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Canine Spinal Arthritis

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  • Canine Spinal Arthritis

    Is the official diagnosis of my wonderful BC..

    Vet is saying management right now..hes not sore all the time..just sometimes..

    Has anyone delt with this before? suppliments you can reccomend? a friend uses Joint Oats for her dog's arthritic knees..Im curious if it will work on spinal arthtiris too..

    needless to say..at least I now know the cause for his intermitent "hitch in his giddyup"..

    He hasnt told me he wants to stop working..I think he'd go crazy if he couldnt..so looking for a suppliment that might help him be able to stay in work longer..its a progressive thing and will worsen as he ages, but right now, except when hes experiencing an episode, he is in fine fettle.


  • #2
    By management do you mean anti-inflammatories?


    • #3
      if it's osteoarthritis, I guess you'd manage it like any other damaged joint- a good joint supplement (I like canine hylasport), a good non-inflammatory diet (no grains, lots of omega-3's), plenty of exercise, and if necessary adequan injections and/or painkillers. Keeping the dog's back warm during cooler weather with a coat of some kind may be beneficial to the dog.


      • Original Poster

        yes, NSAIDS as needed

        He is already on a no grain diet..

        I am battling a weight issue with him..hes not fat, but should be thinner..it fluctuates alot..hes an active dog..

        Ill look into the hylasport..was curious about the Joint Oats though..suppossed to be a formula that lets the glucosomine more easily absorbed thru the bloodstream..(as I was told that is a BIG issue with joint suppliments, absorption)


        • #5
          My Cody is about to finish his loading dose of Adequan.
          I think its helping.
          Metacam worked well for him for a few years but seemed to lose its effectiveness.
          Tramadol for really bad days.
          Vet said we can try another anti-inflammatory if the Adequan doesn't get good results.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paddys Mom View Post
            My Cody is about to finish his loading dose of Adequan.
            I think its helping.
            Metacam worked well for him for a few years but seemed to lose its effectiveness.
            Tramadol for really bad days.
            Vet said we can try another anti-inflammatory if the Adequan doesn't get good results.
            I was going to suggest Adequan. Doing the loading dose for a month, helps a lot of dogs.


            • #7
              These anecdotal stories may, or may not, help...

              We had one cat who began to go lame in front, really quite badly, aged around 10yo. Took him to the vet, who surmised it was probably arthritis. X-rayed, and showed me on the x-ray where you could see the arthritis (well, I couldn't see a darn difference, but I'm rubbish at seeing stuff that experts see on xrays).

              Brought the cat home with some sort of pain-killer, which the cat would NOT touch.

              I then observed where and how he slept.....curled up on top of his "castle," a ratty old scratching post thing, with a dunt in the top that the cat curled up in. When he curled up (he was very long-legged), the foreleg that was underneath was always stretched back from the shoulder under his body, not under his chest or head.

              I wondered if this was causing some strain in his shoulder somewhere, so I removed the castle, so he had to sleep on the bed like everyone else.

              Within a couple of weeks, the cat was perfectly sound...and stayed sound until he died last year at 19yo.

              So....is your collie sleeping somehow, somewhere, in an odd position that's inadvertently straining something?

              Second thought....did you have a dog chiropractor check him out? Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but we've had good success with a chiro working with a dog with a bad back in the past. That dog did the "hitch" thing behind, and also strained the base of his tail swimming. - chiro's efforts improved his comfort greatly in both cases.

              I'm no expert, however, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

              Good luck - sounds like a much-loved dog.


              • Original Poster

                So, Those of you using Adequan, is it for specific spinal arthritis..or just other joints? Ill be honest, I didnt even know dogs could get this..did you dogs get to a certain point where you felt they were having more "bad" days then good days?? or did you immediatly start them on diagnosis..

                Regarding his sleeping..he sleeps normaly...on dog bed..or my bed..laid out on his side or sometimes curled up..

                I had thought of the chiro..we had a dog chiro come to our agility trials last year..I did not get my dogs worked on, but I may have her work on him..I dont know of any in our area,,but Ill ask around my dog friends...

                His soreness isnt consistent with anything either, which is weird..its usually after "harder" stock work..but not always..vet feels because its still "Early", its not consistently sore yet..but he applied some pressure to the vertebrae and Fletch turned his head like "owww"..He also showed me the xrays..if a dumb butt like me can see the difference in the vertebrae, its significant..

                Has anone tryed the feedthru stuff? this dog will eat ANYTHING I give him..no hiding it..if I give it to him, he eats it..LOL..so oral stuff isnt an issue...we are also going to try and pull more weight off of him..

                I keep saying at least now I know..and have reference xrays..I love this dog...he is an awesome stockdog and agility dog..just starting in both of them (hes 4)..just hard..


                • #9
                  Cody specifically has spinal arthritis.
                  Visible on xrays.
                  Diagnostics done when I found him standing and panting one day and refusing to move.

                  He was maintained for a few years on Metacam but I noticed about two months ago that he was reluctant to climb the stairs to go to bed at night, and bedtime is his favorite time of day. Also when jumping into the car or on the couch, he would sometimes not get both legs up.

                  His vet is a fellow Dressage rider and I asked about Adequan and she agreed it was appropriate.
                  He is 60 lbs and gets 1.2cc twice a week for 4 weeks and then monthly thereafter.

                  She also gave me some Tramadol, a pain medicine, to be used if he is especially painful.

                  She said if the Adequan doesn't help then we can try a different NSAID, like Rimadyl.

                  I am also keeping a COTH suggestion of Dex in my back pocket to bring up with the vet if we get to that point.

                  Personally, I have never seen anything that proves oral supplements do anything beneficial, so I do not go down that road.


                  • #10
                    Adequan helps all joints in the dog. It actually helps with teh lubrication, which then reduces or eliminates pain, as opposed to just masking pain like NSAIDs/pain relievers. (Although NSAIDs can reduce immflamation which can help, but there are potential serious side effects).

                    Doing the loading dose for a month, before the dog gets really bad seems to work best. It will delay deterioration.


                    • #11
                      My experience for what it is worth - my last dog was a BCX who lived with severe trauma-induced arthritis for >5 years... heart cancer got him in the end . This is what I found to work.
                      1) NSAIDs as required -by the dog not you! You do need to be "stranger" when this and not treat as your own dog. Only assess every other day at this stage - he will tell you when you need to do more. What ever you do - dont over-dose now.
                      2) a good physio not chiropractor. The last thing you want is a "forced" bone manipulation with arthritis. A good animal physio will use similar stretches to a human one - my old dog had a physio visit every 6 weeks and I would say that without Luce, he would have died a lot sooner. The use of a pulse machine really made the initial break-through.
                      3) keep the weight down (of course!)
                      4) Exercise - but a lot more warm up and cool down. No sudden changes of speed initially.
                      5) Jacket for the cooler months - even when working. (I still walk my young dogs in winter with jackets on. At least for the first and last 20 minutes - but I am paranoid )
                      6) A table-spoon of plain gelatin in the morning and another at night - an old trick that a vet from Croatia told me
                      7) oh yes, and we call it Catrophen as a boost/preventative (please google it - I think it is the same as your Adequan)
                      8) Side effects arent as common as they say - my BCX was on Metacam for 4 years before he started to react.... and the vet thought that could have been the cancer

                      Good luck
                      Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!


                      • Original Poster

                        thanks everyone for the info..he was outside alot this weekend and not a sore step..hope when it turns frequent, itll be sooner rather then later..