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Painkillers Vs Nsaids For Arthritis


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Aston has had pain coming from his bad leg (rear left) apparently since he got off the track around 2 years old (he's 7 now); the "bad" in the "bad leg" always been a mystery to vets - it's come down to a consensus that whatever the injury was (probably located in the knee), it has turned arthritic. His symptoms align well with arthritis - worse limping right when he gets up from lying down, and worse during colder weather, lessens some once he has been walking around a bit. In terms of supplements, we have him on Springtime Fresh Factors 2x daily & Joint Health 2x daily, and fish oil 4000mg daily; we had him on Cosequin DS 1x daily on top of this for awhile, but figure we'll hold off on the Cosequin for now for budgetary reasons and see how it goes. As for medication, we tried metacam first and overall it seemed to take the edge off; Rimadyl (1 chewable w/dinner; don't recall the mg :\ ) was faster acting, but overall same effect as metacam; and now he's on Deramaxx, one 100mg chewable with dinner - seems to work the best for him overall. However, he still has a very sporadic limp outside of what I think of as 'normal' arthritic patterns, and it still bugs me that he could be in pain. Some days he is a complete faux-tripod and others he walks normally except for the occasional 'skip.'

 

The pharmacist who sold me Aston's metacam told me that Tramadol has worked wonders for his older Akita, when NSAIDs didn't seem to help at all. I have also seen Tramadol mentioned in lieu of NSAIDs for arthritis here on GT from time to time. I would try this to see if it works better for Aston, but it worries me that Tramadol is not an anti-inflammatory - if I understand the science correctly, NSAIDs work by calming down the inflamed area so that it is less painful, while 'straight' painkillers just mask the pain? Would getting Aston on Tramadol at age 7 worsen issues with his bad leg since the Tramadol wouldn't help with inflammation (i.e., would the old injury site suffer further damage)? Has anyone put their grey on both meds at the same time in a situation outside of osteo?

 

I will also discuss this with my vet when Aston goes in next, but I would also like to gather a consensus of others' viewpoints to give me some perspective (the inherent magic of GT!!).

 

Thanks in advance! :)

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I had Onyx on both Rimadyl and Tramadol at the same time without any ill effects. Like you, I had tried many different NSAIDS and supplements but nothing seemed to work until I added the Tramadol. They use the same combination for cancer pain as well.

 

Jenn

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I've had my old boy, Tally, on Previcox and Tramadol for quite a while. I've had no problems at all in giving both. For Previcox, Tally is on 3/4 of a 227mg tablet once a day; for Tramadol, he's on 2 50mg tablets three times a day. The combination keeps him comfortable most of the time.

 

Good luck.

 

Pat

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Guest KennelMom

are you looking for something to give daily for the rest of his life? Or is this an "every so often whenever he really needs is" solution?

Edited by KennelMom
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Guest Energy11

Goldie is on Deramaxx, 37.5 mg/daily (*I give in the mornings, and I also give a Pepcid AC with it for the tummy), and Dasequin. I HONESTLY think the Dasequin has made a world of difference!

 

Good Luck!.

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Tramadol is an excellent pain reliever, however it has no anti inflammatory properties.

 

I use Rimadyl here but always have Tramadol on hand if needed.Wayne does great on Rimadyl however I had better results with Metacam with my others who had arthritis.

 

If an anti inflammatory is needed, it should be given consistently every day.

 

Don't know if this helps

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Missing my little Misty who took a huge piece of my heart with her on 5/2/09, and Ekko, on 6/28/12

 

 

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What Claudia said. :P

 

You might ask your vet about Adequan, which has worked very well for arthritic joints. I'd also discuss with your vet the possible benefits of acupuncture. Even some type of physical or aqua-therapy might make him more comfortable.

 

If a dog needs to be on an NSAID on a daily basis, you just need to keep in mind that his renal and liver function should be monitored regularly, and any sign of GI distress would warrant stopping the meds. Giving zantac or pepcid is wise.

 

Tramadol works very nicely, both as an adjunct to NSAIDs when the dog is having a flare-up, and given alone if a dog cannot tolerate NSAIDs, or cannot be given to them because of other health issues.

 

As an example, my big boy Dandi has intervertebral disc disease. NSAIDs give him diarrhea, so they're a no-go. He has acupuncture every 2 weeks, which really makes a difference, and gets 1/2 or 1 tramadol if he appears to be uncomfortable. He gets a bit loopy and stoned on tramadol, and 88 lbs of loopy and stoned is not good. :lol

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are you looking for something to give daily for the rest of his life? Or is this an "every so often whenever he really needs is" solution?

 

Not sure really, as I don't know how fast-acting Tramadol is..

I feel comfortable with keeping him on Deramaxx indefinitely as long as there are no ill effects (blood values or immediate side effects), since it seems to help overall. Right now I would feel weird putting him on Tramadol instead of an NSAID (if it works for his pain), as I'm not sure whether not having the anti-inflammatory component would further damage his injury site -- if it wouldn't cause further issues with inflammation and seems to help more, then I might switch him over.

 

If he really needs to remain on an NSAID for the anti-inflammatory effect, and Tramadol has to be given consistently to have a better effect (though it doesn't sound like it), then I would consider trying him on both on a consistent basis; otherwise, I could just give him Tramadol on the yukky days.

I just have very little immediate experience with arthritis treatment in dogs, so I dunno.

 

Either way, he's still young(ish), so I really want to keep an eye on his well-being in the long run along with the pain control.

I may also up his Springtime supplements to 3x daily as I had been when we first started the Springtime stuff (first it was 4x daily, then 3x, then down to 2). He seemed to be more bouncy on 3x/daily.. would also be willing to try Dasuquin, but would want to run through my cosequin first :)

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What Claudia said. :P

 

You might ask your vet about Adequan, which has worked very well for arthritic joints. I'd also discuss with your vet the possible benefits of acupuncture. Even some type of physical or aqua-therapy might make him more comfortable.

 

If a dog needs to be on an NSAID on a daily basis, you just need to keep in mind that his renal and liver function should be monitored regularly, and any sign of GI distress would warrant stopping the meds. Giving zantac or pepcid is wise.

 

Tramadol works very nicely, both as an adjunct to NSAIDs when the dog is having a flare-up, and given alone if a dog cannot tolerate NSAIDs, or cannot be given to them because of other health issues.

 

As an example, my big boy Dandi has intervertebral disc disease. NSAIDs give him diarrhea, so they're a no-go. He has acupuncture every 2 weeks, which really makes a difference, and gets 1/2 or 1 tramadol if he appears to be uncomfortable. He gets a bit loopy and stoned on tramadol, and 88 lbs of loopy and stoned is not good. :lol

 

Admittedly, Adequan had been off my radar for cost reasons :unsure But, seeing's how I'm building a cocktail out of lots of meds & supplements, I'm sure it's probably about the same cost at this point :blink:

 

Aston just got his first 6-month blood panel, and everything is in the clear. I had been giving him milk thistle 1x daily on weekdays only, but started to worry that I was packing my poor dog full of a bazillion different things and am holding off for now..

 

Aston also gets a 10mg famotidine tablet with each meal, and I'm a MAJOR poop-and-tummy watcher/listener.

 

Acupuncture also sounds like a great idea! I think we have a holistic(ish) vet nearby.. not ours though, of course :huh

 

Thanks for the ideas!!

 

 

Edit: I just proofread this post and read "poop-and-tummy watcher/listener" as "poop-and-tummy whisperer".... I guess that would be the job description for a G-I doc? :P

Edited by o_rooly
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Just wanted to comment on your comment about his lameness. Slim would have intermittent non-weight bearing lameness in his right front. There was absolutely nothing the wrong with his leg or shoulder it originated in his neck. Have noticed that spine issues have a tendency to manifest as lameness. Accupuncture seems to work pretty good I have found-also have had no issues with Tramadol.

Edited by racindog
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Admittedly, Adequan had been off my radar for cost reasons unsure.gif But, seeing's how I'm building a cocktail out of lots of meds & supplements, I'm sure it's probably about the same cost at this point blink.gif

 

Aston just got his first 6-month blood panel, and everything is in the clear. I had been giving him milk thistle 1x daily on weekdays only, but started to worry that I was packing my poor dog full of a bazillion different things and am holding off for now..

 

 

Acupuncture also sounds like a great idea! I think we have a holistic(ish) vet nearby.. not ours though, of course huh.gif

 

Thanks for the ideas!!

 

My regular vet isn't an acupuncturist either, but we're so lucky to have an excellent holistic practice very close by. Dandi's vet acupuncturist is great!

 

For liver protection, SAM-e is great. That and Liver Support Factors have worked wonders for my pups with abnormal liver enzymes. My dogs sometimes rattle after getting all their pills :lol but I wouldn't give them if I didn't see them working. There are also Chinese herbs which may be beneficial, and if you go for acupuncture, the vet might suggest something appropriate. Dandi has been on Resinal-E, Benefits Hips and Knees, and Four Marvels. I do see a difference, and since Dandi can't take NSAIDs, I welcome suggestions for treatment alternatives. :)

 

Don't know if you've ever gone to this site, but Dogaware (this is the liver section) is one of the best resources on the web for dog health, including both traditional and holistic treatment.

 

It sounds as if you've been really working hard at this, and doing your homework before you make any decisions about treatment options. You're a great mom!

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Guest lovemyhounds2

Definately agree with "greyhndz"; any long-term NSAID use needs to have liver and kidney functions checked regularly. Most vets (and science trials) agree, when it is an older dog, they should be tested every 6 months (Rimadyl is the most used and one you should definately have the checks done if on). Lots of info out there on managing pain, and holistic should always be checked out (hard to find a good holistic vet--traditional medicine still doesn't seem as accepting of this method--yet!) Good luck!!!

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Here's a link to the Mayo Clinic's take on the subject--they recommend a variety of approaches, including NSAIDs and tramadol (note: they also recommend tylenol, this should never be given to a dog.)

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis

 

My mom has rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. In osteo, unlike rheumatoid, anti-inflamatories can help with pain relief, but they don't prevent further damage from being done.

 

I also second the use of cosequine or dasaquine if affordable, because it does help get at the root of the problem, although by the time the dog's in pain isn't enough on its own.

 

Basically, if you have something that's really working for pain relief, isn't causing problems, you're okay with the risk profile, and can afford it, I'd stick with that whether it's an anti-inflamatory or tramadol.

 

edited: forgot the link.

Edited by PatricksMom

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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You might also look into the different forms of shock wave therapy. There was a great article about it inWhole Dog Journal, but you have to pay to access it if you don't have the issue. A very quick search turned up info about the knee not being the best site though so I'm not sure if it would be appropriate for you or not, just throwing it out there.

 

I had Neyla on Tramadol for some time for her OA pain b/c she can't take nsaids and I have to say, I didn't realize until I took her off of it that it was keeping her doped up. She was also having these weird episodes in the middle of hte night every so often and I finally quit teh Tramadol thinking it might be b/c of it. Knock on wood, she hasn't had one since. Not to discourage you from considering using it - I would be in big trouble if it weren't available b/c Neyla can't take nsaids and I'm happy to have it as an option, just giving you some side effects to look for.

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"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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  • 3 years later...

Just to help your understanding:

NSAIDS work by blocking the inflammatory cascade in the body which of course reduces all the signs of inflammation, like pain and swelling.

Tramadol is an opioid and works by blocking the pain pathways in the body and provides excellent pain relief but, like you said, won't do anything for inflammation.

 

I'd be interested to see the radiographs if you have them on a CD - 100% lameness in a leg to me doesn't sound like typical osteoarthritis (I'm actually worried about the ACL based on the history you give but it's a pretty short history so that's just my best guess).

 

Don't get too comfy with Tramadol - word is that the FDA is looking into making this a more strictly controlled drug since it has high potential for abuse so in a few years it could be harder to get.

 

Though my advice is based on the guess that it is in fact osteoarthritis (the fact that your vets are puzzled puzzles me if it's just that since radiographs would show at least something) it's good you're looking into non-drug options. I don't think the best treatment for osteoarthritis is to just throw drugs at it - a multimodal treatment plan is best since currently you're just masking the problems. Accupuncture is a great avenue to try but MAKE SURE your accupuncturist is a veterinary one, NEVER let a human accupuncturist lay their hands on your dog because dogs have extremely different physiology. Shock wave therapy is used more commonly in horses than dogs for joint issues but it could help. Surgical intervention is also a possibility. Another option that hasn't been mentioned yet is physical therapy. Walking on an underwater treadmill is beneficial to cartilage and muscle strength in general. Make sure you're feeding a high quality kibble as well - I've seen a 12yo lab with arthritis go from only wanting to sleep all day and reluctant to go on walks to running 4 miles with his owner on a cross country skiing trip with energy to spare at the end and the only change was the diet. Best of luck.

Wendy and The Whole Wherd. American by birth, Southern by choice.
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"
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Sam is 12, nearing 13, and his arthritis has progressively become worse in the past few years. Easily helped with Cosequin DS before, we did start him on Rimadyl (I held off for a bit, worried about the liver issues). That seemed to help some, but not until I really started to add the Tramadol over the past few weeks. Much more noticeable pain relief, he seems so much better. I also have Gabapentin to add if we start to see him decline again, and we do monitor this carefully with the vet. Our vet is an OSU grad, I feel pretty comfortable working with her as Sam enters his "twilight" years :) I may also consider some vet acupuncture, we recently had a vet open a practice nearby who does this.

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Sam is 12, nearing 13, and his arthritis has progressively become worse in the past few years. Easily helped with Cosequin DS before, we did start him on Rimadyl (I held off for a bit, worried about the liver issues). That seemed to help some, but not until I really started to add the Tramadol over the past few weeks. Much more noticeable pain relief, he seems so much better. I also have Gabapentin to add if we start to see him decline again, and we do monitor this carefully with the vet. Our vet is an OSU grad, I feel pretty comfortable working with her as Sam enters his "twilight" years :) I may also consider some vet acupuncture, we recently had a vet open a practice nearby who does this.

 

 

Also consider methocarbamol (aka Robaxin), a muscle relaxer. My Sam also had arthritis, and he tended to clench some muscles when the arthritis was bad. Sometimes, the pain was so bad he'd yelp when getting up or lying down. The methocarbamol worked miracles for him.

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Was surprised to see this thread come back up into view :)

An update: We got Aston at 6 years old with the idiopathic limp -- foster family said "it's just something he does." Medical records from his past adopter indicated that she had spared no expense in getting nerve testing/x-rays/MRIs done to try to diagnose, to no avail. Before I had gotten these past medical records, Aston got his leg x-rayed during his physical right after we adopted him, and the vet assumed it was an old meniscal tear. We attempted to treat as though it was an old injury and/or arthritis setting in.
I had tried various NSAIDs and supplements to help him out in 2009/2010 (adopted him in Aug 2009), but nothing worked specifically against the limp. Tried chiropractic, but the painful muscle spasms that followed each of the two treatments that I put Aston through -- with no visible benefit, immediate or following -- caused me to rethink this.

After reading GT for some months, I decided to check his toe pads really closely for corns -- and sure enough, found one completely camouflaged within his right medial toepad. The only way I could detect it was by texture (hardness) change. I started moisturizing the pad, and the edges became visible immediately. Mentioned this to the vet who had previously blamed an old injury for the limp, and he said "Oh, that looks like it's probably painful." :kickbutt Looking at his stance now, it's obvious that he's been putting weight on the heel of that foot instead of any on the toes -- it's a "flat foot" instead of a "hare foot" (http://aragongreyhounds.blogspot.com/2012/02/greyhound-feet.html).

I immediately weaned Aston off of his current NSAID, but kept him on joint supplements since arthritis was possible, but likely not Aston's main problem (indeed, stopping the NSAIDs didn't seem to bug Aston at all). A Therapaw boot seemed to lessen the pain, but he still limped. I started hulling the corn on my own regularly, which felt productive based on what I was able to dig out each time, but with no visible limp reduction for Aston. Mentioned the recurrent corn to various vets, and was met with shrugs, or "oh, keep hulling that then if that's what you're doing, it must be painful for him."

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago. Aston was diagnosed with lumbosacral stenosis in April, and I'd been going back and forth with a few vets in regard to his treatment... frustrated, I asked for referrals for vets in my region willing to treat LS with localized steroids. Was referred by GTer seeh2o to a VERY greyhound-savvy vet for the purpose of getting a second (...or third, fourth?) opinion on LS treatment, but the first thing the vet noticed was Aston's limp, and the corn. Said, we'll get into treatment for the LS, but that corn HAS TO GO. NOW. I thought I had been hulling it, but what the vet dug out was ridiculous (with Aston's toe nerve-blocked... he was taking a blissful nap at the time). The corn actually went deep enough into the toepad to expose his flexor tendon once it was gone. :( It's been a week, and that hole is still healing, but healing well. Aston's still protective of the foot since the procedure, and I'm hoping that he gets some corn-free time before it regrows (the vet says it's fairly inevitable).
As for the LS --
Aston has been on gabapentin, robaxin/methocarbamol (HUGE help), tramadol and Rimadyl to treat the LS specifically. I stopped the Rimadyl last Tuesday to wash it out of his system in anticipation of starting a trial on prednisone today -- the greyhound vet wants to see how Aston reacts to steroids in general before injecting him locally with a long-duration form.
So, fingers crossed.

I wish I had pursued going to a greyhound-savvy vet MUCH, MUCH sooner... but, it is what it is. :(
Hoping that this week pays off for my buddy -- without the Rimadyl and with an ouchy foot-hole that's turned him into a tripod, it's been rough.

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