A VET has given up her career to change the way dog owners approach arthritis.

Hannah Capon spent 15 years as a successful vet but left her job in October last year to focus her skills into educating people about the condition which affects 1.2 million of our canine pals across the UK.

According to Ms Capon, arthritis affects about 80 per cent of all dogs over the age of eight and is the most likely cause of owners choosing to have their pets put down.

However, the condition is widely misunderstood and Ms Capon is determined to change the view that dogs with arthritis cannot live full and happy lives through her new project, Canine Arthritis Management (CAM).

Ms Capon, 39, of Middle Road, Shoreham, said: “I have been a vet for 15 years and have seen countless people struggle with losing pets they feel 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.”

At little or no additional cost, Ms Capon says small changes made to lifestyle, diet and owner attitude can be made to help sufferers.

She has been working emergency shifts to cover the costs of running CAM, however now needs an investor to boost the project to charity status so she is able to take her work further.

To kick off the Canine Arthritis Management education campaign, Ms Capon set off on a 100-mile trek of the South Downs on Saturday accompanied by her 14-year-old Collie, Holly.

For eight days, Ms Capon is walking 15 miles daily with Holly, who suffers with canine arthritis herself.

Ms Capon said: “The big walk is a huge adventure for both Holly and me.

“I was worried it was going to be a bit too much for her but she’s been so energetic – she’s blown me away.”

Hannah and Holly will reach the final leg of their expedition this Saturday, crossing the 100-mile mark around midday at Stanmer Park, Brighton.

Ms Capon hopes other dog walkers will be there tell her their stories and she will give advice. She said: “It’s about being a little more pre-emptive and paying attention to your dog.”

People can support Hannah at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/camarthritis.