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Severe Arthritis so upsetting

(17 Posts)
Hairydogmummy Sun 12-Jan-20 18:50:52

Our beloved 7 year old dog was diagnosed with arthritis three months ago. It's in both knees and hips at the back and his spine (spondylitis). The vet said there's no surgical solution and it should be a to be managed. He's on Metacam, cartrophen injections, glucosamine, turmeric and even CBD oil but it's getting worse and worse. He can't jump at all now, constantly hobbles, can't walk far at all and falls over if he tries to stretch. The vet said he's having everything they can throw at it. So scared we're going to have to have him put to sleep. He's still really excitable when people visit and when he goes out so I think maybe the vet thinks he's better than we're saying. He can do so little of what he used to love. The reason he's like this at 7 is his breed. He's a Cairn terrier crossed with a bearded collie so big heavy body, little legs. He's gorgeous, the sort of dog you can't walk without people stopping to admire him. Can anyone offer any hope/advice? We'd be lost without him

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FatherRabulaConundrum Sun 12-Jan-20 19:39:00

Our 10 year old terrier has pretty bad arthritis but just in one elbow, so he only limps on one leg. He's on Galliprant, very limited walks (15 mins x 3 day) and he loves hydrotherapy - I take him once a week to swim in a pool with a therapist, and he splashes around without putting any strain on the joint. I found this site very helpful about what we could do to make his life easier.

randomsabreuse Sun 12-Jan-20 19:47:00

We had bad arthritis with our lab. Tried Galliprant, Onsior and steroids (Not simultaneously). Gave us more time but actually caused problems with kidneys and mental function.

His kidneys couldn't cope with any pain relief other than Metacam/cartrophen which just weren't enough - he was just lying in a soaked bed with a clean one next to it because it hurt too much to get up - so it was time to let go.

He had spinal arthritis and you could tell when he was euthanized how much impingement there had been on his front leg nerves so was definitely time to let him go!

Still miss him. hugs

SutterCane Sun 12-Jan-20 19:52:16

I was going to suggest the same site, it's excellent. They've also got a FB page which is worth having a look at too.

Inforthelonghaul Sun 12-Jan-20 20:07:19

Our dog had joint problems and we found Yumove Advance 360 supplements really helpful in reducing pain and making movement easier.

Hairydogmummy Sun 12-Jan-20 20:33:01

Thank you all so much...will take a look at that site. Will ask vet about Galiprant. As I say, I haven't felt the vet has taken his deterioration seriously. Am going to ask to see the more senior one this week. He's on yumove but only started the other day. Before that he was on human glucosamine. It's making me so sad today cos I'm not well and normally he'd jump on the bed to be with me. How old was your Lab @randomsabreuse ?

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Hairydogmummy Sun 12-Jan-20 20:35:00

@FatherRabulaConundrum we do have a hydrotherapy place nearby do you mind me asking how much it costs? We stupidly didn't have him insured so we are paying for all his treatment. Do you think it actually improves him or more a better way to be active than walking?

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tabulahrasa Sun 12-Jan-20 22:35:47

There are other painkillers they can add in with NSAIDs.

It’s horrible when they’re only young eh? sad I had to have mine PTS just over a year ago at 6 years old, he was on gabapentin, pardale, tramadol, cbd oil and yumove towards the end (couldn’t have NSAIDs) and still miserable.

But all of those you can have with NSAIDs, he’d also had Amantadine at one point as well, so... that’s at least 4 other drugs, and I’m sure vets know more, lol

Hairydogmummy Sun 12-Jan-20 22:44:13

Really? I hadn't realised there were so many. I need to do much more reading up but it's come as quite a shock how fast he's deteriorating. I was confident that what we were doing was making a difference but doesn't feel like it is. Need to be firmer and clearer at the vet I think and ask for more drugs! Will also look in to hydrotherapy. I'm sorry you guys lost your dogs. They're such an important part of the family. I've lost old dogs before and felt accepting and prepared for it but the thought of losing him at 7 is heartbreaking.

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Motorina Sun 12-Jan-20 23:13:50

Physio has made a big difference for my girl.

Taking some weight off her has helped no end, too. She’s now - on the vets advice - on the border of underweight, and much more active for it. (And if a beagle can do it...)

Sympathies - it’s miserable watching them struggle.

randomsabreuse Sun 12-Jan-20 23:16:27

Lab was 12, but very sudden onset. DH is a vet so we tried pretty well everything- the other drugs worked for the paid but put him in instant polydypsia/polyuria which was a sign of kidney function impairment.

After that experience wouldn't want any of the more opiate drugs "long term" but purely to get through recovery from injury/op. A friend's dog (13 yo German Shepherd) was on Onsior for 6 months until he got too sore and he had no issues.

Collies can be funny with drugs - they're the most sensitive to scavenged Ivermectin from workers. So is worth being cautious.

FatherRabulaConundrum Mon 13-Jan-20 10:36:52

I pay £25 a session (about 45 mins) - DDog isn't insured either but by now we'd probably be paying about £90 a month so i'm trying to make it work out in my head! He does LOVE his swimming, and the idea is to build up the muscle on that side of his body to support the joint. He also has to be kept very light, which is hard for me, but absolutely necessary. He has regular blood tests to make sure his liver's coping with the painkillers, and he's also on Yumove - we looked into Cartrophen but there was so little cartilage left on his poor elbow that it wouldn't have made a significant difference. I'll review that should other joints start to deteriorate.

It's heartbreaking to see your dog in pain, but at the same time wagging his tail and wanting to carry on. I think the decision about how long you continue medicated the pain comes down to quality of life. We'll give our DDog whatever analgesia he needs until it looks as if it's causing more problems than it's solving, but hopefully that won't be for a few years yet.

Hugs. It's really really tough.

Scattyhattie Mon 13-Jan-20 12:22:18

Canine Arthritis Management is an amazing resource to help improve quality of life.

If your vet isn't taking it seriously maybe would be better off with a referral to orthopedic or pain management specialist for a consult who'd have more experience in that area to get best advice. They do vary considerably pricing and isn't a reflection of service quality (one i enquired with was double cost of where we went), vets have their preferred referral choices but you can check options as its your decision.

Hydrotherapy is great as more non-weight bearing exercise allows to use more body more freely and the warm water has therapeutic effect on the muscles. Cost vary & worth contacting direct as our does special offers for non-insured. Ours allows 45min slots but doesn't reflect time in the water as that varies with fitness/conditions, its more effort than land based so it may seem like relatively short time.
Go with one that is CHA or NARCH registered as anyone can set up hydrotherapy centre & may not be qualified and not done correctly it can make dog worse, there's also been case where a dog died (secondary drowning).
The water should look clear like that of a human pool and treated to keep bacteria levels safe so if green/can't see dogs legs give a miss. You can ask to visit (minus dog) before spending money with them. Also they may do offers to help those that are uninsured so worth speaking directly & not writing off on cost, ours in highest priced in area but excellent service & does a buy x get 1 free which reduces cost.

Physiotherapy is also great as changes in one area have a knock on effect on the whole body. It can also teach you how best to help your dog. They often use laser or other electrotherapies which are helpful for many conditions.

sleepymum50 Mon 13-Jan-20 13:07:05

I did a Swedish massage course a few years ago, and have found massage to be helpful for all sorts of aches and pains ( in humans and dogs). When my big girl labradoodle was diagnosed with arthritis at 14 I think it really helped her, and she loved it!

I wouldn’t worry to much about being a trained masseuse, just use your hands to apply a reasonable pressure around the different areas, knees, hips, shoulders. Test on yourself first to find a pleasing pressure. I used to sit behind her while she was standing and rub her hind knees with my palms using a circular motion. If I stopped, she would look over her shoulder as if to say “more please!” Use common sense and stop immediately if your dog makes a noise or moves away.

It easy to do, costs nothing, and can be done for five minutes at a time as often as you like. I have found other dogs that also really enjoy it.

My girl was on meta cam, but also tramadol. My vet told me that metacam can sometimes upset their stomach so I used to take breaks from that, but I think the tramadol is what helped the most. So would urge you to ask for this. She also had a bone cancer so it may that tramadol is not usually prescribed for arthritis, but it may be worth asking

Good luck

Hairydogmummy Mon 13-Jan-20 13:42:24

Thank you both so much. That's excellent advice. I've rung the vet just now and said we want to see the partner when we go in. We have hydrotherapy at the kennels up the road but it doesn't have membership of any professional organisation so far as I can see, though there's one not too far away that does. I've also found a physiotherapist too so am going to ring her. She has all the accreditations for animals and people! I wish it was just in one leg but I know it's all through back legs and spine so while he's not putting weight on his right leg it's only straining the other.

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Motorina Mon 13-Jan-20 20:48:04

That all sounds really promising.

It would also be worth asking your vet to give you an honest opinion of your dog’s weight. So many dogs are overweight that we just don’t see it, and it can make a huge different with joint issues.

Hairydogmummy Mon 13-Jan-20 23:43:47

Thanks...we are trying to reduce his weight. He's normal weight but we're trying to get him down a bit cos I know it helps. He's on Hills Light for medium dogs. It's hard though as he used to do half hour brisk walk a day but can only manage 10 mins now. I keep wondering if we used to give him too much exercise as he only has little legs! He loved to run so he had long beach or woods type walks where he'd run for ages most weekends.

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