesn’t like her claws being clipped, So I’m just not gonna put her through it.” And I was like, “We could sedate her. We’d sedate her to get them done.” So, claws is another very sort of tough one.

Narda Robinson: Yeah, I mean, it’d be great if there was some kind of a service that went around to people’s houses. Like, I don’t know if vet techs could practice on their own in the UK or and do that.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, no, we can do that. Yeah, we can do that, I think. Yeah, I think just, we need education there to kind of get, to start handling the feet, and cutting nails at a very young age, making it a really positive experience.

Narda Robinson: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Hannah Capon: Appropriate implements so it doesn’t actually hurt, because it must hurt. When you actually cut the nail, there’s a pinching of the quick. There’s always gonna be a pinch of the quick, because you’re compressing the nail as you cut it, unless you’re using a Dremel. Anyway, I could go on.

Narda Robinson: Yeah.

Hannah Capon: The thing is, my brain just kind of goes-

Narda Robinson: Yeah, well, and that’s how it is, but yeah, with nails, I think too, that, I mean, there’s a torque on there too, because there’s this extension, so it gets to that digit, and then it happens with cats too, and their claws can start to grow into their pads, and that’s a real bad thing.

Hannah Capon: Yeah.

Narda Robinson: Yeah, right.

Hannah Capon: So much to do. We’ve just got so much to do. A whole lot to collectively kind of take areas. I know my area, and like I said, my USP is the home environment, and CAM, battles with that one. Yes, we help with medication, nutrition. We try and do everything, but our real shouting message is anybody of any financial background, any physical background can improve the environment. Just understand it, and you can start making adaptions. You can take the rug that was underneath the dining room table. You pull it to where the parquet is. You know, when people put rugs underneath their coffee tables, they can’t get to the rug. Why is it there? It’s stupid. So, you just have to kind of like, “Shall we take it from here?” They’ve always got them in their attic. There’s always a rug in the attic.

Narda Robinson: Yeah, yeah, well, and-

Hannah Capon: In the area that they can’t.

Narda Robinson: Right, well, and I think still, it’s a learning opportunity for people, and if you brought that rug out from under the dining room table, then the kids would pile on it too, and I mean, everybody could enjoy it more, and the animals would congregate there. Yeah, it’s just a shift, just like in a hospital, going from clinic-centered, and maybe bottom line-centered, to patient-centered, and instead of just home beautiful, according to what somebody told you it should be, this is family beautiful, you know? Where we’re all thinking of each other’s needs, and people would, they would like it too. I mean, I think most of the things-

Hannah Capon: I think you’ve hit a really relevant point. I think you’ve hit a really relevant point there, and we really try and be cognizant of the bio-psycho-social, and the other is called contextual consulting, where you actually look at, you open your eyes, and you widen your field of view. It’s not just the dog, and it’s the owner, it’s the family members, it’s the house, it’s the car, and you widen your view. And bio-psycho-social, really using that terminology makes you try and get into the owner’s head. And if you think about it, there’s so much pressure on society now to be of a certain ilk, you know? You’ve got to have the feng shui look. You’ve got to have this minimal, clinical, clean, and you know, the pressures of social acceptance, and striving to be something that you see on Instagram is huge. I feel sorry for the generations that are coming. So, you’ve got that to kind of overcome. They’ve got this social house that’s, they feel demonstrates their personality, and who they are, and their stature, and where they belong in society, and you just told them to cover up, cover it with rugs.

Narda Robinson: Yeah.

Hannah Capon: This is disturbing my mental space, you know? This makes me happy. It makes me look like I’m successful, and if I look successful, I can fit in with these people. I can fit in if I can be happy with myself. So be kind, is what I’m trying to say.

Narda Robinson: Yeah. It applies across the board. So-

Hannah Capon: Yeah, we’ve got a weird world at the moment. It’s gonna get worse for a while, I think.

Narda Robinson: We do, yeah, yeah, but maybe there’ll be a Renaissance of comfort, and I don’t know, just kindness, and like you say, and then we’ll see.

Hannah Capon: Maybe we should start a rebellion.

Narda Robinson: Sure, , but I think we already are rebelling, but-

Hannah Capon: I’m on a rebellion. I’ve stepped away from aesthetically pleasing.

Narda Robinson: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Hannah Capon: Yeah.

Narda Robinson: But yeah, there is, I mean, just, and this is a bit off topic, but I think you have, I think the unspoken pressure, and the immersive, like you’re saying, social media thing that we don’t even critique necessarily, or it’s easy to just be inundated with these things. These are the standards, but it’s so freeing to say, “No,” and to rebel, and be individualistic, and kind of just that takes nurturing too, because you’re going against the grain, but it’s well worth it.

Hannah Capon: It really is, but I think it also applies to so much. It’s the choice of the dog, you know? People choose a breed because of the social groups that they may want to remake or frequent, and you look at the cars people drive here, these high cars they have to jump out, and they see on the adverts, you know, that it will be a dog food ad for on TV, national TV, and the dog leaps out the car, and there’s a shine of that it’s healthy, and it’s active, and you know, athletically amazing, and they’re just letting the dog, and their dog flops out of the car.

Narda Robinson: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

Hannah Capon: And you’re like, “He can’t carry it.”

Narda Robinson: Right.

Hannah Capon: Whatever, they let them jump out. There’s so much pressure around us to conform, or be something, so I think, rather than me going into the massive psychology, which I happen to love, I’m trying to say, be kind, you know? It’s taken us a long time to get to the thought process that we have for all the enlightenments that we’ve had, and all the lessons, and the learning, and the teaching, and the opinions that we’ve been absorbing for years to get to where we are now. They haven’t.

Narda Robinson: Right, right.

Hannah Capon: At the beginning, so yes, don’t lose your cool. Don’t get exasperated. Don’t get impatient. Just keep trying, because I promise you, I swear to God, it makes such a difference to your treatment plan.

Narda Robinson: Right, right. Well, how about if we just review the, your, where your website is, and Facebook group, and all that, because that can save people a lot of time, and just get right into the learning right away.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, yeah, so you can find Canine Arthritis Management at And that’s C A N I N E A R T H R I T I S. Big tip guys, if you’re passing on the website address, spell it for them, because a lot of them do K-9.

Narda Robinson: Oh.

Hannah Capon: People don’t actually know how to spell arthritis, believe it or not. So, from there, you will be able to access all of our social media, because we’re on Facebook in a number of places. Facebook, we’ve got the main page. We’ve got Holly’s Army. We’ve got the equipment review page. We’ve got CAM Advocates, and there’s a few more groups. Then we’re on Instagram. We’re on Twitter. You’ll find 400 videos on YouTube now. There’s a lot. So, we do an expert, Narda’s been on twice, every week, and we’ve been doing it since about 2017, 2018. So, if you’re wanting to up your CPD, you will find so much on there. We do practice trainings, so we’d come in and we’ll train a practice. We can do vets, nurses, and receptionists. We do it online. Did one this weekend for a practice in Yorkshire. So, I train receptionists, and nurses, and vets in a very clever little way, with breakout rooms and stuff. We do owner courses online. So, there’s recorded owner courses. If you’re really struggling with an owner, but they’d quite like to find out more information, let me do the talking for you. It’s 12 short modules, it’s 20 quid. That’s what about $28?

Narda Robinson: Oh, wow.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, so the owner courses, and also there’s recorded courses for professionals. If you’re a dog trainer, dog walker, if you’ve got people that you’re working with, and they don’t quite understand, you maybe have an assistant, or you’ve got people doing agility, and you’re like, “Come on, get it.” You can put them in the CAM Advocate course. So, we try and cover all bases. There’s a lot going on. There’s a lot going on.

Narda Robinson: Yeah, a lot, lot, and so what are you hear like, from a practice? If you talked to them in six months or a year after you’ve been there, what kinds of things do they tell you?

Hannah Capon: Well, at the moment here in the UK, we’ve got a horrendous staffing situation, and there’s a huge flood of vets and vet nurses actually leaving the profession, changing jobs, so we’ve learned our lesson. We have, we’ve trained practices, and they’ve been really engaged, and we even had one practice go, “Well, do you know what? Our non-steroidal sales have gone up by 19%. Our food sales have gone up 50%. Our attendance to RA clinics has gone up 50%.” That was within a month. It fizzles out, so we now offer a coaching package. So after they’ve done a training, I see them at the two-weeks point, the six-week, the 10-week, and six months. And I’ve just got a group of practices, we’re on 10-week, and I had a meeting this week, and they’re like, “We’ve done this, we’ve done that,” and I’m like, “Ah!” Whereas, if they didn’t have that coaching, I think it would fizzle, and they’d go back to bad habits.

Narda Robinson: Yeah, well, and I would bet that that’s a similar schedule to when you’re educating clients about new approaches, or you’re implementing some kind of integrative therapy, or other, that you want to see them, and just do these check-ins, and just get them used to this new way, so it’s more deeply ingrained.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, 100%, and what do they say? You’ve got to see it, hear it, do it, or something?

Narda Robinson: Yeah.

Hannah Capon: I think we, all of these old wives’ phrases really illustrate that for decades, for millennia, you know? We’ve struggled to get people to change habits. Habits are really hard to break. It’s like, it would be easier to push a boulder from a standstill than trying to have the boulder coming towards you, and you push it. And that’s really what you’re doing with people that have routines and habits. The boulder is coming at you guys, you have to stop it first, and then push it. That is hard work. So don’t expect people to just buy into it instantly. It’s gonna take repetition.

Narda Robinson: Yeah, yeah, well, and then, and then I just had an image of one person trying to stop that boulder, but then if you have your army, and every everybody’s there, that just, I just think that what you’re building is it is making so much of a difference, you know? Even the practitioners, even the army members, their lives are probably happier too.

Hannah Capon: Yeah. Well, within Holly’s Army, we’ve got a group of dog owners, and canine professionals. There’s about 30 to 40 that have had private training from me and the team, so that they are very enlightened owners, but they’re still peer to peer. They’re an owner talking to an owner, and there’s definitely a really big opportunity to impart information, because there’s no white coat effect. They’re not being told. They’re not being put off, because it’s owner to owner, and it’s a really good place for vicarious learning when we have a lot of people, maybe they’ve lost their dog, and they will pipe up and go, “Well, I just said goodbye to Benji, and I’ve loved being in this group for the last couple of years. You’ve never seen me, but I’ve listened to every word you said, so thank you.” So, you know, if you’re struggling, pushing your owner into a forum situation that’s supervised is another way to kind of get a passive offloading of information.

Narda Robinson: Right, right. Well, and I think that that thread of kindness, and acceptance, and encouragement makes it a warm environment so that they can feel safe there as well.

Hannah Capon: Yeah, it really is. Like we read on any product recommendations. We, if somebody is espousing something that’s got no evidence-base, where like, “Come on, no.” We even, it’s the CAMbassadors, they will do a little bit research into who the person was, and we’ve found companies who are portraying themselves as an owner to recommend the products, and the CAMbassador’s like, “They’ve mentioned that a couple of times. Let’s just go and find out who they are,” and hunt them down on Facebook, and they’re like, actually, that person works for that company. And you’re like “Don’t mess with the CAMbassadors.”

Narda Robinson: Right, right.

Hannah Capon: Or they’ll kick you out.

Narda Robinson: No, that’s good, and that just improves that level of confidence, and security, and trust in the group.

Hannah Capon: Definitely. Definitely.

Narda Robinson: All right, well, good. Well, I hope that we can enlighten some people’s minds about flooring and other issues when we put this out. Yeah, thank you for joining me again. It’s always wonderful to see you.

Hannah Capon: It’s always wonderful to see you too.

Narda Robinson: Thank you.

Hannah Capon: Take care, Narda.

Narda Robinson: All right, you too, Hannah.