Would you give pain relief?

(21 Posts)
KourtneyK Tue 29-Sep-15 11:41:12

My dog has arthritis. The vet said to give him anti-inflammatory medication when in pain. I'm not always sure when he is in pain though.

I've noticed that approx. once every fortnight, he gets quite stiff and struggles to jump onto the sofa which is his favourite place. I would usually give him the metacam. A friend is more experienced in dog owning than me said I shouldn't give him medicine unless he's in obvious pain. He whinges when he can't get on the sofa but I'm not sure if it's because he's miffed he can't snuggle or because it hurts. My instinct is to give him pain relief but my friend has me questioning myself.

Any advice would be great. Thanks. smile

lougle Tue 29-Sep-15 12:10:24

I'd give it if his movement is unusually restricted. The dog can't tell you he's in pain, so you have to be alert to signs.

cathpip Tue 29-Sep-15 12:22:14

I'd give medication for any signs of stiffness or slowness in movements and panting unnecessarily (vet informed me that panting in a dog unnecessarily is a sign that they are in pain)

sherbetpips Tue 29-Sep-15 12:25:27

Give the pain relief, a dog will literally carry on until they drop and will only hesitate when it really hurts. When we sadly had to put our cat down the vet asked if we noticed her having difficulty moving - nope, she was still leaping in bushes after mice we said, oh because she also has severe arthritis and would have been in severe pain around her hips.

Adarajames Tue 29-Sep-15 12:29:57

Id give it; if suspected arthritis then I'd give a maintenance dose daily for a weekend so and see d it changed their behaviour /movement for the better, that way is know if was a pain issue limiting them. Obviously with no noticeable difference is then stop the meds unless signs of pain appear again

Floralnomad Tue 29-Sep-15 13:02:41

My mums dog has arthritis and he has his medication daily ,he's on Rimadyl .

Outcomesthebunnyofdeath Tue 29-Sep-15 13:19:19

An animals's natural instinct is to not show pain. So when you see evidence of pain, such as stiffness, lameness, difficulty getting on the sofa etc then they really are in pain.

I'd give the pain relief. There are long term risks with metacam (and other non-steroidals) but your vet should offer regular blood tests f the dog is on it long term to monitor liver and kidney function.

Personally I'd rather my dog had a potentially shorter life pain-free than a longer life in pain because I didn't give meds in case of the possible side effects of the drug.

What are your friends reasons for not giving it to him?

Scuttlebutter Tue 29-Sep-15 13:56:10

We have several oldies on NSAIDs for arthritis (currently using Previcox).

I just cannot imagine stinting on pain relief, especially knowing that most dogs are stoical, and rarely display signs of pain unless it's severe and overwhelming. Failure to manage pain when the ability to do so is easily to hand seems cruel.

As other posters have said, vets can and do test regularly for liver/kidney function and ensuring a good quality of life for your dog is so much easier with these drugs. I wish you could see our 12 year old hound zooming round the park today chasing squirrels. If I ever met the person who invented Previcox, I'd want to kiss them. Once your dog goes on to this regularly, you really will see the difference.

I'd also add that with winter and cold weather coming in, you will see a deterioration (and more pain). Keeping your dog warm at all times, ensuring they are lean, and providing a really comfortable supportive bed are all helpful. We also found hydrotherapy brilliant, and I'd say it gave a good extra year with good QOL for the dog who had it.

tabulahrasa Tue 29-Sep-15 14:02:11

What would your friend class as obvious pain? confused

Being stiff and reluctant to jump on the sofa seems pretty obvious to me.

KourtneyK Tue 29-Sep-15 14:06:53

You've all confirmed my thoughts, thank you. I'd rather he had an unnecessary dose than leave him in pain but she made me feel like a hypochondriac dog owner!

The vet said to give him a dose every day for a week if he has a sprain, which he is prone to, but didn't give much advice on chronic dosing for the arthritis. I might try some supplements again.

Thanks.

olliecollie Tue 29-Sep-15 16:21:15

Hello
My 11 year old collie is on metacam for arthritis ,he has it everyday full dose in Autumn and winter and probably two thirds of a dose in spring and summer unless it's unusually cold or damp.
I hate to see him stiff which he often is most of the winter.
He has been on it since he was 6 with no side effects.
My -12 year old jrtx is on previcox again for arthritis , he has colitis and previcox is kinder on the stomach.
His only symptoms were being unable to jump on sofa it was making him very unhappy as he kept trying to get up and falling.
His been on this three years and if he runs out his very stiff and can't get up the stairs.
They both have vet checks every six months and are both well.
I'm so pleased to be able to give them these meds as it means they still love their walks and live life to the full.

KourtneyK Tue 29-Sep-15 18:23:48

Kardashiandog had his dose of metacam and is leaping around like a loon. I've been plying him with biscuits because I feel guilty. blush

Has anyone tried the supplements YouMove? Any good?

nellieellie Tue 29-Sep-15 18:26:23

Just wanted to agree with all the above. Dogs don't whinge. If he's finding it hard to get up or get on the sofa it's because he's in pain. Would just add that laser therapy is meant to make a real difference to arthritic dogs - it's come on a lot in the last few years, so may be worth a go. The other thing, which I keep meaning to try is Turmeric, supposedly an excellent (and cheap) anti inflammatory. If you google Turmeric paste, you'll find a recipe. You have to add black pepper, and coconut oil I think to make the active ingredient curcumin bio available. There's a turmeric users Facebook page. People swear by it for their dogs.

KourtneyK Tue 29-Sep-15 18:31:11

nellie I'm on the tumeric FB group for myself actually. I haven't quite worked up the courage to try the paste. Dog is a bit of a fusspot, so I'm not sure he would actually take the paste but maybe the capsules? smile

SunshineAndShadows Tue 29-Sep-15 18:40:00

Bet here. For arthritis your dog needs to be on a long term anti-inflammatory. The signs you describe are all signs of pain. It's probably worth another visit to check dosing and type of drug.

Hydrotherapy and acupuncture can also provide useful relief and support the muscles. Please try and keep hup m slim to avoid unnecessary weight-carrying.

There's no current clinical evidence that turmeric works (or that it doesn't) just not much evidence in general. And it's worth remembering there's always the potential fir side effects skeptvet.com/Blog/2013/09/turmeric-for-pets/

nellieellie Tue 29-Sep-15 18:52:47

Yes, I think that the problem is, who will fund clinical trials on turmeric as presumably it cannot be patented, so can only make limited money as a cheap food. There have been interesting results re its effect on cancer though. www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/can-turmeric-prevent-bowel-cancer
Obviously this is a different issue from arthritis, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence.

nellieellie Tue 29-Sep-15 19:01:52

Have just read the skeptvet stuff. He back pedals a bit in the 'comments' section. But I think I am skeptskeptvet. ! Vets are trained on, and in the main make their money from drugs and medication, rather than 'natural' or 'alternatives'. NSAIDs have known side effects. Turmeric has been used in its food state for a very long time without side effects. Obviously if you take large doses of curcumin supplements, it may have side effects.

KourtneyK Tue 29-Sep-15 21:39:16

Thank you for your thoughts.

I will see the vet again for a review. They've never suggested long-term NSAIDs before but now I think he may need them. He's only 7 and a small breed, so I wasn't expecting arthritis for another few years. sad He had luxating patellas though and one was particularly bad and required a few surgeries.

I'll be totally honest, I have some reservations as I've been on NSAIDs for many years and had some hideous side effects, despite being on PPIs. Advice seems to have changed (for humans) over these years and having once been prescribed with vigour, doctors seem more concerned. That said, I am aware that dogs are not humans. wink It will be a different set of pros and cons.

tabulahrasa Tue 29-Sep-15 23:06:38

We haven't tried turmeric because he had a perforated ulcer last year and so I'm cautious about anything that could irritate his stomach.

His specialist does acupuncture though, she says it's worth trying after drugs, he's had laser therapy too...didn't do much for him, but I couldn't see it doing any harm and he seemed to quite enjoy the treatment, lol.

I give him yumove and salmon oil, I know they had clinical trials for yumove advance which I think were positive?

As already mentioned there's also hydrotherapy and mine saw a chiropractor a month or so ago - so there are lots of things out there that can help alongside medication.

Nothing much has helped my dog, but it's not strictly speaking arthritis he has...and he can't have NSAIDs, which did help hence all the other stuff.

SunshineAndShadows Wed 30-Sep-15 23:44:13

Sorry to burst your bubble Nellie but vets aren't trained on drugs that make money - they're trained on drugs for which there's a good clinical evidence basis.

I'm not sure how you think the 'food' dose of turmeric remotely relates to any side effect risk when a potentially 'therapeutic'/side effect-inducing dose would be much larger? Chocolate in very small doses is not a risk to dogs. Theobromine in a decent dose, however, is lethal.

If you have an animal in pain please treat it with evidence-based therapeutics that work - both pharmaceutical and complementary - Don't leave it in pain and trial unknown random compounds

Adarajames Thu 01-Oct-15 02:21:28

I gave my old girl yumove, made a great difference to her stiffness and mobility issues; if you call / email them, they'll send a free trial pack which has a couple of weeks worth in it as you'll usually see an improvement in that time if it is going to help

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