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Good evening

I am new to this forum and immediately asking for advice, I hope this is not bad etiquette!

I am looking for advice/personal accounts/areas for consideration about our 11 year old Lab. I am not asking for the decision to be made as only us as owners can do that but constructive opinions would be very gratefully received.

We have always kept our Lab lean which hopefully has helped him stay fitter for longer although the dreaded arthritis is, sadly, now setting in. We took him to the vets about six months ago and was prescribed Rimadyl. He had a couple of days of this and was then 'as sick as a dog'! For two days he didn't leave his bed (only to go relieve himself), could hardly bring himself to look up and couldn't even manage a wag of his tail when my husband came home. He didn't eat for about three days more and gradually got better from there.

It was very distressing to see him so ill and I really didn't fancy taking him back to the vets to keep trying alternatives to find the drug which suited him. Maybe this is naive but while he looks stiff (more so some days than others) he does not seem in pain (discomfort at times yes but nothing to make him outwardly yelp or not walk) and I never want to see him as sick as that again.

We now give him Mobile Bones which does seem to ease him but as an old dog he is going to naturally get worse which, steadily, I believe he is doing.

I have spoken to a few friends with arthritic dogs who have said about administering Metacam and within a few days the improvement was astounding.

My problem is, or maybe should say, my problems are, firstly, Metacam, like Rimadyl will only mask the discomfort and not cure it. He will still naturally decline and will the pain be worse for him when the Metacam doesn't help him anymore or will the dose just keep getting upped until the day he is no longer with us.

Secondly, our dog could potentially have the same reaction as with the Rimadyl.

Thirdly, we have two young children (3 and 6) who adore their dog, when the time comes when he leaves our home is it easier for them to understand why when they see an old, slow dog rather than a sprightly dog who doesn't seem old.

I am completely torn between drugs and letting him age gracefully and, like I said at the beginning, I'm not asking for the decision to be made for me but hopefully you will be able to let me see it from some different angles or hear personal situations.

This post is very long and if you have got this far I thank you! Hopefully see some replies soon. Rachel
 

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My family has a golden retriever who developed arthritis a couple of years ago (she is turning 10 in October). She was so stiff she wouldn't walk up the stairs. We started walking her more frequently for shorter periods of time, and gave her a glucosamine HCL/chondroitin supplement. I'm not sure of the brand my family is using (I can ask my sister - I don't live in the same state). I believe she gets 1500 mg/day, and she is a 60 lb dog.

This helped her *significantly* We used to hear her front legs "cracking" occasionally when she would bend them. They don't anymore. She runs up and down the stairs and is always excited to go on walks. Also, in the summer she gets to go swimming a lot, which is excellent exercise for arthritic dogs (and humans!). Of course she's not running around like a sprightly 3 year old, but it is nice to see her so much more sound and comfortable.

I know dogs respond differently to different medications, but I think this would be a good place to start if you're not trying it already. It can take a little while to see effects, and I think the vet said to give a higher dose for the first month or so, and then level off at 1500mg. This was a while ago, so I apologize that the details are a bit fuzzy.

I do understand not wanting to mask the symptoms with long-term pain killers/anti-inflammatory meds, but you don't want him to be in pain either. And an active dog will be healthier. 11 is pretty old, but let's hope he's got a few more years in him! I'm sorry I can't give you any input/experience with Metacam - my dog hasn't needed that (yet).

Good luck! I'm sure you'll get more input on this issue from other people on this forum :)
 

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Well, there is no way you're going to cure the arthritis, obviously, so all you can do is help with the pain. I'll give you my opinions (both medical and personal) and these come from dealing with severe arthritis in my last dog.

My two cents regarding Metacam, and arthritis treatment in general:

1) I've seen far less issues with Metacam than any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Our last dog was on this for a couple of years before I thought it wasn't helping anymore. I just monitored her kidney and liver enzymes every 6 months or so (she never had a problem). Then I switched her to a different medication called Zubrin.

2) I assume the Mobile Bones is a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement? If yes, keep it up.

3) You can inquire at your vet about Adequan injections. They are kind of "super glucosamine". Some people consider it a miracle treatment. It did not work on my dog but I gather she's in the minority.

4) You can start your dog on Omega 3 fatty acid supplements. They have anti-inflammatory properties that will not counteract or interact with the Metacam.



My dog's arthritis was so bad that I took it further and added in additional medications. I can discuss those with you if you'd like, but I think you should try the above first since those are quite benign.
 

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It seems labs are one of the breeds that have problems with drugs like that.
I had great success with my Rottie giving Glucosamine/ chondroitin 3000 mgs morning and night. It usually is prescribed at 1500 mgs but it is said that if you double it at first it seems to give relief faster. It is natural and and does not build up in the system. It took about a 3 weeks to see a big improvement. It is a naturally occurring thing in our bodies that we stop manufacturing as we get older it is the same with our dogs. Once these supplements are administered to the dog for a few weeks, they hydrate damaged joints and also help manufacture glycosaminoglycans. These strengthen the cartilage and protect the synovial fluid that's necessary for proper lubrication of the joints.

Read more: Glucosamine Joint Pain Relief for Dogs - VetInfo
Glucosamine Joint Pain Relief for Dogs - VetInfo

Some Evidence for Caution When Using Rimadyl
Of particular noteworthiness to owners of Labrador Retrievers are the reports of hepatic (liver) toxicity occurring with greater frequency in Labs than in any other breed. This increase in occurrence may simply be due to the fact that as a breed, the Labrador Retriever ranks most prevalent among dogs. Additionally, hip dysplasia and other bone disorders occur with high frequency within the breed making them likely candidates for Rimadyl treatment. In the absence of knowing the total number of Labs taking Rimadyl and only having information pertaining to the number of Labs with toxic reactions, it is impossible to conclude if the breed does, indeed, run a higher risk for Rimadyl complications compared to any other breed. Alternatively, however, the fact that the breed is represented prevalently in the group which experienced hepatic complications and less frequently in other groups including those which experienced renal (kidney) toxicity, neurologic disorders, etc. suggests that the breed may, indeed, have less hepatic tolerance for the drug. Because it is currently unknown what factors may contribute to predispose certain Labradors to hepatic toxicity, it is recommended that Labradors administered Rimadyl be carefully observed for early signs of drug intolerance.
 

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I give Chondropaw to my 10 year old dog.

Good evening

I am new to this forum and immediately asking for advice, I hope this is not bad etiquette!

I am looking for advice/personal accounts/areas for consideration about our 11 year old Lab. I am not asking for the decision to be made as only us as owners can do that but constructive opinions would be very gratefully received.

We have always kept our Lab lean which hopefully has helped him stay fitter for longer although the dreaded arthritis is, sadly, now setting in. We took him to the vets about six months ago and was prescribed Rimadyl. He had a couple of days of this and was then 'as sick as a dog'! For two days he didn't leave his bed (only to go relieve himself), could hardly bring himself to look up and couldn't even manage a wag of his tail when my husband came home. He didn't eat for about three days more and gradually got better from there.

It was very distressing to see him so ill and I really didn't fancy taking him back to the vets to keep trying alternatives to find the drug which suited him. Maybe this is naive but while he looks stiff (more so some days than others) he does not seem in pain (discomfort at times yes but nothing to make him outwardly yelp or not walk) and I never want to see him as sick as that again.

We now give him Mobile Bones which does seem to ease him but as an old dog he is going to naturally get worse which, steadily, I believe he is doing.

I have spoken to a few friends with arthritic dogs who have said about administering Metacam and within a few days the improvement was astounding.

My problem is, or maybe should say, my problems are, firstly, Metacam, like Rimadyl will only mask the discomfort and not cure it. He will still naturally decline and will the pain be worse for him when the Metacam doesn't help him anymore or will the dose just keep getting upped until the day he is no longer with us.

Secondly, our dog could potentially have the same reaction as with the Rimadyl.

Thirdly, we have two young children (3 and 6) who adore their dog, when the time comes when he leaves our home is it easier for them to understand why when they see an old, slow dog rather than a sprightly dog who doesn't seem old.

I am completely torn between drugs and letting him age gracefully and, like I said at the beginning, I'm not asking for the decision to be made for me but hopefully you will be able to let me see it from some different angles or hear personal situations.

This post is very long and if you have got this far I thank you! Hopefully see some replies soon. Rachel
Hello!, don't worry about etiquette, that's why we are here for. We all love our dogs and try to help others going through similar situation. I have a 10 year old dog with serious HD and arthritis. It was so serious that I was told to put him to sleep. I was desperate and somebody told me about this natural product called Chondropaw. I tried it as my lost resort and it worked!. It worked so well and so fast that after 2 months I stopped giving Dvorak pain medication. I'm so happy!, Is like having a 5 year old dog instead that a 10 year old. I so thankful that i will always recommend it. Is all natural so I know I'm not hurting his liver, and is only once a week administration, which is great because my dog is not good at taking any remedy. Give it a try it could change your dog's life too. Good luck!;) Dog Hip Dysplasia, Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain Treatment and Natural Solution: Chondropaw.com
 

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Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I feel like I am asking everyone I see! I feel I'm letting him down by not taking him to the vets so I'll be heading back there and having this same discussion with him! Very interesting reading about Rimadyl and Labs, wish I'd done some research like this before giving him that but you live and learn! Many thanks once again.
 

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Don't feel bad about the Rimadyl with Labs. It's a known risk, but it's not a very common one. It's still prescribed often because it's a very good anti-inflammatory. Deramaxx also has problems. Honestly, Metacam is my favorite one and I try to avoid Rimadyl or Deramaxx if I can. You can't always, though.
 

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I've seen a lot of geriatric dogs who take metacam on an "as needed" basis. (I manage a vet owned and operated pet resort and see thousands of dogs a day). Metacam is great for dogs who need long term pain treatment. It is not s steroid, however, it can be a tad strong on the stomach. A vet would suggest giving Metacam with a full stomach, or with food to solve that problem.
 
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