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Arthritis in older BC's


Dragoon 45
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First post, just joined the board.

 

I have two BC's. Cody is almost 12, suffered a back injury almost 2 years ago (he was unable to walk on his hind legs for almost a week) and has developed arthritis since. The major part of his treatment was steroids to take down the inflamation and then Novox and Tramadol. Due to the steroids he had a major weight gain, approximately 18 lbs, which I have finally gotten off him. Cody is a large B&W rough coat male, normal weight for him is about 55 lbs when he was in working condition.

 

Enter my other BC, Zipp who I recently adopted from a rescue group, a young very active Red and White male who is about the most athletic dog I have ever seen.

 

When I throw a frisbee or tennis ball for Zipp, Cody has to run with him and will continue to run until he hurts himself if I don't watch him very carefully.

 

I recently started giving Cody a product called Duralactin in addition to the glucosomine I have been giving him all along. Duralactin is some type of milk protein and I have seen improvement in Cody since I started giving it to him.

 

My vet is a very good one, but on the conservative side. He prescribed the Novox and Tramadol and also urged the use of the glucosomine. At this point I am seeing improvement in Cody and am not sure if the improvement is more that he has a younger extremely active dog to compete with or the medication and supplements are finally going their jobs.

 

What other non-invasive treatments are out there for a dog like Cody? I am somewhat concerned about the Novox and Tramadol, as I have been told they can cause liver damage long term.

 

Thank You for any information you can provide.

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I give Speedy Adequan injections once a month. That seems to help him a lot. He also takes a low dose of Tramadol, but no anti-inflammatory. Adequan has to be prescribed and not all vets will let you do the injections yourself. I'm lucky that my vet does because I couldn't afford it if I had to get the vet to do it. The loading dose is costly, but once you get through that, it's not bad.

 

It's expensive, but if you can find a good canine chiropractor, such treatment can do wonders. I get him adjusted several times a year and that always makes a big difference.

 

Massage therapy can help - even massage that you can do on your own. I've done some acupressure with Speedy, too, and found it helpful.

 

I've heard that gelatin (plain) can be helpful. It might be something to look into. I gave it to Speedy for a while, but saw no real difference.

 

Exercise is good. Keep it moderate. Too much exercise can cause stiffness, but moderate, frequent exercise that builds flexibility into the muscles is good. Freestyle exercises like spins and twirls and heeling on both sides of me help keep Speedy in good shape.

 

Well, maybe some of that will help. I've been dealing with arthritis with him since he was 5 and at that point I didn't think he'd live this long. He is actually stronger and more flexible and seems more pain free now than he did then, so treatments can definitely benefit.

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Have you tried Adequan? It's an injectable rough equivalent of the glucosamine supplements you're giving, only many people feel it's got much better bioavailability. You administer it fairly frequently at first, but soon taper off to once a month. Get a vet tech to show you how to inject it - then the cost is very modest. Many people swear by it.

 

Good for you for getting Cody's excess weight off! Dogs with ortho issues should be kept extra lean.

 

If it were my dog, and I were giving him antipain meds on a long-term basis, I'd have periodic bloodwork done to check liver function. Talk to your vet about meds to support his liver function.

 

(Full disclosure: I'm not a vet).

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Hello, and welcome to the board! :)

 

You might look into acupuncture, as well. It has improved Ody's overall quality of life, seeming to give him relief both from his arthritis and from some of his cognitive dysfunction. In June, I didn't expect him to last the summer; now, as we approach his 15th birthday, my vet says I should be optimistic enough to think he could see 16.

 

Best of luck with Cody (which was actually Ody's previous name, too :) ).

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My vet has given Cody some injections of what he called a concentrated Glucosmine solution. Is that what this Adequan is? I get the vet to do blood work on Cody every 6 months or so, they do a complete blood work-up. So far there has been no indication of liver damage.

 

At the time when he first injuried himself, I thought I might have to have him put down. Luckily he came out of it but it took almost 6 months before the vet cleared him to start exercising on a regular basis. Now when he tries to run with Zipp, he does so at a full run, not as fast as he used to be, but much better than the BC Trot. He still needs to lose about 4-5 pounds to get where he needs to be, but getting all that excess weight off him was a challenge.

 

I feed him a senior food, that is high in fish oils and glucosmine. No wheat or corn. My vet always remarks on how good his coat quality is. I also give him a double dose of Vetri-Science Stage II glucosmine treats every day. He gets one Novox a day and I only give him the Tramadol when he is showing signs of pain or limping heavily.

 

Have you tried Adequan? It's an injectable rough equivalent of the glucosamine supplements you're giving, only many people feel it's got much better bioavailability. You administer it fairly frequently at first, but soon taper off to once a month. Get a vet tech to show you how to inject it - then the cost is very modest. Many people swear by it.

 

Good for you for getting Cody's excess weight off! Dogs with ortho issues should be kept extra lean.

 

If it were my dog, and I were giving him antipain meds on a long-term basis, I'd have periodic bloodwork done to check liver function. Talk to your vet about meds to support his liver function.

 

(Full disclosure: I'm not a vet).

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I concur with many of the suggestions - particularly Adequan. I also recommend consulting a rehab vet/sports injury vet - who are much better at diagnosing and treating joint and muscle issues than a general vet IMHO. You may also want to ask about cold laser treatments - again, many rehab/sports injury vets use cold laser, and I have noticed in the past year, that some general vets are also beginning to use cold laser treatments too.

 

Good Luck - and good work with Cody.

 

Jovi

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You may also want to ask about cold laser treatments - again, many rehab/sports injury vets use cold laser, and I have noticed in the past year, that some general vets are also beginning to use cold laser treatments too.

 

Yes, laser. Speedy gets laser treatments along with his chiropractic and that also helps a lot.

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I have had fabulous experiences with rehab vets. These are veterinarians with a certificate in rehabilative therapy. I have a 10 year old dog with spine issues, hip dysplasia, and probable elbow arthritis. She is on a stretching and conditioning program that has gone a long way towards relieving pain and increasing mobility. At this point, I rarely have to use drugs.

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