I have a 9 year old labrador bitch with severe arthritis in one shoulder. She's on 25ml of metacam once a day, plus glucosamine and green lipped muscle tablets twice a day. She also weras a magnetic collar. None of these seem to have improved things, and she is pretty much permanently lame on a front leg. Any suggestions as to what might help?
just a few questions if you don't mind
How long has she been on Metacam for
How long has she been on Glucosamine for
How long has she been wearing the Magnetic collar for and what type of collar as some collars are higher strength than others
Is she over weight
and is the arthritis suddenly just come on or is this a result of an old injury
I'm not a vet but had plenty of experience from dogs gone by in these matters which may help
bloody dogs aye
Thanks, Stone. She's been on Metacam for about a month, which hasn't made any difference, and tramadol (?) for a couple of weeks before that. The collar is a bioflow which she's worn for about 18 months. She's otherwise in good condition, and isn't overweight. I took her to the vets yesterday for the 3rd consultation, with a different vet each time, this one thought it might be a torn muscle. The suggested treatment is no exercise for 6 months; the other possible causes are a bone/muscle tumour, although he couldn't find any sign of this. She's started to turn her shoulder & upper leg outwards, so it's clearly causing her a lot of discomfort.
She's been a great little worker though, but I suppose the harder they work the more likely they are to get buggered up. An x-ray under general anaesthetic was also mentioned, although I 'm reluctant to put her through this unless it's essential. I'm not aware of any longstanding injury, although I've stopped her from jumping out the back of my jeep sometime ago, as this wasn't helping matters.
Personel thoughts on this from some of the info you hav mentioned
is it is an aggravated old injury , which even a small Knock whilst out working or slight twist out in the field or jumping out of the motor at some stage no matter how small it might of looked at the time may, as often dogs just come back with a slight limp & wagging their tail even though they hav just been hit by the proverbial steamroller
also genetics may also be a part to play and a harder than norm working life as you say may of brought on the symptoms a lot sooner than expected
such a shame when this happens
so Assuming this is actually Arthiritis and as you are not quite happy with some of the results of the medication
I would start by booking the same vet now, especialy if treatment is going to be ongoing
That way your vet will build their own little history of the dog and you can strike up a good relation with the vet which helps when doing trials on different meds
Also ask your vet, if it would be worth trying another form of anti-inflamitory such as Rimadyl ??
There is also an injection available called Cartrophen ( may be related to Carprofen but not sure) which is usually given once weekly for 4 weeks , again it may be worth speaking to your vet about it,
if no change after trying a few different forms of medication, then I would certainly look at an X-ray to rule out a tumour and possibly it may shed a bit more light on the problem and possible corrective treatment
Maybe one or 2 of the vets on the forum maybe able to jump in and offer some other advice which may help
None of which should influence you or others to go against your own vets advice about vetinary treatment
wishing you well
from one Lab owner to another
The possibility of it being an old injury that hasn't healed or has been aggravated seems very plausible. The metacam ran out today, so I'll see how she gets on over the next fortnight with minimal exercise. If things worsen I'll book an appointment with the same vet for an x-ray, and will also ask about Rimadyl and Cartrophen. Thank you for your advice, I'll let you know how things progress. Regards, Rupert
Throwing another spanner in, you may want to consider the elbow, as this is a more common site for problems. An X-ray under heavy sedation, is a slightly cheaper option, at least this will give you a more definative answer, as to what you are dealing with.
As has already been mentioned there are different NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) that can be used. An old medication often overlooked is PLT(Predno-leucotropin Tablets) aka Poorly Leg Tablets. These can have more potential side-effects, although not often, and quality of life is key, rather than quantity, especially for an old friend!
Thanks, Highlander. She's booked in for an x-ray on Monday, which I hope will shed some light on what the problem is. I am going to ask about all the medications mentioned in these posts.
The vet has phoned and told me that she has arthritis in one elbow, but her shoulder is clear. Various treatments were suggested, but we're going to give rimadyl a go to start with. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.
Glucosamine HCL with Chondroitin (I give mine Chondromax from HEalthspan)
Fish Body Oils (with Vitamin E)
You might want to consider:
I think the question to ask is why the arthritis has developed. All of the medical treatments mentioned treat the symptoms but not necessarily the underlying cause. Possibly some further investigation than x rays may be valuable.