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Discussion Starter #1
Our 11yr old chow mix has developed arthritis in one of her hind legs. We started noticing it about a year ago. Our vet suggested glucosamine supplements for now, so we've been trying out different brands/types. Honestly, I'm not seeing a difference, and she's gradually having a more difficult time walking.

Has anyone else dealt with this? Any suggestions? Would cortisone shots be worth it if we went that route? She used to be a very active dog, and it's been really tough watching her decline.
 

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Here's a couple of threads that discuss supplements:

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-health/joint-supplements-310394/

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-health/need-info-pt-16-yr-old-283354/

I've been giving joint supplements to my dogs for quite a number of years for their varying conditions. (I'm the last poster in that first thread listed.) Supplements are a highly contested subject, here and elsewhere. Some argue that they have no benefit, while others can plainly see that there IS benefit, and I'm of the latter group. However, NOT ALL supplements will benefit ALL dogs, which is likely where the former group makes it's arguments. It's like people; some medications work for some, and not for others. You will likely do a great deal of shopping around to find the ones that will work for Sasha, but I have no doubt that there is some formulation somewhere that will help.
 

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Using glucosamine IMO does help, I use it for me, but it, at least in my case, took a good three to four months before I saw any improvement. Don't know how long you have been giving it to your dog, but give it some time. Its not a miracle, but it should help, and maybe even more importantly, will do no harm.
 

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I would recommend using cortisone as a last resort, only after everything else fails, as that medication has a LOT of side effects that you and/or your pet may not like. Try nonsteroidals before resorting to cortisone... WAY safer, and usually more effective as well.

But be sure your pet truly has arthritis. Often myelopathy / neurologic degeneration, a common condition in older, larger dogs, is confused for degenerative joint disease and it's NOT the same thing, nor will it respond at all to glucosamine or most supplements (or anything for that matter... THATs when you might give cortisones a try, but if they help it will only be for a short while).
 

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I've tried many supplements for my dog over the years. He developed arthritis about 5 years ago. The one that I just love is called Actistatin (from GLC). You can see a huge change in him when he's on this! He's now almost 14 and still very active with minimal limping/stiffness afterwards when I keep up with his Actistatin treats.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks! I will do some more research on different things.

She definitely has arthritis, we had an x-ray done a while ago when she was having trouble with stairs. I had thought she was having a hip problem.

She is very slow when getting up from laying down. We used to take her hiking with us, but now we just take her for slow walks on level ground. And we also keep dog mats and beds in every room so she doesn't have to lay on the floor at all, even though sometimes she chooses to lay on the floor right next to the mat.
 

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I don't know how you feel about more natural medicine. but when my little maltese hit 12 she started developing lots of problems with this. she so struggled to move. then a friend told me about Swedish bitters. you can buy it at most pharmacies. just a tablespoon full in her drinking water. I thought the taste would bug her, so I added a little sugar to the water to mask the bitterness. and within days I saw an improvement. she was jumping and playing like she was a pup again. I kept her on it till she died age 16.
 

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I am having the same issue with one of my dogs, he has arthritis on his lower spine and back legs, currently we are using Metacam (anti inflammatory) and gabapentin, but it doesnt really seem to work and supplements never seem to work. I was speaking with my vet about this and she suggested water therapy, she says it really works wonders. I have not tried that yet, but if you have a Hospital in your area that does this water treatment ( basically just swimming around, kinda like what some people do recovering from things) then maybe look into that.
 

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Our facility has an underwater treadmill... great way of improving muscular activity that is nearly weightless, and allows dogs to put a lot more effort into walking that it could normally without the heavy load upon its joints. However, it's slow going/improvment... not for impatient owners.
 

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No cortisone. It will only give your dog some temporary relief while making the underlying problem worse. There are many good options out there for arthritic pain and not all of them are conventional pharmaceuticals (NSAIDs like Rimadyl, analgesics like Tramadol, etc). All of these have potential side effects. I personally use joint supplements (Cetyl-M is my favorite), T-Relief for arthritis (a human homeopathic remedy for arthritis which was tested in Europe and found to be just as effective as Rimadyl after 30 days), fish oil 2 capsules daily and I like to use acupuncture on these dog. Keep the weight down, feed fresh food instead of kibble and moderate exercise. Good luck. Oh, forgot. There are many natural supplements that benefit chronic pain such as turmeric, boswellia, cats claw and others. Lots of vets like myself are also using digestive enzymes for pain such as DogGonePain.
 

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Thanks! I will do some more research on different things.

She definitely has arthritis, we had an x-ray done a while ago when she was having trouble with stairs. I had thought she was having a hip problem.

She is very slow when getting up from laying down. We used to take her hiking with us, but now we just take her for slow walks on level ground. And we also keep dog mats and beds in every room so she doesn't have to lay on the floor at all, even though sometimes she chooses to lay on the floor right next to the mat.
I highly recommend the supplement Myristin for bad arthritis. You do need to give it a couple months though to work, and most glucosamine products have a loading dose to start with then you switch to a maintenance dose.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We've had her on a different glucosamine/high omega-3 supplement for about a month now. It's a higher dose for the first month, and then tapers off to a maintenance dose after. It seems to be helping. She's a little bit more mobile, and I've been taking her for slow walks and she's not trying to sit down like usual. I'm not expecting anything miraculous, she is older, but it seems to help a little bit.

I've heard of the water therapy for dogs, and I have arthritis myself, and we have a hot tub that helps my joints, but she won't go anywhere near water. We live an hour from the ocean, and she was terrified of the waves at the beach. Bath time is not a fun experience either.

She used to be really active, and we are outdoorsy athletic type people, so it's been really sad having to leave her home when we go out hiking or whatever. We take her to parks still, but needed to get her a ramp to get into the car. For now, her favorite thing to do is lounge on the mat in the gazebo in our backyard.
 

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I just bought joint power rx. Great reviews, great ingredients. It's for humans, much cheaper, but haven't tried it yet, just got it yesterday.
 

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You say you had radiographs done, but didn't say which joints were affected? Hips: Knees? other? Were there degenerative changes along the spinal column? Do you recall?
 

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If it hasn't already been recommended (depending on how far along into her arthritis is) I use only natural remedies except one for my chi/terrier mix and he has shown huge improvements as long as he gets his full doses.

I use tulsi/holy thai basil, (can also give the scientific name for you) it is only found in the supplements section of a vitamin shop or online. I just rub it on foods etc, and he has no issue eating it. I also marinade things in it for if we are traveling, or make cookies with it. He gets 1/4 teaspoon every day broken into two doses. He gets a larger dose than necessary but it's not an issue, tulsi is supposed to work better for pain relief than ibuprofen. He was on some sort of pain relief from the vet, for a while but the tulsi has removed the need for it.

I also use golden paste, bumped with fresh cracked pepper, and also a couple tablespoons of powdered ginger cooked into it. It helps a lot with inflammtory issues.

He also gets glucosamine (all natural sources in treats and foods I feed) and then takes a UC-2 collagen supplement (about 2 mg) to help him absorb it better.

I occasionally use other spices on a bad day, for more infalmmation relief or pain relief.
 

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My vet recommended the Actistatin, but they are chews, which I doubt she'll eat. So I have joint power by Advanced Physicians, which he said was second best. I take the powder out, put in her raw food. It's for humans, so call the company and ask about dosage.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
She has severe arthritis in her back leg right knee. Her right leg has actually become skinnier and lost some muscle mass compared to her left leg because she puts all her weight on her other legs now. She kept getting hot spots on that same leg, so we've had to have a bunch of testing done. The hot spots are completely gone and her fur has grown back.

We have trouble keeping her weight down now too, so we have her on a very strict diet and have a limit of how many treats she gets a day. Chows are normally kinda muscular looking, and it's sometimes hard to tell with all the fur, so we have to weigh her often.
 

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I would honestly look into some sort of painkiller, whether cortisone or otherwise, considering how far along she is. Supplements can only go so far. Don't take her off the supplements of course, but it won't solve the severe pain she will be feeling.
 

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Sad to hear that. Arthritis is really painful. What don’t you try taking your pet to some other vet? Often medicines don’t work effectively on pets. Maybe some other treatment can help.
 

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Talk to your vet about Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Rimadyl or Rovera. They will help reduce her pain level and joint inflammation. Unfortunately, some dogs can't tolerate them.

There are also supplements that you can try, such as Dasuquin. It seemed to give our older dog some relief.
 
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