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Rimadyl, Previcoxx and my best friend Zack...questions

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  • Rimadyl, Previcoxx and my best friend Zack...questions

    My 11yo aussie, zack, is starting to have some hip issues. My heart just starts pounding when I think about it because he is just simply TOO YOUNG to have hip issues.

    You see, he has to live at least 50 more years so I have him my entire life.


    He has been to the vet and has the beginnings of arthritis in his hip and possible knee...

    We did a few days of Previcoxx and he was good as new...

    Then 3 days ago(off Prev for a few days) he must have slept wrong, had a 'spell' when trying to go up the stairs-was crying and 'stuck.' Just ripped me up to hear him-but we are all ok now from that! Got him quiet and finished the stairs like a big man!

    So now we are back on Prev for 5-7 days.

    This is unfamiliar terrain for me....

    If he is to the point that he needs it daily...

    1. If he is 'sound' on it, can he play ball? I know that sounds dumb but he is obviously no longer sound without it-but is sound with it. He loves ball. Ball is his world. There is no point to being sound if it means he can't play!

    2. Rimadyl or Previcoxx...I know, the eternal debate.

    3. The vet said I could try alternating days...has anyone had success using it just 3-4 times a week? Or only on hard play days?

    I know he will need blood work every 6 months...

    Does anyone have any thoughts? Suggestions?

    He is on daily Cosequin and Conquer HA-has been for years-I guess it is no longer strong enough.

  • #2
    Jingles for Zack!
    My vet says moderate exercise is good, but nothing extreme. Also keep their weight down.
    You can give Rimadyl on their stiffer days only but my vet claims it works best when a therapeutic dose is kept in their system.

    I lost my 12 year old Catahoula in June to kidney disease caused by Rimadyl. It gave her relief from her arthritic pain for a couple of years, but I wish it hadn't been so hard on the kidneys. We stopped the Rimadyl when her bloodwork started going "off" but the damage had already been done.

    She also got Adequan and an oral joint supplement. It's so damn hard to lose a good canine friend.

    At the end she was on Tramadol.
    Last edited by dawglover; Aug. 20, 2011, 07:44 AM. Reason: add info
    Save lives! Adopt a pet from your local shelter.


    • #3
      We tried Rimadyl for my lab, but it wasn't strong enough to cut through his pain so we went to Previcox which we have to give daily to keep him happy and comfortable.

      I've had the same 'is it okay to play ball' dilemma that you've had, and I decided that 'yes' it is. For my lab, playing fetch is one of the highlights of his life and I can't stand to take that away from him before I absolutely have to. I have however, significantly cut back on the time spent retrieving. We used to spend an hour or more every day at the river throwing the tennis ball as far as it would go. Now, we play fetch a couple times a week for about 10 minutes. It took some experimentation, but I was able to figure out how much he could handle without being too sore the next day.

      I'd also suggest looking into Adequan, that has helped my lab a fair amount too. Good luck- it's so hard to watch them age and slow down.
      Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
      If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


      • Original Poster

        Is the Adequan like horse Adequan? A monthly injection?

        If it would prolong Ball-Life or reduce the amount of Prev he needs, I would be all for that!


        • #5
          My sympathies for your sadness. Autumn, though it carries the promise of winter, is still very beautiful-try not to let your fear of winter blind you to the beauty of autumn

          Been in your situation lots of times, and my advice is to GIVE HIM WHAT HE NEEDS TO FEEL AS GOOD AS HE CAN. Though I know its a possibility, I havent had any liver/kidney issues w/any of my guys on long-term NSAIDs. My favorite is Metacam-4 dogs on it for daily 1-3 yrs., and no side effects.

          It takes NSAIDS 36-48 hrs. to reach therapeutic levels, so this is why you dont want to play with the dosage. Keep him on it.

          For some reason, Metacam isnt the 1st NSAID of choice for vets in my area, and also in "other lands",spec. Maine and VT. My vet told me that the drug co.'s offer big specials to vets on Previcoxx and Rimadyl much more often than Metacam, so it behooves vets to offer them first. I have known a number of dogs who have rejected both Prev and Rim due to stomach and/or liver issues.

          The problem with ball is the big slides to pick up the ball-you need to stop the big throws and keep retrieves short-lots more gentle catches. I know its a horrible day for you-I've had to stop retrieving w/4 rabid retrievers over the yrs, so I know how sad it is, for both of you He can still carry his beloved ball around everywhere-you can do lots of gentle toss/catches, and some taking ball and giving it back w/o any throws-seems to satisfy them, evidenced by them happily wiggling away looking satisfied.

          "...no point in being sound if he cant play"....of course you dont mean that. You want him for 50 more years so you must do what you have to in order to prolong his longevity.

          More gentle throws in the house. No competition when retrieving. Be mindful of footing and surface grade-no retrieving on unlevel surfaces. SHORT, EASIER retrieves. Just be mindful.

          Ask your vet about Metacam. Lots of folks here on COTH love it best.

          I truly empathize with you, LMH. But please try to enjoy the autumn--its all the more beautiful because you know what is coming.



          • #6
            Adequan has been shown to be most effective with a loading dose, of 1 shot every 4 days for a month. Do it twice a year. Monthly shots without the loading dose aren't as effective. Your vet can show you how to do the shots.

            Dogs react differently to different NSAIDs, so if the Rimadyl isn't working, you can try a different one. Previcox seems to be the newest generation, with less stomach/liver issues.

            Also add Fish oil or flax oil to his food, as it has anti-imflammatory properties, and is good for heart, skin, immune system as well.


            • #7
              My Cody has spinal arthritis and is on Metacam.
              We started on every other day, but after about a year, he has shown me he needs it daily - trouble going down stairs and not getting his back end all the way up when he jumps on the bed or couch.

              Because of this thread, I am going to call my vet about Adequan.
              They never mentioned it as an option but I want him to be able to tear around the perimeter of the yard and then jump up on the bed to sleep with me, as his greyhound half so enjoys.


              • #8
                We see a motherload of orthopedic cases just like yours daily, and with 3 excellent board certified surgeons they all agree on one thing: each dog is different ! Not one NSAID is better than another.

                They generally prescribe Metacam first, however its like the great people pain killer debate, there are about 20 out there and each person will "love" one brand over another. My personal favourite is naproxen (yum!) however my friend swears by tylenol3.

                As to why they prescribe metacam here, I believe its because we can give it as an injectable before the animal wakes up from surgery, then continues on the oral medication when out of hospital. However....if clients prefer to try dermaxx,rimadyl or previcox than we just skip the injectable as to not mix them. No doctor has a problem with using one over the other.

                The most proven NSAIDs available (to my knowledge) are Metacam, Dermaxx, Previcox, Rimadyl. Also, ALL NSAID's can have adverse effects, and if at any time you see bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy then immediately stop and see your vet. Just like in people, horses etc. NSAIDs of ANY brand can cause gastric ulcers. Its not common, but it can happen so its something to look out for.

                Another good idea is to do a blood pannel every 3 months while on NSAIDs (we recommend this) to monitor liver/kidney function.

                I know some who are on metacam for life. I also know some who are given their metacam on "sore" days. Its not a drug that needs weaning. Start/stop at any time. The longer it is given however, it increases chance of adverse effects. I am not sure if rimadyl/previcox work in the same fashion.

                Adequan is a PSAG and can be given along with an NSAID. Cartrophen is also used in cats/dogs and is the new rage in horse medicine - Pentosan. However, these drugs generally seem to work better in horses than in small animals. Not to say they wont help, but you are likely to get a much better response with NSAIDs. I believe that is because dogs generally dont show lamenesses until their joints are very much shot - where as horses,they tend to show more subtle lameness that the PSAG's can maintain longer soundness. But, these wont hurt your dog, so might be worth a try.

                Being as he's 11, I would suspect you wouldnt want to put him through a surgery. Is one side worse than the other? Sometimes FHO's can relieve a lot of pain for those with more unilateral osteoarthritis. Total Hip replacements have done wonders in some dogs - however there are a lot of pros and cons to balance with these kinds of surgeries - sometimes its an easy quick fix and other times complications can lead to heartaches. Its a personal choice, and a lot of owners are very happy once their dog feels better after surgery, but others just arent comfortable with the risk. (Not anesthesia risk, but general "did the surgery help" risk)

                I'd see if you could get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon in your area, not necessarily to discuss surgery but "maintenance" plans regarding drugs. There's lots of good stuff out there for dogs, even non-NSAID's like tramadol can be added on the more painful days. Often worth a consult fee to discuss a good maintenance protocol.

                Good luck! And I agree, 11 isnt old and they should live to 50!
                Last edited by SquishTheBunny; Aug. 20, 2011, 09:27 PM.


                • #9
                  Rimadyl was putting my old diabetic lab mix in liver failure. Durmaxx (sp) was very effective for her and didn't cause her any other health problems.


                  • #10
                    You've been offered a lot of good advice. I work in orthopedic surgery and I just looked up to one of the surgeons from this board and said "Whats your imput on x vs y vs z?" and he poignantly said : "an NSAID is an NSAID is an NSAID. Do what works for your dog." I have noticed here certain doctors are quick to perscribe metacam before rimadyl, although we do see more rimadyl in general. Not huge users of previcoxx (can't say why.)

                    To add to the old dogs having surgery--I'm caring for a 14 year here now who just had a TPLO the other day! Surgery today, will go home tomorrow. If the dog is otherwise HEALTHY and has a few or more good years left, and you've got the money (or insurance, or care credit) go for it!

                    eta: I looked up at a surgeon that was here, while looking at this board. Not that I asked a surgeon who posts on this board XD (although I'm sure there are a few!)


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you for all the advice. Today is day 4 of back on Prev and he is doing fantastic!

                      He looks youthful and can jump on the bed.

                      I am doing very small ball tosses and lots of walks simply carrying Mr Ball...

                      He is a different dog from a few days ago...so I guess this is a good thing.

                      As I type this he and Mr Ball are napping together-and that makes my heart sing.

                      We are also spending daily time doing hip massages-is it helping? No idea...but he loves it. And that is good enough for me.


                      • #12
                        I have found that the low dose coated aspirin work quite well for my old dog. (short term)
                        ... _. ._ .._. .._


                        • #13
                          Is it safe to give a dog naproxen? My old shepherd mix is on metacam, but I don't see much in the way of results. She's 14 and terribly arthritic in the hind end, and doesn't control her bowels well anymore. The inevitable is coming sooner rather than later, but I'd like to make her as comfortable as possible as long as her attitude and appetite are good.


                          • #14
                            Just wanted to share my experience. My dearly departed brittany had hip issues at age 11, Rimadyl did nothing for her (worked well on my old beagle though), we put her on Metacam, which did make a difference for many years. She was also on joint supplements (Conquer Canine). When she was 13 we had xrays done again as she was having issues, and basically the balls of both hips were gone. She also was having disc issues in her neck.

                            Adequan injections greatly improved her quality of life, along with continued Metacam.

                            This was before Dermaxx or Previcox was available, so I can't really speak to how well they might work.

                            Abby lived to age 14, when the pain from the neck disc issues became too much.
                            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lolalola View Post
                              Is it safe to give a dog naproxen? My old shepherd mix is on metacam, but I don't see much in the way of results. She's 14 and terribly arthritic in the hind end, and doesn't control her bowels well anymore. The inevitable is coming sooner rather than later, but I'd like to make her as comfortable as possible as long as her attitude and appetite are good.
                              NO!!! Dogs cannot metabolize naproxen safely!!!

                              Ask your vet about switching to a different dog-friendly NSAID, or adding in another pain medication (tramadol, gabapentin, amantadine) if you think the current one isn't working.


                              • #16
                                I didn't think it was safe to give naproxen to a dog, but another poster mentioned it. I may also ask the vet about Adequan.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by lolalola View Post
                                  I didn't think it was safe to give naproxen to a dog, but another poster mentioned it. I may also ask the vet about Adequan.
                                  If your dog is in immediate, everyday pain that Metacam isn't touching, then I'd consider an oral medication like I listed before. Adequan takes some time to work, and really doesn't have efficacy for advanced arthritis where there is significant loss of cartilage.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by lolalola View Post
                                    I didn't think it was safe to give naproxen to a dog, but another poster mentioned it. I may also ask the vet about Adequan.
                                    Nooooo.... I said "people" like naproxen/tylenol3 etc... neither are good for dogs