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Arthritis management

(9 Posts)
Zariyah Fri 12-Feb-16 15:45:09

Ddog has arthritis in his elbow and knee. I'm giving him glucosamine supplements which appear to have made no difference, except to my purse. hmm I give him meloxicam when he's limping and slower than usual. Vet advised not to give daily as it makes him sleeping and upsets his tummy which makes him really distressed. I try to keep his weight down and give him a good diet, he gets plenty of exercise.

What else can I do, if anything? One issue is whe it's cold and he seems in pain, he refuses to go outside. He has a blimmin' bladder of steel. shock Anyone else's dog do this? I am often to be found standing in the garden while he watches from inside, refusing to step outside into the cold! Surely it can't be good for him to hold on for hours on end...?

Thanks in advance.

Veterinari Fri 12-Feb-16 16:03:02

There are dozens of alternative drugs to meloxicam - he needs longterm analgesia not intermittent dosing, and your vet should be able to prescribe an alternative NSAID - there are much newer ones now that many dogs tolerate better. Meloxicam shouldn't cause sleepiness but it does reduce pain and painful dogs are sometimes restless

I'd suggest switching from meloxicam to another NSAID that he can tolerate longterm (this is probably the single biggest thing you can do to improve his quality of life.
Also add in tramadol (unlicensed in dogs but often very effective) or gabapentin (though can cause sleepiness)

Good luck
These articles may give you some background to help with your vet visit
www.vettimes.co.uk/article/approaches-to-management-of-chronic-oa-pain-in-dogs-and-cats/
www.vettimes.co.uk/article/practical-management-of-canine-osteoarthritis/
www.caninejournal.com/canine-osteoarthritis/
www.arthritisdogs.net/canine-osteoarthritis-%E2%80%93-why-treatments-don%E2%80%99t-work-2/

Zariyah Sun 14-Feb-16 10:29:53

Thank you, that was very helpful, as were the links. I assume from your name that you are a vet. smile

It makes sense that he's not sleepy on the medication, just more comfortable. The main issue is the upset stomach though because it makes him agitated. I am concerned about long-term NSAID use but only because I'm on them myself and have caused ulcers, even with PPIs. Are the risks the same for dogs?

I find it hard to know when he's in pain which makes me feel very guilty. blush He's quite persistent and can manage to leap on the sofa and bound up the stairs, even when clearly struggling. I err on the side of caution and dose him up but my neighbour who's an experienced dog owner suggested I shouldn't do this...?

Our vet surgery are amazing, so I shall book an appt and discuss Zdog with them. He'll be thrilled, little weirdo loves it there!

suz1rr Sun 14-Feb-16 13:36:10

Is his weight ideal? Any excess weight can put more pressure on their joints, so make sure he is nice and trim. Maybe look at getting him a fleece jacket to wear, equafleece do ones with front legs on them, to keep elbows warm, maybe popping one on him before he goes out will keep him more comfortable? And look into canine massage/physio if any in your area, heard some great things about them smile

OttiliaVonBCup Sun 14-Feb-16 13:38:25

Acupuncture has good results.
Look into physio as well, your vet should be able to recommend a good practitioner.

Zariyah Sun 14-Feb-16 14:23:03

He has a lovely equafleece with front legs. Best £25 ever spent on the dog! Convincing him to wear it is another matter. He'll happily wear it for walks but I'm not sure he'd be delighted with putting it on the use the garden. That said, I'm wondering if it's hurting his front leg to put on and I'm going to order one with a zip and see if he's more amenable.

I didn't even know physio for dogs existed. I will do some research definitely. Thank you for the tips and advice.

suz1rr Sun 14-Feb-16 15:49:00

I took my 7 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback to a doggy massage session after doing a free tester at an agility show, he loved it, he isn't arthritic but being an older large breed I thought he might benefit, and he was a lot more energetic afterwards, even my husband (who was adamant it was a load of rubbish) had to admit how much more he was bouncing around! I'm planning on doing one with him a few times a year smile

Veterinari Tue 16-Feb-16 12:47:39

I'd also suggest hydrotherapy and acupuncture

Also regular gentle exercise (no ball chasing or jumping) and weight control

Veterinari Tue 16-Feb-16 12:49:54

And sorry to answer your previous question, personally yes I'd maintain on longterm NSAIDS assuming you find an approach that doesn't cause GI upset. NSAIDs can actually reduce the progression of arthritis

Ensure they're always given with food and try another if meloxicam isn't working

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