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View Full Version : Arthritis in a young dog - treatments?



DeeThbd
Dec. 16, 2010, 09:30 AM
My DSO's parents have an 18 month-old dog, who just underwent surgery at an ortopaedic specialist.
To give you some background on her, they adopted her at a couple of months of age, so her breeding is indeterminate. She's medium sized, athletically built, with a brindled coat (so perhaps some terrier?) and facial and paw markings like a Border collie. Ears and tail are like those of a Lab, and if I remember correctly, she seems to have some herding instinct.
Now, I realize that some of my details are vague, but here's the best I know. She's a pretty active dog, and a couple of months ago started having hind end problems - suddenly unable to hop up on the deck, and yelping loudly when she tried. Local vet diagnosed a ligament popping out of its channel in the stifle area. (I'm not up on dog anatomy, but am wondering if it's her cruciate ligament) .
So, when she arrived at the specialist, they called DSO's parents with a lot of questions. Turns out she is riddled with arthritis in her hind end, I believe has hip dysplasia, AND needs ligament repair on the opposite side. The vet was surprised that she is still quite active, and did not expect his findings ina young dog. From what it looks like, her condition is degenerative, and they will do what's right for her when her quality of life deteriorates. Right now, she's still bright, happy and feeling good. She has a second farm dog as a companion, on a small farm with ducks, goats and other small livestock.
So, now my question. What can they do, or give her, to keep her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible?
Thanks for the input!
Dee

LauraKY
Dec. 16, 2010, 10:37 AM
I have an older collie, vet orginally missed the Lyme diagnosis, so she had very late treatment. We have her on MSM, Glucosamine, Metacam and fish oil supplements and very high quality dog food. The last time she was x-rayed, her body was riddled with arthritis. I was using 3V caps, but can no longer find them so switched to fish oil. She's acting like a 2 year old again (when it's cold). The heat still really affects her.

Honestly, she improved on everything, when I added the fish oil, I saw a huge improvement. Could be coincidence, I'm not sure, but I'm sticking with it.

wireweiners
Dec. 16, 2010, 11:00 AM
I used the Foster and Smith Level 3 joint supplement for my old catahoula, Katy. They kept her going for years without Nsaids although in the last year of her life, she had to have the Nsaids plus the joint supplement to keep going. The F&S supplement has glucosamine, choindrotin and MSM, I believe along with a lot of other antioxident and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

DeeThbd
Dec. 16, 2010, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the ideas so far! Would Devils Claw be appropriate as a consideration too? I just want to cover all the bases to try and help them help Abby!
Dee

wendy
Dec. 16, 2010, 11:37 AM
keep in mind that there is NO correlation between the severity of hip dysplasia as seen on x-rays and actual symptoms in the dog. For example, a friend of mind had to put her 14 yr old dog down due to advanced cancer, and during the workup for the cancer they realized the dog had severe hip dysplasia- he never had a single symptom his entire life. While some dogs who have mild hip dysplasia on x-rays will act like they are in severe pain. So just seeing hip dysplasia on x-rays if the dog has never displayed symptoms isn't unusual. Symptoms of hip dysplasia are bunny-hopping at the run, wobbly pelvis while walking, difficulty jumping up on things, difficulty getting up and down. If a dog starts to show severe symptoms I believe the best approach is to undertake one of the surgeries to correct the condition. If the dog is not showing symptoms, surgery seems contraindicated and cruel.

The sudden onset hind limb lameness in dogs is frequently a torn CCL, which is corrected via surgery, which sounds like what happened to this dog.

Anyway, the protocol for arthritis in dogs is: keep the dog very skinny, keep the dog very active, feed a grain-free diet, give fish oil, give joint supplements, if necessary do adequan injections.

DeeThbd
Dec. 16, 2010, 12:29 PM
Thanks!
I think the biggest question mark is the arthritis - in a dog that young, I think it's pretty surprising. Will definitely pass along the comments!
Thanks!
Dee

wildlifer
Dec. 16, 2010, 05:44 PM
GLC Direct -- was recommended to me by someone on here and I know use it for my 16 year old Collie mix, awesome stuff, really helps her out a lot. Just google it. The website looks a little cheesy, but I have seen a big difference.

Mali
Dec. 16, 2010, 07:17 PM
Cox Vet Labs manufactures a liquid dog supplement (beef flavored) called Actiflex. It is wonderful stuff! After 3 days on it, my lab was walking right up the steps again. I know several people using it for their dogs (and using the horse version for their horses), and they all love it. It's not uber expensive either - I think around $20 for a quart. I did not want to do the prescription products with him, due to the potential negative side effects, plus the periodical blood tests.

DeeThbd
Dec. 17, 2010, 09:52 AM
My DSO's dad sends his thanks for your ideas! I'd appreciate some jingles for Abby; she came home last night, very groggy and out of it. They've put pins and wires into her leg, but the degeneration in her hip is at a level where there is basically no hip left - just two points instead of a ball and socket. For the dog pros on here - would it be something genetic to cause this much damage in a dog this young? Her other hip is a bit better, but not a whole lot.The vets cannot understand how she remains active. She is, however, comfortable, and her family will do the right thing when she asks.
All the best to all of you,
Dee

BetterOffRed
Dec. 17, 2010, 10:40 AM
The corgis and I are sending Abby big GET WELL! wishes!

This week on the Diane Rehm radio show, she had a veterinarian that had just written a book about dog care (Sr. dogs) but I think a lot of the information is relevant.

He recommended several things for arthritic dogs:
1. Hills JD dog food- a joint care
2. glucosamine in treats or supplement form

Also, you may also want to consider adequan injections for dogs. My vet has had a lot of luck giving this to dogs with hip problems.

wendy
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:39 AM
do not do the hill's prescription food the ingredients in anything made by Hills are appalling. You can get the same effect without the awful poor nutrition by feeding something like wellness ocean fish core and adding extra fish oil. Hills so-called prescription foods aren't something you want to touch, they aren't based on as good science as one would hope.

Yes, the dog's problem is probably genetic in nature- and since her dysplasia is so bad she probably isn't in pain at all. One of the treatments for hip dysplasia is a surgery called FHO, where they basically remove the bony hip joint, and the dog forms a "false joint" from soft tissue. Dogs with a good false joint are not in pain and can be quite athletic.

dawglover
Dec. 17, 2010, 11:47 AM
My 2 old Catahoulas are on Adequan and CortaFlex. Sparkle is on Rimadyl but last week's bloodwork is showing kidney damage so have to get her off that. So now she's on Hills KD and some meds for her kidneys.

Yesterday I took the Casey in to a different vet for xrays for a non arthritis problem and he suggested laser therapy for her hips, as she is the one that Doesn't tolerate NSAIDS for more than a couple days in a row.
So I signed her up for 10 treatments...she had her first one yesterday and has them on M, W,F of next week. I'll check back in and let you know if it helps.
Vet says if it is going to help her I'll notice after the 2nd treatment.
After the initial 10 then they go on a maintenance plan of a treatment every 3 to 6 weeks, depending upon the dog.
Hubby says if it helps Casey then we'll try it on Sparkle too to get her off the Rimadyl.

wendy
Dec. 17, 2010, 12:07 PM
off topic, but you might want to get her off the hills kd- the stuff is based on old, outdated science- it's protein restricted, and has poor quality protein what little it has. Newer studies have found that dogs in kidney failure die faster on protein restricted diets than on a more normal level of protein, good quality protein but phosphorus restricted diets. Hills pays no attention to these studies. Since you can't buy a proper kidney diet for dogs you have to home-prepare them. http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/kidney-diet/

dawglover
Dec. 17, 2010, 03:22 PM
Thanks. She hates the KD anyway.
And it's expensive as h e double toothpicks.
I don't mind cooking for her.

Why do vets continue to recommend this stuff if it's been proven to be crap?


off topic, but you might want to get her off the hills kd- the stuff is based on old, outdated science- it's protein restricted, and has poor quality protein what little it has. Newer studies have found that dogs in kidney failure die faster on protein restricted diets than on a more normal level of protein, good quality protein but phosphorus restricted diets. Hills pays no attention to these studies. Since you can't buy a proper kidney diet for dogs you have to home-prepare them. http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/kidney-diet/

Mali
Dec. 17, 2010, 03:38 PM
Thanks. She hates the KD anyway.
And it's expensive as h e double toothpicks.
I don't mind cooking for her.

Why do vets continue to recommend this stuff if it's been proven to be crap?

BECAUSE HILL'S PAYS THEM TO DO IT!!!

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/hills-prescription-diet-jd-canned/