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Worsening Arthritis


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Hi all,

I have a male greyhound who is 11 1/2 years old. He has been on Glucosamine supplements for arthritis for a few years now. It did the trick for awhile, his back leg wasn't shaking so much when he stood for longer periods of time. The past 8-9 months we have been giving him 25-50 mg of Deramaxx a day, as his arthritis has worsened. He no longer comes up the full flight of stairs, and occasionally has some trouble with the 2 little steps between our foyer and main level. A week or so ago he took a bad step or may have tripped over one of his bones and on the same day he may have smacked his leg against his food dish legs when giving a shake. He has been favoring his front right paw. It seemed to get better, but now his back legs have been shaking more. We don't see any cuts, damage, bruising or swelling, so we figured he may have pulled or strained a muscle--he's done that sort of thing before and it's always resolved itself in a few days.

 

Today he has been whiny and restless, and it seems like he was afraid to sit down. His back legs trembled, and I think he was standing around trying to figure out what to do. His tail was down and I could feel his leg muscles tremble. I think he's in pain. I suspect that favoring the front paw has put stress on the hind legs that have not been strong in the past year to begin with--it's like he no longer has a "good" leg to take up the slack when he does something spazzy.

 

I gave him his dinner time Deramaxx early today in some cream cheese, and he's finally sat down.

 

He walks ok, actually walks better the faster he goes, and he isn't limping. He's been eating and pooping just fine. He gets up ok, it's getting down to the floor that seems hard for him at the moment.

 

We have a call into our vet's to ask if it's safe to up his dosage for a few days.

 

It seems just like the Glucosamine did the trick for a few years, then wasn't enough anymore, we are having the same issue now with the Deramaxx.

Is there a different NSAID that we should ask about? Something he can take safely to handle his aches and pains? What alternatives do we have to manage his aches and pains? Is there anything topical we could put on him?I know of things for humans, but don't know if any of that would be safe for a greyhound.

 

He still seems happy to see us, trots over for a cookie, gets excited for a walk, although between the heat here and his arthritis, it's been only 2 houses down and back… I just can not bear the thought of us not knowing how much pain he is in and not doing enough for the old man.

 

This is my first dog. My husband grew up with dogs, many years ago, but back then he said there wasn't much they did for an arthritic dog other then have them put to sleep when their pain was too much, and they couldn't get around.

 

Shadow is the BEST DOG EVER, and it breaks my heart to see him tail-down and looking sad. I know we are lucky to still have him as healthy as he is at his age, but I want him happier, healthier and for longer. :-(

 

Please advise, greytalkers.

 

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Tramadol might make him feel too 'out of it', and i think they can hallucinate on it too. in one of mine that had kidney failure the drug concentration built up in the blood and even caused severe heart Arrhythmia

 

Metacam? Zubrin? Previcox? Have you tried those NSAIDsyet? You might also need to give Omeprazole to control stomach acid if on max dosage.

 

Also, hydrotherapy can help arthritic dogs to maintain muscle tone.

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We recently tried Cannabis oil to add to our boy's regimen, but he has osteosarcoma and is on lots of other pain meds. It appeared to help though and is supposed to be excellent for arthritis type pain. We got it from our holistic vet, but you can get it online as well. There is only trace amounts of THC, so it doesn't cause a high. We're doing Pet VitaminRx brand - Hemp Rx. I've seen it online as well as CannaPet online. Might be worth a try.

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Try fresh factors - it can give a bit more help and they have a green powder that is also quite good. I used a registered dog chiropractor for about 2 years (every 3 to 4 weeks) and it really helped my dog but, I told him each time to be real gentle. After the adjustment, he would sleep for hours but, the next day would be much more limber. The one I used came to my house.

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I would ask your vet about different pain meds and dosages. Tramadol works great for many dogs, but some have a bad reaction, you won't know how your dog will react until you try. Glucosamine will help in milder cases of arthritis, but as it gets more severe, the supplements seem to have less effect :(

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Guest nnamdismom

Poor baby. Sounds like you are doing everything you can! You are a good mom. He is just an old sweet boy. My Nnamdi is only 5 and has had shaky legs since we got him. I have a feeling I will be asking you the same question some day!

 

My grey eats a raw food diet that we buy from a clean and monitored company, which helped us with a lot of his issues. His legs are less shaky than when we got him for sure. I know raw is not for everyone and your boy probably would not benefit from a diet change, but I wonder what is a good way to add a little more protein into his diet? Could you give him a tablespoon of yogurt, or maybe half an egg with each meal, fish oil?

 

Good luck with your baby, he loves you!

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Does not sound like arthritis, sounds like lumbar spinal stenosis.

 

The shaking sounds more to me like LSS. He would need gabapentin for that in addition to the NSAID.

 

My young man is only 5, and when his behavior changed I suspected medical, and it seems as if he is developing it. Nerve pain is like lightening bolts in your body. It is uncomfortable and a bit scary until you know what's going on--and of course a dog can't really be told what it is. Gabapentin should really help.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest LazyBlaze

I would second the hydrotherapy suggestion, it did wonders for our old arthritic terrier boy, as did Tramadol as things progressed. I would also add a good quality Omega 3 into his diet, it helps the joints. The glucosamine and the NSAID you already have him on will be helping already, but in my experience as arthritis progresses you need to add things in to keep ahead of the pain. Tramadol and/or Gabapentin as others are suggesting should give a good boost to his pain relief.

 

I would concur with other posters though to first investigate with your vet the possibility that it's LS, given the symptoms you describe.

 

Very best of luck, hope you can get your boy back to his tail-wagging self very soon.

 

:ghplaybow

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Thank you for the support and suggestions!

Shadow gets yogurt and pumpkin in with his food twice daily, as well as an omega3 prescription strength supplement from the vet once daily. Vet said give the Deramaxx 25 mg 2x daily and let him rest a few days. If he's no better, bring him in.

 

I did our first go at an Epsom salt soak on the front paws today (used towels soaked in warm water and salts in a zip lock bag method I read about on GT) he let us give him the spa treatment for 11 minutes. I rinsed in clean warm water and patted dry, he fell asleep afterwards. Don't know if it helped, but he looked very relaxed afterwards.

 

How often would you do the soaks? Daily? Twice daily?

Is it dangerous if he licks his paws later? He retracted one beneath him and I didn't get it thoroughly rinsed.

 

He seemed better today with less trouble getting down, but a little more trouble standing up. Walked ok though. Hopefully he'll be a little better in a day or two and we can get him in the car to the vets, I'll ask about the LS, and gabapentin. I don't see anything obviously corn-like in the paw pads, but I'll keep checking daily. Thank you and wish us luck!

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