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dogs and arthritis

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:55 pm
by youjach
Our female Britt Maggie has arthritis- she will be 13 this year.

She has been having trouble getting up when she is laying awhile and she is stiff. We were told about Rimadyl[ sp?]

Will this help her , we have been giving her glocusamine also mixed in her food for the past 6 months but I do not see that it has helped her any.

She plays w/ Shaf our other Britt but then there are times he is trying to get her to play and she just lays there while he nudges her and nips at her. She wants to play her tail is wagging but she just can't.

So I am hoping for advice on how to help her thru this. We know she is old and we are aware of what can happen. Our Vet told us 13 is high for a Britt.

So any advice on older dogs suffering from arthritis would be helpful.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 8:07 pm
by Karen_P
My neighbor used rimadyl for her Collie with bad arthritis and it made her last 6 months much more comfortable. It does have many side effects, and if you search the board for Rimadyl, I think Barb had a very good post about rimadyl and drugs in the same family.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:20 pm
by Lisa
She has been having trouble getting up when she is laying awhile and she is stiff. We were told about Rimadyl

My personal experience (keep in mind, this is my experience, each dog is different) is that Rimadyl can offer quite a bit of relief to dogs suffering from arthritis pain. Yes, there are risks to using this drug, just as there are risks to using all drugs. Yes, deaths have been attributed to it - but that's always debatable, as many of these dogs suffered from other conditions as well. In my experience, as long as you keep up with regular blood tests and ensure that you are giving you dog the correct dosage you will be able to minimize the risks while improving your dog's quality of life.

I have also heard good things about Deramaxx as a pain reliever for arthritic dogs. Never used it myself, but know others that say it helped when Rimadyl didn't. And, yes, there are risks to Deramaxx as well.

In all honesty, just about any pain killer has some risk associated with it, I have seen articles going on and on about the potential side effects of Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and even Metacam. But, there are thousands (probably) of dogs that use these medications with no ill effects. It's a decision each pet owner needs to make for themself by reading all the pros and cons, discussing it with their vet and deciding what would be best for their beloved dog.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:29 pm
by Dave
Hi, Sorry to hear about your 13 yr. old dog having arthritis . My old girl who lived to be 17 1/2 stuggled with arthritis her last year . I used an aspirin a day for several months with visible signs of relief .This would be a place to start . I usually gave it to her in a piece of bread with a little peanut butter . 8) Dave

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:58 pm
by kat
Fortunately, my old Britt (16ish) isn't struggling with pain, but my little Bichon is (his back). He is taking a brand new pain medicine called Tramadol. It is a human med they have just started using in dogs, but it is amazing. Twice a dayand he seems comfortable, without it he is in unbearable pain. It is what is keeping him alive for now. Apparently, it's also much easier on the liver that most of the other pain meds, my old Britt has severe liver trouble, but the vet said if she needed it, she would be able to take this. Just something to look into if you want. Good luck, we will add you guys to our prayer list for old Britts and families.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:11 pm
by Jen
I have always used a crushed aspirin for my older dogs and this has seemed to help. I also use glucosmine and chondroitin(sp) daily for the older dogs and it seems to help. I tried just glucosamine, but it didn't seem to help at all. I have never used Rimadyl, but I did once use Deramaxx for my little mix girl and had terrible results. Asa matter of fact I think my vet office has stopped administering after Wednesdays reaction. After 1 day of use she had anal bleeding, my vet called the drug company and they were not aware of that side effect in any of their test subjects. As soon as we stopped giving Wednesday the meds it stopped and hasn't had any trouble since. But that is just my experience with it.

One thing you may want to do for Maggie, is short, daily exercise. Just a 10 minute walk around the block daily will really help keep her joints loose and make her feel better.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 6:10 am
by Cindy
I've used Corta-Flx for several years with excellent results. It's an amino acid, vitamin and mineral supplement, given to horses quite often. They make a canine version but the stuff for horses is much less expensive. After a loading dose of 2/3 teaspoon once/day for 10 days, I give 1/4 teaspoon 1/day. Available at your local feed store or through a catalog.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:43 am
by Myra
Word of caution regarding dogs and aspirin -- make sure you use buffered aspirin (Bufferin, Ascriptin, etc.), not enteric-coated aspirin. And be aware that even aspirin can have unwanted side effects. You can buy chewable flavored aspirin made specifically for dogs, but if your dog doesn't mind taking pills then there's no reason to spend the extra money.

As far as a glucosamine supplement, you also need to make sure you're using a high-quality supplement, as there is a lot of "iffiness" in supplements since they aren't regulated. There's no guarantee that they contain the amounts that they claim. Two brands that I've heard great things about are Cosequin and Synovi.

Another thing you might want to ask your vet about is Adequan. It is an injectable form of glucosamine, and I know of several instances where it has helped much more (and much more quickly) than oral glucosamine supplements. I had great results using it with a Rottie who had hip dysplasia. The downside is that it's usually given in a series of twice weekly shots over a period of several weeks, so there's a lot of taking the dog back and forth to the vet. But some vets will teach you to give the shots yourself so you don't have to make all the trips (and giving a dog a shot is very easy, it only takes a few minutes to learn how). Once you complete the series of shots, the benefits will usually last for several months.

Good luck!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:21 pm
by youjach
wow I am really overwhelmed with all the info you all have provide and Barb has sent me so many links.

I will start w/ the aspirin and speaking of Aspirin
Myra mentioned this--

make sure you use buffered aspirin (Bufferin, Ascriptin, etc.), not enteric-coated aspirin

I bought regular aspirin from Walmart- the Equate brand micro-coated 325 mg- I thought aspirin was aspirin basically the mg is different..

I thought raising my kids was the hardest job I would have-- LOL but taking care of my first baby - my dog is proving to be harder.

I guess I have alot of reading on the net the next couple days..

Now if I could only get Shafers' gas problem under control next we will all be happy !!

Thanks for the info!!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:54 pm
by Myra
As I understand it, the reason for giving dogs buffered aspirin is because of their short digestive tracts (short compared to humans, anyway). Because a dog's digestive tract is shorter than a humans, things move through it much quicker. If the aspirin moves through before the enteric coating dissolves, the dog won't be able to absorb all of the aspirin (and so won't get all the benefit of the full dose).

Now, if you want to tell us a little more about Shafer's gas problem, we can offer some suggestions. Likely starting with a food switch. :wink:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 2:18 pm
by Barb Wright
Myra wrote:
Now, if you want to tell us a little more about Shafer's gas problem, we can offer some suggestions. Likely starting with a food switch. :wink:

and adding digestive enzymes and a probiotic :wink: :wink:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:02 pm
by Nancy Z
Our 12 year old had crutiate ligament surgery on both knees earlier in life and later on became very stiff and in pain. The vet put her on Cosequin and we had good result, but it was SO expensive, so when we talked to another vet at the hospital, she said Osteo-Biflex was OK (I can't remember what strength at the time).. So, both my husband (bad knees too) and Chelsea were on the same meds!!! It is glucosamine and chondroitin.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:11 pm
by youjach
Barb Wright wrote:
and adding digestive enzymes and a probiotic :wink: :wink:

we've done that already- as suggested here when I posted about him eating his own feces-- didn't work- the funny part is that Maggie who never did this before has started - I guess she saw him and thought hey that must taste good- lol

we still love him anyway even when everyone runs out of the room!! :lol:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:45 pm
by Barb Wright
Have you also changed food as Myra suggested? Gas is usually caused by undigested food "fermenting" and/or an irritated gut. A high grain content in the food would be a likely culprit, usually.

Have you tried adding some pure pumpkin (NOT the kind ready to dump into a pie shell) to each meal? Say a tablespoon or two....pumpkin is a great regulator and soothing to the gut....worth a try if you haven't done it.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:16 pm
by Karen_P
Also, some chewies can give wicked gas. Any rawhide makes Courage unfit to live with, and Greenies in too great quantities has the same result (some of you may remember the hearing about the green cloud over my house the day Courage got into the greenies and ate 30 of them).