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Shadow and Metacam

Dog Dancer
December 8th, 2010, 12:22 PM
As I mentioned in a thread a while back, my vet's associate told me several months ago that Shadows blood work showed her to have a slow growing cancer. We all agreed that due to her advanced age we weren't going to do any tests to determine where the cancer was because at best we'd just go with palliative care anyhow. So last week I took her back to the vet again because her arthritis is acting up. He put her on Metacam, full dose for ten days then start lowering it slowly so long as we saw results. When I mentioned the cancer issue to him he was shocked. Said he doesn't see anything in her test results that leads him to think she has cancer, her liver functions aren't right and haven't been for a while, but says that's just old age. Thanks other vet for making me worry more than I needed to!

What's your opinion of Metacam if you've used it? I seem to sense that Shadow is improving in her mobility since being on it for five days. I have't researched it at all, does it have long term detrimental effects - which I may not really have to worry about anyhow??

diandpat
December 8th, 2010, 12:33 PM
So glad to hear about Shadow's "non cancer" diagnosis. :thumbs up One less thing to worry about.

As you know, I too have two senior dogs so can sympathize and empathize with you trying to make the right decisions about what meds to give.

We did try Ginger on Metacam three years ago and saw only slight improvement. After about two months we went back to "move up" to Deramaxx and we weren't satisfied with her status on the Metacam. To go from one to the other they have to be off everything for a week. Well, OMG, in that week "our" Ginger came back to us. She had been so dopey and lethargic on the Metacam we didn't recognize her. The vet says that those are not usual effects of Metacam but she has heard of it before from time to time so just be on the lookout for that.

I think you do senior blood panels on Shadow anyways so any "long term" problems, such as they are, would probably be indicated then.

Good luck! At the end of the day we can only do our best to keep them comfy and happy. Sounds like you are doing both :goodvibes:

Rgeurts
December 8th, 2010, 12:37 PM
I'm so sorry you had to go through that, how frustrating... and sad :grouphug: :(

We had Thorin on Metacam a couple of times. Short term is usually not bad, but long term can have some serious side effects. This is a link to one of the websites I researched before we put Thorin on it:

http://www.ehow.com/about_5300091_side-effects-metacam-dogs.html

He has done fine on it for the short durations. As for the liver, Nanook's enzymes were through the roof when he was on the pred, azathioprine and pheno. Our vet and specialist said it's to be expected, there was nothing we could do and at the rate of damage we could expect him to live to about 4 yrs. The holistic vet, however, had a completely different opinion. He put Nookie on a Chinese herbal formula on a Monday. By Friday his liver was completely healed and back to normal :thumbs up

If you want the name of the herbal remedy, I can get it for you when I get home tonight. I was a horrible skeptic when it came to natural and homepathic treatments, but blood tests and improved energy/quality of life don't lie. I'm now a believer :)

Dog Dancer
December 8th, 2010, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the words of support diandpat. Shadow doesn't seem dopey with the Metacam so far. She comes to work with me daily, and has always been very social, goes to say hello to any of our students or members who come into my office and then goes back to her bed. Since her legs have been bothering her she doesn't go visiting often, and it was very sad to see that. People would ask if she was okay. Now since being on the Metacam she will get up when she hears people with a friendly voice and go to say hello again. It has lifted my spirits too that she's more comfortable if she's willing to go back to wandering the office. I will keep an eye out though for the symptoms you described.

I'm not sure how many more geriatric blood panels I'm going to do on her. She was very traumatized by the first one as it took the vet three jabs to get the blood sample. The first one no problem, the second poke she wasn't too happy, by the third wrap and poke she was getting very disturbed. When we went back for the second panel about 8 months later they got the blood on the first try, but she pooped on the vet tech and the floor just to let them know she was not happy about it. On this vet visit she was up on her back legs and clawing at me not to go into the examining room. I know most dogs don't care for the vet, but she was frantic this time. I'm not sure if I can put her through that again (the blood work). I would have to see some drastic change in her health I think before I wanted to go there again. We'll see. But she is happy and for now seems much more comfortable.

Dog Dancer
December 8th, 2010, 12:48 PM
Robyn, sure I'd love the name of the herbal remedy. I don't think the vet is too worried about long term effects on Shadow because of her age. She is already pushing the envelope on her life expectancy sadly, although she's certainly not ready to go yet. I am hoping that the arthritis issue is mostly a winter thing and by spring maybe we can stop the Metacam completely. We will be lowering her dose and then going every couple days rather than daily once she is settled on it. Thanks for that link, it was very informative and good to have the info on what to look for. Like I said though, I really don't want to have to do too many blood panels on her. I think Halo was on the Deramaxx a few years ago when she had a UTI, I'll have to look and see.

Chris21711
December 8th, 2010, 05:27 PM
DD...I used to give Metacam daily to Cocoa in her last few months...due to her age and condition I/the Vet didn't concern ourselves with any long term effects it might have had on her. She was definately feeling better with it and it helped her enjoy her day to day life.

Do you give Shadow any supplements to help with her mobility?....I gave Cocoa Recovery SA for dogs after the first few weeks I noticed a considerable difference in her mobility....They now make Recovery extra strength which is supposedly even more effective.

http://www.purica.com/recovery_sa.htm

TeriM
December 9th, 2010, 01:46 AM
DD, I had Lucy on meticam when I first started giving Lucy stuff for her arthritis. She always did very well on it and we had her at a half dose daily for quite a while and successfully managed it. I did eventually switch her to previcox which is thought to be better for longer term use. Both are NSAIDs and therefore are often harmful to the liver and/or kidneys but sometimes the comfort is more important.

Here are a couple threads with some excellent info on NSAIDs from Dr. Lee.
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=50863&highlight=NSAID
http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=53420&highlight=NSAID

Have you considered trying cartophen injections for Shadow? I found those to be quite helpful and if you are interested I actually have a quite full bottle that I bought for Lucy around that you could try.

Dog Dancer
December 9th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Thanks Chris and Teri. I don't give her any supplements right now, but do think I should look into something to help her liver just to be on the safe side. Will also go to the health store and get some glucosamine and such.

Chris, do you have to get the Recovery SA at a vet or can you get it at a good pet store?

Teri, I'll hold off on the cartophen and do some more research. Not even sure what that's all about. I did read those links that were sent. Thank you. As you said, we're not really worried about Shadow being on Metacam long term as she's already so senior, it's more important that she be comfortable.

14+kitties
December 9th, 2010, 12:33 PM
Nothing to add. Just know your baby is in my thoughts mf. :grouphug: I know what she means to you.

rainbow
December 9th, 2010, 01:49 PM
Chase was on Metacam when he had both of his TPLO surgeries but only for a week each time. He's also on it right now along with Clindamycin as his right tonsil is quite enlarged. My vet does not like dogs to be on it for long either.

As well as putting Shadow on glucosamine and chondroitin, I would definitely add some salmon oil as well. You can also get the g & c with MSM added.

There is lots of valuable information about arthritis on the dogaware website ....

Supplements & Diet

http://www.dogaware.com/health/arthritissupps.html

Chronic Pain

http://www.dogaware.com/health/chronicpain.html


Here's some info on MSM .....

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=0+1306+1448&aid=1356

http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/msm-for-dogs.html

Dog Dancer
December 9th, 2010, 01:57 PM
14+ thank you for your thoughts. Yes she means the world to me.

Rainbow, thanks for the links will give them a read. It's all about making her comfortable. She's a happy girl for the most part, but it was obvious that she was feeling the pains in her hind legs. She's always been a leg lifter to pee (my girl pee's like a boy) and lately she's been squatting, so I know her legs were weak, which what could you expect at 13. I'm waiting for the day she lifts her leg again to know the Metacam is really working :D. Mind you she might have just gotten in the habit of squatting now. She did give it a partial lift yesterday, so that was a good sign...

Dog Dancer
December 9th, 2010, 01:58 PM
Rgeurts - any luck with the name of that herbal remedy you were going to look up for us?? Tks.

luckypenny
December 9th, 2010, 02:18 PM
In regards to glucosamine, I've read somewhere that glucosamine hydrochloride as opposed to glucosamine sulfate is much easier absorbed by dogs. Adding MSM and Chondroitin might be of some benefit as well as wild salmon oil to help decrease inflammation.

Big :grouphug:s to both you and Shadow.

Dog Dancer
December 9th, 2010, 02:29 PM
Thanks for the info LP. It's looking from all the info on here like at some point we'll have to run another blood panel to check her liver functions again, but honestly she just hates it!! I can't bear the thought of putting her through that again. I guess when they said she had cancer I figured I wouldn't have to worry about long term and doing more tests. But now that it's just old age and arthritis again, with the Metacam being bad for the liver, I'm guessing we'll end up having to do another panel somewhere down the road. I'm thinking positive that she'll stick around for a while longer :D.

rainbow
December 9th, 2010, 02:30 PM
In regards to glucosamine, I've read somewhere that glucosamine hydrochloride as opposed to glucosamine sulfate is much easier absorbed by dogs.

I've heard that as well and also that liquid is better than capsules and capsules are better than caplets. :shrug:

This is what the dogaware website says ....

There are many arguments about which form of Glucosamine is best. I have yet to see anything I find convincing, as most of the arguments are made by commercial companies in support of their own products. However, if giving Glucosamine HCl, it should always be combined with Chondroitin Sulfate for better uptake, whereas Glucosamine Sulfate can be given alone. It is best if supplements also include Manganese, which can help increase absorption.

TeriM
December 9th, 2010, 02:48 PM
I'm thinking positive that she'll stick around for a while longer :D.

As you should :D. I must add that we actually had Lucy much longer then I would have thought. Two christmas ago we thought that would be her last but she was around another 1.5 years so you never know.

Metacam and NSAIDs are great but if you haven't used the supplements first then I would probably recommend that you go with those first. Some dogs do fine long term on the drugs but they are quite hard on the liver and kidneys and even the tummy so I would only use if necessary. We had Lucy on them for a few years and closer to the end we switched her to tramadol which is just for pain and took her off the NSAIDs as her liver was quite compromised at that stage. If you do have Shadow tested then ask for the bile acids panel as that shows how well the liver functions even if the counts are all wacked.

So I would go with the Recovery SA which you can find at Tisol, most small pet stores that stock the hight end food or at most human health stores. I also really like this supplement which is similar http://www.thewholehound.com/our-products/osteo-aid.aspx and rotate between the two.

I would definately discuss cartophen shots with your vet. They somehow lubricate the joints. You start with a series of 4 weekly shots then go to once monthly and there is way less side effects then with the drugs. They can sometimes upset some dog's tummys but I always just gave with a pepcid and Lucy was fine.

Dog Dancer
December 9th, 2010, 03:46 PM
Okay, so she's already on the Metacam, but we will be lowering the dose over time so it's not too harmful on her liver. If I put her on the Recovery SA that has the glucosamine and such in it right? I did look at the link, but it was a while back. I'm old like Shadow, memory ain't what it used to be... Right now the Metacam does not bother her tummy, so that's good. She has a very good appetite, which is actually unusual for Shadow, she's always been a very hit and miss eater.

Chris21711
December 9th, 2010, 06:09 PM
Chris, do you have to get the Recovery SA at a vet or can you get it at a good pet store?

I buy mine in the farm store, the Vet is more expensive and none of the pet stores around here carry it.

.

.

I would definately discuss cartophen shots with your vet. They somehow lubricate the joints.

When I was at Winter Woofstock I was talking with a Rep from Recovery and in the Recovery Ex Strength they now add Hyaluronic acid which is said to serve the same purpose.

DD here is a list of stores where you should be able to purchase it: http://www.purica.com/where_to_buy/?page=search&categories%5B%5D=1&categories%5B%5D=3&city=vancouver&postal_code=&province=BC&submit=SEARCH

MaxaLisa
December 9th, 2010, 08:59 PM
I would definately discuss cartophen shots with your vet. They somehow lubricate the joints. You start with a series of 4 weekly shots then go to once monthly and there is way less side effects then with the drugs. They can sometimes upset some dog's tummys but I always just gave with a pepcid and Lucy was fine.

Cartrophen shots are not available in the U.S. I had a vet that really wanted to use them in one of my dogs when she was younger (he was a vet from Canada doing a stint at the local university). He seemed to think that they were more effective than the Adequan shots that we have here. I've tried the shots in Max, and they do help, in fact, I just ordered some to start him on a regular schedule (vet wrote a script).

Oral hyaluronic acid will do something similar, though I think most vets will say oral is not as effective as injection. I give a separate HA supplement here.

Dog Dancer
December 10th, 2010, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the info Chris. That search tool was great, found a store not too far (I'm actually not right in Vancouver, rather Coquitlam, but to others outside of BC that doesn't mean much). Will get some this weekend for sure.

MaxaLisa, thanks for posting, I appreciate any and all info.

Chris21711
December 10th, 2010, 06:13 PM
He seemed to think that they were more effective than the Adequan shots that we have here. I've tried the shots in Max, and they do help, in fact, I just ordered some to start him on a regular schedule (vet wrote a script).

My old girl Cocoa who passed last year was receiving the Adequan shots....I asked for Cartrophen but for some reason our Vet didn't use them and used the Adequan. I didn't really notice that much difference in her, but maybe it was already too late for her.

Oral hyaluronic acid will do something similar, though I think most vets will say oral is not as effective as injection. I give a separate HA supplement here.

I think Adequan has hyaluronic acid as one of it's agents

TeriM
December 10th, 2010, 06:34 PM
Found this explanation.

Adequan Shots
Adequan is an intramuscular injectable form of the oral joint supplement glucosamine. The active ingredient is polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. Like glucosamine, it lubricates the joint and reduces painful inflammation. A "loading dose" of shots every 4 to 7 days for 1 to 2 months is followed by monthly shots for the life of the dog. Adequan is a prescription medication. If the owner is experienced with giving intramuscular injections, it can be ordered in bulk and administered at home.

Side effects are minimal. Some dogs experience temporary stomach upset after each shot. In rare cases, Adequan may reduce blood platelet counts and is not recommended for dogs with bleeding or clotting disorders.

Cartrophen Shots
Cartrophen (sodium pentosan polysulfate or NaPPS) shots not only lessen inflammation but alter the mechanism of the neural pain receptors, thus reducing pain in two ways. Cartrophen is injected into the muscles surrounding the affected joint at weekly intervals for 4 weeks. Beneficial effects can last for several months. When the dog starts showing signs of pain, the cycle is repeated.

Cartrophen is well tolerated, and side effects are extremely rare. Like Adequan, it should not be used on dogs with blood or clotting disorders