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Old July 5th, 2011, 08:52 PM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Saskatoon, SK.
Posts: 936
Given her age and size, I would be inclined to think the stiffness is likely arthritis, and probably not related to her other symptoms.

I would put the skin problems to her age as well, thinking that as she gets older she has different requirements. Do you feed her fish oil? Fish oil is high in omega 3 which has anti-inflammatory properties, will improve the skin and coat, and studies show it also helps to prevent heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. A dog won't get enough omega 3 on a kibble diet because of the processing of the food. Same like humans who eat processed food they are high in omega 6 (which is associated with inflammatory response) and low in omega 3. Omega 6 and omega 3 should be balanced with each other much like calcium and phosphorus.

Personally, I would add fish oil (up to double the label suggestion for 3-4 weeks) and a good glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement. Pick a good quality fish oil that is in a dark glass bottle, and preferably has vitamin e in it. Or use capsules. The pump-type plastic bottles you typically see are often rancid, or will turn rancid not long after you first use it. Capsules don't have to be refrigerated, but bottles of oil do (even if the label says you don't have to). Crappy fish oil is as good as none at all, and none is cheaper!

Maybe she does have the beginning stages of heart failure, in which case it would be imperative to add omega 3 to her diet to help prevent further damage, and help to try to repair some damage already done.

Good luck!
Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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