My sweet dog is 11 years this spring. this past fall I noticed she is a bit slow when she gets up, sometimes her first step or two is stiff.
I have taken her to the vet and had hip xrays, was told there is only a tiny bit of change in one hip, not enough to cause discomfort.
I started her on a gd quality glucosamine/chondroitin which did seem to make an improvement.
Yesterday when she got up from laying down she rose very stiffly, her hind end somewhat slower than her front, she kept one hind leg off the ground only lightly weighting it for several minutes.
Then her first couple of steps were head bobbing lame.
to me that is sore!
You would get a lot more response over in the menagerie forum, so you may want to ask the mods to move this.
My lab mix has hip dysplaysia, and what worked best was Adequan. It's the same stuff we give horses, just a lower dose. After several months she is back jumping up on the bed. Be patient; it takes a while.
We also put her on Rimadyl, to no noticeable effect, but my neighbor's dog improved overnight on it, so try both.
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2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!
Aside from supplements, acupuncture helps some dogs. My parents' dog has arthritis and they were actually considering putting her down two years ago because she seemed so miserable and had mobility issues. But glucosamine (the Ubavet kind) and acupuncture completely changed her and she even runs now.
I hope you find something that works for your dog. It's so hard to see them in pain.
My old guy did this and we found out he had bone cancer. He did this for about a year, did hip xrays, pain meds, glucosamine, rimadyl, tramadol, adequin, and an array of other stuff to try and help him. Then 2 days before I had to put him down from this the vet came out and I had him look at him again. Now he had just had an exam a month before and was fine, but this time he felt the tumor in the bone or whatever, it's been a few years now but he told me the horrible news . He said it's a very aggressive cancer and he probably only had a month or so before he was eaten up with it and his leg was very vulnerable to breaking at this point. This is why I let him go, I couldn't imagine him having to go through the pain of his leg breaking here at home and he was so big I couldn't have gotten him up on my own and with only a month maybe I just had to let him go. Anyways point of ll this is talk with your vet about this possibility, also
hip dysplaysia is a possibility but xrays should show that.
Eta. For the year we had no clue he had bone cancer, and we couldn't figure out the problem
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First off, ensure that the hips are the problem - often slow to rise can be a sign of referred discomfort (knees, back, abdomen etc). You would be suprised how many dogs have cruciate disease that dont show consistent lameness. If it really is arthritis related thats good...because theres lots of treatment options:
Stage 1: Neutraceuticals such as glucosamine (remember you get what you pay for - theres good and not so good glucosamine products), adequan/polyglycan, fish oil. Exercise and maintaining lean bodyweight.
Stage 2: NSAIDs such as metacam, dermaxx, rimadyl, previcox
Stage 3: Opioids or synthetics such as Tramadol.
Stage (anytime) Physiotherapy, Accupuncture
Medical management for arthritis has come a long way Hopefully you can maintain in stage 1 as long as possible, knowing there are always further stages and combinations available.
True, but it is a good point that you want to rule out immediately life-threatening conditions when you suspect arthritis. Everyone - vets and owners - tend to think arthritis when an older pet slows down, but obviously older pets are also at a higher risk for diseases like cancer. Not just bone cancer, either - both my previous dogs were initially thought to have arthritis when their early cancer symptoms began presenting.
My current arthritis hound takes fish oil supplements, dasuquin and rimadyl daily. She has tramadol if she seems very sore. She still has some discomfort - is cautious lying down, for example, but seems happy. I think the best treatment, once the pain is under control, is frequent gentle exercise. Also lifestyle changes help - orthopedic dog bed, raised food/water bowls, limiting the exposure to stairs.