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Old July 27th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Shadow and her arthritis

Okay, so Shadow has been getting her cartophen shots for a while now, and is also taking Metacam daily. I can't say that I think the cartophen is doing a great deal to improve her mobility issues, but maybe is more so keeping her from deteriorating further than she is now.

Last month the vet had me try a week's supply of Deramaxx (I think it was, the large brown pill, he had me give her half a day) to see if it would help more than the Metacam. It did not.

Right now, while she doesn't seem to be in pain, it is obvious she still has mobility issues with her legs, that is more prominent when she is tired. Sometimes when she's eating her hind legs will just sorta fold up on her and she'll gradually sink downwards to the ground at her hind end. When that happens I normally give her a bit more meds. She generally gets her meds in the morning if she eats her breakfast, so I may top her up again at night if she's having difficulties.

Any other ideas on things I could ask the vet about giving her? I can't really afford to do physio on her although I would love to, but it's just not going to happen. Other than the occasional signs of weakness, she seems fine and happy.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 03:24 PM
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I don't have any advice for you, but I'm sorry Shadow isn't doing so well with the Arthritis
BIG to you both. I hope you can find something that might help her feel a little stronger.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 04:11 PM
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Thanks Robin. I know I've said before that we can't fight old age, but I guess we can do our best to delay the inevitable. I feel blessed to have had Shadow for fourteen years, and have promissed her and myself not to let her suffer. I don't think she is yet, but she does struggle sometimes. I really have to watch her when she goes in the stairs. She does well if she goes slowly, but if she tries to run down with Halo she will fall and then I worry about her breaking a leg and I know that would be the end of her. Sweetie that she is she tries very hard to keep up with her younger sister Halo. Will be taking Shadow to the vet on Friday to talk to him about other possible treatments for her comfort. Thanks again for caring, you are a very sweet lady with a full plate of her own!
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Old July 27th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Too bad there isn't a place near you to take her swimming. It almost sounds like a muscle-tone issue. Poor dear.

Is there any physio you can do with her? I know they prescribe home exercises when a dog is recovering from surgery to keep them mobile--I wonder if the vet could give you some exercises to do with her that would keep her limber and give her a little more strength?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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Hazel, Shadow and water do not get along - at all! First time we tried bathing her she screamed so loud our pregnant neighbour came running out in a panic because she thought she'd been hit by a car! Shadow is like the pack "WATER - just say no!"

I do try to massage her legs some in the evenings. Unfortunately we don't get a lot of long walks in anymore (we used to go several miles a night) as I'm never certain we'll make it back home with her bad legs. I agree with you that is does seem to be a muscle tone problem at times also. Massaging the dog doesn't go over well with hubby though you know.... He gets jealous!
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Old July 27th, 2011, 04:32 PM
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We'll have to make Shadow an honorary setter then!

If hubby gets jealous at all the massaging, have him do it! I was thinking more along the lines of passive bicycling and bending and flexing exercises, though.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Dancer View Post
Thanks Robin. I know I've said before that we can't fight old age, but I guess we can do our best to delay the inevitable. I feel blessed to have had Shadow for fourteen years, and have promissed her and myself not to let her suffer. I don't think she is yet, but she does struggle sometimes. I really have to watch her when she goes in the stairs. She does well if she goes slowly, but if she tries to run down with Halo she will fall and then I worry about her breaking a leg and I know that would be the end of her. Sweetie that she is she tries very hard to keep up with her younger sister Halo. Will be taking Shadow to the vet on Friday to talk to him about other possible treatments for her comfort. Thanks again for caring, you are a very sweet lady with a full plate of her own!
DD, you are a doll.
I'm glad she's still happy. And if we have Thorin to the age of 14, I will most definitely feel blessed!! Well, I feel blessed anyway lol, just will be moreso if he makes it that long

Thorin has been struggling with his arthritis for a little while as well. He's getting slower and slower going up the stairs. We're pretty sure now that his episode a couple of months ago was, in fact, a small stroke. He drags his hind leg quite a bit now and does what Shadow does, slowly slumps to the ground if he's standing to eat etc. We can't give him the Metacam until he's done with chemo. But overall, he's doing very well and doesn't seem to know there's anything wrong with him
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Old July 28th, 2011, 03:20 PM
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not to cure it or anything, but we bought Brina a kundra bed when she had her surgery, when she lays on the floor she is stiff getting up, but when she sleeps on it, she steps "down" to get off the bed and seems a lot better, its a canvas mat, easy to clean and its up off the damp floor.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 03:53 PM
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Robin, sorry to hear that Thorin is having these same issues. All we can do is keep them happy and comfortable. Poor baby Thorin, I feel so bad when they slump down when they're standing. Although it doesn't seem to hurt Shadow any, I think it hurts us more! I also thought Shadow had a stroke the first time she couldn't walk, but the vet assures me it was from swelling in her spine that her legs gave out on her.

Melinda, Shadow actually has one of the Costco dog beds, so she doesn't actually sleep on the floor, although that said, she moves back and forth regularly from bed to floor. She has such a hard time standing up when she's been sleeping on the bare floors (as opposed to the carpets), but still she'll get up off her bed and move onto the slippery floor with great regularity. I can always hear her when she gets up off the floor to go back to bed because he feet slide around on her and it takes her a second or two to get a good grip of the floor. Wakes me up regularly, but I listen to make sure that she's not having problems with her legs again and that in fact she is just slipping. There's only one area of our floor in the bedroom that doesn't have carpets on it (due to Halo being afraid of the slippery floor) and that's where Shadow has to lay. I tried covering it once thinking she'd like that, but no way. She wouldn't have it. I'm not sure that having a raised bed would help her only because I'm afraid she might slip getting out of it right now. But I will keep it in mind.

Thanks guys, will update next week after she's been to the vet again.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 08:28 PM
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DD, Perkins, my red cattle dog, is 15 now, with the same issues as Shadow of course, possibly worse. I don't expect him to stand to eat anymore, I tell him to lie down on his bed, then I'll hold his bowl on an angle so he can reach all his feed. He has a Dick Wicks magnetic bed believe it or not, designed for people with arthritis but they also do dog ones. The foam in it is rippled(peaks and valleys) to take pressure off any sore parts, and the cover has magnets sown into it. I throw a dog blanket(cotton) over it to keep it clean and to stop him plucking the fleecy cover.

Outside, sometimes it is scary watching him standing on a bad day. He starts to sink, but it is not back onto the hocks, rather forward from the hocks, in other words his turn of stifle gets deeper as his topline goes down. He has to reposition himself after a while. Poor old dogs, hey? He was having trouble getting up a small half step into the house so yesterday Ian built him a ramp there. LOL. We already have a big one onto the porch for the dogs, now another, and I just haven't got used to it yet ! I nearly trip, or I jar myself because I am expecting to step down. At least he manages better though.
X rays taken here when dogs were say just 8 or 9 showed noticeable spondolytis, so I hate to think what they'd be like in their old age. Incidentally, re the Cartrophen, I've used it for two dogs, one it worked for, the other it didn't.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 09:21 PM
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Don't have very much to add but what about a daily low dose of baby aspirin? Our Golden had very bad hips and we gave her 1 daily which seemed to help her mobility.

Looking forward to the update next week DD.

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Old July 29th, 2011, 12:56 AM
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Some have had success with Tramadol, a low dose to start may be an option your vet might have available.

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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:28 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is online now
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I had good luck with the addition of Jarrow's True CMO, a cetyl myristoleate product. Sometimes a combination of different joint supplements can make the difference. The addition of Ester C or sodium ascorbate can help some.

Massage and stretching?
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Old July 30th, 2011, 10:09 AM
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Awww poor shadow! give her hugs for me. i haven't dealt with any older pets really with my babies still being under 8. but i hope the vet can give you something to maybe help her more. and hugs to you too mom i'm sure it can be hard to watch sometimes! keep taking care! love you!
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Old July 30th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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DD,I know there is a difference between people and dogs,but I have Osteo- Arthritis and take 2 Tramadol pills a day,they really help,maybe like Growler says they would also help Shadow?
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Old July 30th, 2011, 10:35 PM
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Hey guys, couldn't get into the vet today, but will be shortly. Am going to certainly ask about the tramadol. It is comforting to me though to know that many of the symptoms Shadow is showing are common. GF and Rgeurts, knowing that your guys also sink down some gives me comfort to realize that she's not any worse than many others. It just seems so awful to watch them. But it has really helped to share on here and know she's probably not as bad as I think she is. I also realize that perhaps what I'm taking as pain is just simple weakness now. You guys have all been so helpful with sharing your stories and advice. Thank you so much.
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