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Tips for a young arthritic dog

(29 Posts)
DoubleCarrick Sun 16-Oct-16 08:58:28

My boy as just turned four. He's playful and energetic.

He's just been diagnosed with hip displacia which has already caused arthritis in his left hip and some signs in his right hip. His left is particuarly badly displaced and the joint is hardly in the socket.

We've bought extra rugs for the laminate flooring and have been told to keep his walks short and not let him use the stairs. He's currently on anti-inflammatory meds and as a result does seem to be less grumpy at night.

I've read that tumeric paste can be good for arthritis for both animals and humans so will try that.

Is there anything else I can do? Is anyone able to recommend a decent dog bed/mattress? He's only four and I just want to make his life as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.

I'm heartbroken

tabulahrasa Sun 16-Oct-16 12:31:57

A joint supplement like yumove is worth trying and salmon oil.

I have a memory foam bed for my dog, no clue if it helps his joints but he definitely likes it, lol.

Hydrotherapy is supposed to be hugely useful. (Not an option for mine, but lots of people reccomend it)

What's his weight like? You want him as light as possible, verging on underweight - that's one thing that is hugely hugely important.

Are you looking at management and then surgery?

TrionicLettuce Sun 16-Oct-16 12:39:46

One of the best things you can do is keep him at a good weight to reduce the stress on his joints. In a situation like this it's better to have them a bit under what is normally considered ideal than over.

It's also worth looking into hydrotherapy and physiotherapy for him to keep the muscle in that area built up so it helps support the joints.

TrionicLettuce Sun 16-Oct-16 12:48:36

Just had another thought; how short do you keep his nails? Having them even slightly too long can alter how a dog puts their foot on the ground which will also affect how they use the joints further up their legs. Ideally you want the nails at least short enough so that they don't touch the floor when the dog is standing on a hard surface.

This is a really good video about why well trimmed nails are so important.

Secretspillernamechange Sun 16-Oct-16 12:49:08

Yumove is a fantastic supplement that I always recommend. Otherwise yes limit jumping including on and off sofas etc.

Exercise is a tricky one, it's a balancing act between ensuring the muscles supporting the joint stay strong whilst avoiding impact that will cause damage. Swimming is ideal, but otherwise just listen to your dog. Ball chasing and repetitive movement is a bad idea but I would be cautious to restrict exercise too much if the dog is comfortable and doesn't get sore afterwards.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Sun 16-Oct-16 12:49:13

Short walks, preferably on a level, taken often, to stop him getting too stiff.
Hydrotherapy.
Weigh at the vets regularly, if you can, keep to a good weight.
Good diet.
You move tablets.
Tramadol.
I don't know how advanced your dog's arthritis is, but my boy has just started on Previcox, such a difference, I kid you not. Metacam can also be used, but can be unkind to the kidneys.
Cartrophen injections, speak to your vet.
Hope you get some good pain relief for your boy.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 16-Oct-16 19:10:33

My dog is 3 and was diagnosed with mild to moderate hip dysplasia on one side just after his first birthday (it was found during investigations into something else). He has no sign of arthritis but is obviously at risk as he gets older. At the moment he is unbelievably healthy - what seems to help is keeping him lean (he's right at the bottom of the recommended weight range for his height and build), he has nutraquin supplements, salmon oil and the odd tin of sardines. He runs quite a bit - he loves to run and jump - and swims most days in the river. Quite a lot of his time in the water is spent trotting at armpit height against the current which pretty much exactly replicates the hydrotherapy sessions he was having on the treadmill at vast expense! He's got fantastic muscle definition in his hind quarters which helps keep his hip in the right place. I know that technically we shouldn't let him jump but he'd be miserable if he couldn't hare through the woods leaping over fallen trees. The vet at the Royal Veterinary College who treated him for something completely unrelated earlier this year said he was in fantastic condition and was a real athlete so I reckon we're doing something right. Obviously if he showed any sign of discomfort we'd reassess

dannyglick Sun 16-Oct-16 19:15:54

Poor boy.
RE dog beds: our elderly rescue collie cross loves his Orvis dog bed.
He also enjoys his Bakers Joint Delicious daily treat stick.

Floralnomad Mon 17-Oct-16 12:58:18

My dog (6) has recently had a diagnosis of luxating patellas , I'm reluctant to go straight to surgery as he's a notoriously slow healer , we are giving him Canine Joint Right from the horse supplement direct , and it does seem to have helped .

DoubleCarrick Tue 18-Oct-16 07:32:05

Good morning,

Thankyou all for your replies. I tried to type an answer out on my phone but as usual the app crashed and I lost everything I wrote.

We've currently got him on a diet with the aim for him to lose about three kilos. He's a good weight but could do with being skinnier.

I'll look in to all of the supplement suggestions. Has anyone used Golden Paste?

He's currently on Loxicom daily but the vet doesn't want him to have huge amounts of that so we will be weaning him down slowly after we've seen her on Wednesday. She said that once she can see he's more comfortable then we can cut back to just when he's stiff.

He's pretty good at letting me trim his nails but I'll make sure I keep on top of that.

Although the arthritis is only in the early stages he's only a young boy but his hip displacia, especially in his left hip is pretty severe. His left ball joint basically isn't in the socket at all. Just goes to show that having a back end that looks good is no true indicator of whether a dog has good/bad hips. He really doesn't have anything like a shep slopey back (pics included to show his back end)

DoubleCarrick Tue 18-Oct-16 07:32:12

Good morning,

Thankyou all for your replies. I tried to type an answer out on my phone but as usual the app crashed and I lost everything I wrote.

We've currently got him on a diet with the aim for him to lose about three kilos. He's a good weight but could do with being skinnier.

I'll look in to all of the supplement suggestions. Has anyone used Golden Paste?

He's currently on Loxicom daily but the vet doesn't want him to have huge amounts of that so we will be weaning him down slowly after we've seen her on Wednesday. She said that once she can see he's more comfortable then we can cut back to just when he's stiff.

He's pretty good at letting me trim his nails but I'll make sure I keep on top of that.

Although the arthritis is only in the early stages he's only a young boy but his hip displacia, especially in his left hip is pretty severe. His left ball joint basically isn't in the socket at all. Just goes to show that having a back end that looks good is no true indicator of whether a dog has good/bad hips. He really doesn't have anything like a shep slopey back (pics included to show his back end)

tabulahrasa Tue 18-Oct-16 07:50:07

I don't use turmeric, I avoid anything that could be an irritant on his stomach and his vets weren't sure if it would be or not.

tabulahrasa Tue 18-Oct-16 08:05:18

That wasn't advice btw, just why I've no experience with turmeric, lol.

Veterinari Tue 18-Oct-16 08:15:05

Is he insured? Or do you have a bit of a financial cushion? If so a hip replacement would be the best thing for a young dog with severe hip dysplasia.

Yes to weight reduction and hydrotherapy - maintaining muscle mass to support the joint is essential

Regular steady exercise - no chasing or twisting.

Speak to your vet again re:loxicom, as well as providing pain relief, research shows that long term use can actually slow the progression of degenerative joint disease by reducing cartilage inflammation, so assuming he's tolerating it well, long term use may actually be more beneficial (and provide better analgesia) than dosing him when his joints are painful. An alternative approach is pulse dosing (1 month on, 1 month off) which can also be effective. And newer NSAIDs may be more appropriate in the long term.

Sugarpiehoneyeye Tue 18-Oct-16 08:17:43

He's beautiful OP, ask your vet about Previcox.🐕

Sugarpiehoneyeye Tue 18-Oct-16 09:25:23

Veterinari, may I ask your opinion on Previcox, please.
My boy is a GSDxRottie/Akita, a big lad, not overweight, he's nine.
Just completed another course of Cartrophen, two Tramadol per day, plus one Previcox.
He is very happy and moving well again.
Obviously, there are restrictions in place, regarding exercise.
Would Loxicom be a better option ?
Thankyou.

bulldogmum Tue 18-Oct-16 09:48:20

Your boy is gorgeous!

I have had a lab who was diagnosed with arthritis at 2. And a bulldog who had arthritis in his front legs aged4.

The best things I found to work:
Weight control
Hydrotherapy
More short walks rather than one or 2 long walks.
Glucosamine tablets
Green lipped mussel
Both glucosamine and the mussel are in Yumove which makes those an easy good option.
Yumega oil or fish oil.
Ramp to get in to car when he's older.

And I can't praise turmeric paste enough. The bulldog is on tumeric paste and is like a different dog. You need to make it yourself which takes 5 mins and start on really low doses so you don't upset his tummy. There are great facebook groups for people who use tumeric and have all the recipes and doses.

Beds - get a raised bed like a HiK9 or similar so his joints aren't on the hard floor, pop a memory foam mattress or old duvet on top to make it snuggly. Raised beds take the pressure of joints. Lots of places like Groupon etc sometimes have offers on raised beds.
My lab went on til 13 1/2 years and in later years was on pain management for the arthritis but spent lots of his younger years on just maintaining weight and hydrotherapy and supplements.

BagelGoesWalking Tue 18-Oct-16 10:16:20

Join this group to learn all about Golden Paste. Use search options to find out any clashes with current medication, pinned post has recipe for the paste or you can order direct from the Golden Paste Co., Harrogate but it's easy to make.

TheCatsBiscuits Tue 18-Oct-16 10:18:43

I got a memory foam mattress for my creaky old girl - I ordered a big chunk of foam with memory foam on top from an internet foam supplier (about £20), then bought a nice fleecy Tuffies cover to slip over the top. When the foam got a bit stinky I just chucked it out and bought another chunk. It was very very comfy. So comfy I sometimes used to sit on it myself

She was also on Yumove and then a special joint supportive diet from Specific.

BellaGoth Tue 18-Oct-16 15:27:49

We adopted our girl knowing she had a luxating patella and arthritis. The rescue paid for her surgery which we followed up with hydrotherapy.

She's quite good at knowing her own limits now, so tends not to over exert herself on walks.

My dogs have an old memory foam mattress from a cot bed to sleep on. They love it and people often give them away.

sugarpie can you tell me more about the effects of metacam on kidneys please? Our vet has given us a big bottle to use as and when she needs us but nothing's been mentioned about kidneys!

Try not to be too disheartened OP. Our girl had been badly neglected and needed extensive surgery to sort her out. That was nearly 5 years ago and you'd never know, people often comment on how young she seems!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 18-Oct-16 15:42:39

My dog has been arthritic since 2. He's now 9. All of the above advice but I was just going to add that my boy is particularly bad when the weather changes in spring and autumn. It really affects him for a few weeks then back to normal. Don't panic if he gets worse at those times of year, maybe a painkiller to help, or concentrate on no walks, max yumove etc.

Veterinari Tue 18-Oct-16 20:30:03

Don't panic too much about metacam/loxicom (it's the same drug) and kidneys!

It's generally a safe drug (though every medication has potential side effects) and works by reducing inflammation but if an animal is dehydrated, can stress the kidneys do should only be used in animals with no pre-existing kidney issues or hydration issues (I use it in my own dog)

Previcox is a slightly newer and more selective version of this type of drug and thus has reduced risks of side effects (though they can still occur)

All non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs have some risks of side effects but they are far and away the best type of drug for managing arthritic pain. Chronic pain is debilitating and causes suffering, and other pain killer commonly used in humans such as tramadol or gabapentin are less effective in dogs than humans

tabulahrasa Wed 19-Oct-16 00:27:04

"All non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs have some risks of side effects but they are far and away the best type of drug for managing arthritic pain. Chronic pain is debilitating and causes suffering, and other pain killer commonly used in humans such as tramadol or gabapentin are less effective in dogs than humans"

That...

Mine can't have NSAIDs - that's why we're avoiding turmeric - and without them he's been on cocktails of pretty large doses of various things, including tramadol and gabapentin - none work as well as NSAIDs.

DoubleCarrick Wed 19-Oct-16 10:32:21

It's good to hear that he can still have a good quality of life. It breaks my heart the the play fighting, tuggy wars, frisbee and ball games have to be cut back/stopped.

He went for a checkup today and the vet has said it's worth considering surgery due to his age. I haven't had chance to get any more details from my husband yet as I was at work and DH took him.

shockingsocks Tue 25-Oct-16 02:27:06

Turmeric is good - mine have been on it (add some pepper for absorption - they also say turmeric is also very soothing for the tummy) with Previcox, salmon oil and Canine Joint Right for years. We were told her hips were so bad she wouldn't make another two years. That was six years ago - she's now 15. Totally put it down to this combo and a low calorie grain free diet with good protein levels (we use Ci - Still Going Strong).
Although if surgery is possible I'd give it serious thought.

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