Failing hips and joints..........advice please


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Some advice please. We took a rescue bitch in some years ago. She'd had an awful start to life; starved and badly beaten. Although she did improve and is a great dog with both the family and my other dogs, she remains aggressive towards others due to fear and is particularly wary of men in suits. The hero who abused her obviously wore a suit. She is also fixated by food.

I got her spade as I considered her unsuitable for breeding, especially her temprement and essentially keep her as a run mate to my main working male. It's a shame as she proved herself smart and keen to learn.

She's an old girl now; estimated at approx 10-12yrs old and her hips are failing (another reason I'm glad I didn't breed her). She still gets around and is happy enough but is now unsteady, especially her rear right leg which she holds out at an angle when stationary and occasionally fails her when running.

So, is there any advice or recommendations you can give me to prolong her comfort and standard of life?



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Has she been to the vet recently? What medication is she on and what medication have you tried?

I don't mean to sound harsh but arthritis is agonisingly painful. We quite often see dogs brought in that are 'slowing down' or 'showing their age' and the owners seem to accept this as perfectly ok. These dogs need painkillers. It can take a bit of trial and error finding the right drug to suit your pet, but we have more options to chose from than ever before.

Your vet is likely going to want to check that the kidneys and liver are working ok before embarking on longer term treatment.

Spend the money on decent painkillers from the vet - there is next to no evidence for the efficacy of glucosamine/chondritin/cod liver oil/homeopathy/BARF etc etc.

I can think of a few occasions where a person has perceived the medicine to be expensive, only for me to point out they were spending more money per day on crappy supplements. We will now get people leaping in and saying how some magical supplement cured their dog. Arthritis comes and goes these improvements are likely down to natural (temporary) improvement.

Make sure the dog has a soft comfortable bed.

Keep the weight under control (as they slow down you will need to feed less).

Ensure regular walks - regular exercise keeps the joints moving.

Keep the old girl warm in colder weather.

Get the dog checked by the vet and get her on some decent painkillers.


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Great advise there , she deserves a comfortable last few years , I am sure that if it was you suffering with the arthritis you would be straight in to see your GP


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Great advice Apache thats good for all of us to take on board for our old dogs.Thats what this site is all about .Thanks Wf1


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No easy cure I'm afraid, Apache's post has most things covered. I just had to put my German Shepherd down on Monday, his back end had almost completely failed due to degenerative myelopathy. There was little treatment the vet could give in his case, he was in no pain so we just made his life as comfortable as possible until it was time to call it, still it was a very hard decision.
Good luck, I hope you are able to have some quality time with her.
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