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My 13 year old dachshund has had sore back off and on for about 4 years when he acts like he hurts I give him Robaxin v and metacam .. Not daily just when he hurts ,,, For the past week he seems to be more painful ,,, I took him to vet Friday and he added Tramadol 50mg 3 times a day ,,, he told me to just see what's works best for him ,,, I asked about it hurting his liver and kidneys if he took it daily and he said this ,,,,, I have 2 choices either don't give him nothing and not take a chance on affecting his liver and kidneys and maybe he would live for another 2 years but will always be in pain OR I could use the 3 meds I mentioned above and he would be pain free and take a chance that it could affect his liver and kidneys and he might live for 1 1/2 years ,,,,, so I need suggestions which pain medicine would cause less damage ? Thanks for taking the time to read this ,,,,,,, Rhonda
 

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Sorry to hear about your pup, getting old can be terrible.


Have you tried chondroitin and glucosamine as supplements? Raw chicken feet are a great source of both. Have gotten owners to feed them to their older dogs that had a hard time getting around and it loosened them up nicely.
 

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Check with your Vet, but if he were mine, I would in conjunction with the Vet try half doses, or full dose every other day, to see if he could get acceptable relief at that level. If that doesn't work, and again hypothetically, if it was me, I would go for as close to pain free and quality of life, even if it was likely to cut some months off his expected life span. I could not watch my girl hurting every day, especially knowing that potentially I could provide some relief for her.
 

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is Metacam just as bad on the organs as tramadol?
Ever discuss trying tylenol or aspirin other other off the shelf meds for your dog? If all you're looking for is a once in a while drug...

I busted my back 30 years ago, it'll never heal properly. Tylenol is the most I'll take.

In the meantime, i'd seriously look at supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin, get some lube in the old joints.
 

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Comments on above discussions:

1) First of all, no guarantee taking all meds will make him pain free... but they all could help. The best we can usually hope for is pain meds help with the pain... few erase the pain completely

2) Tramadol and Robaxin have very little if any effects upon the liver or kidneys, either short or long term. However, Robaxin is NOT a pain killer, but a muscle relaxant only (still can help, but don't expect it to 'kill pain'). Tramadol is a very unpredictable pain killer and many dogs find relief with this med while others don't get any better at all. Relatively safe, but not dependably effective.

3) the drug that CAN have a negative effect up on the kidney and/or liver is Metacam (a non steroidal)... however, research and millions of veterinary experiences have shown that if there are no negative effects in the first few weeks, it will be EXTREMELY rare that ANY negative effects will EVER be noticed. There is so much negative hype about these sorts of medications, but if used at the doses recommended, long term use is usually quite safe as long as short term use has not caused a problem. So the answer to the question about Tramadol being more or less 'hard' on the organs than Metacam is hard to answer, as neither are for 98% of all canine patients... but Tramadol IS less likely to cause a bad reaction short term. By the way, the rare dogs that do have a bad reaction to one non-steroidal, should probably avoid ALL non-steroidals from then on.

4) Glucosamine/chondroitin products, though very safe, have NO effect upon backs (not the right kind of 'joints' to benefit from these nutraceuticals). Can be helpful for hip, shoulder or elbow problems, though.

5) There is absolutely NO evidence that halving doses, or skipping doses is less likely to lead to a toxicity problem with non steroidals, but there is plenty of research showing that skipping doses of these drugs, when needed daily, can be detrimental to the patient both in terms of daily quality of life as well as in joint damage and eventual destruction. In other words, if your pet needs these meds, use them only at the prescribed dosages, and as long as they are needed.

6) Tylenol is a very poor choice for pain in dogs as it is not only not very effective, but this one IS a danger for liver disease if used long term. My recommendation is NEVEr use this drugs in dogs and certainly never use in cats even once (single dose will usually kill a cat).

7) there is absolutely NO advantage of using aspirin over another less toxic non steroidal (yes... less toxic). Aspirin is far harder in the GI tract as well as the joints than are any of the recommended non steroidals commonly prescribed for dogs.

8) no one has mentioned Gabapentin in this discussion and it is certainly worth mentioning, as it is a very good painkiller (though few official studies have been done to prove this thoroughly) AND is pretty darn safe (no liver or kidney damage). Not used near often enough, especially for dachshund backs, as gabapentin is specific for neuropathic pain, which is what back pain often is.
 
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