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Hi,

My yellow lab just turned 14 years old and his arthritis pain has been increasing rapidly for the past year or two. He seemed pretty much pain free around 11-12 but in the past two years particularly this Winter I've seen him get slower and slower to get up and move around lesss often.

I have had him on Cosequin for a long time, the vet started prescribing him Carprofen (novox) anti-inflamatory a year or two ago, and now I have him on 100 mg gabapentin 2x day for the past couple months, plus started giving him Missing Link not too long ago. I've leaned him out about 5 lbs to ideal weight. Is there anything maybe natural without asking vet to increase rx doses etc. that might be beneficial? Would it be low risk for side effects and his organs to ask to increase either the carprofen or gabapentin? I think he's very healthy other than his joint pain, he's not really desiring fetch any more but hopefully with warmer weather he'll get a little more limber.
 

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The best thing you can do is get him up and slowly walking around several times a day. Movement is his friend. You might also find out if there are any under water treadmills in your area as some of this therapy and stretching exercises can help. If you can find a dog chiropractor you may find good advice there as well.

Carprofen is an NSAID and it will impact his kidneys at some point if it is increased and gabapentin is for nerve pain. I expect that is also cleared through the kidneys but have no idea so ask your vet.
 

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I would look into a polysulfonic like Adequan or CatrophenVet, depending on where you live. (Catrophen is available in Canada/Europe, but not sure about the US). Polysulfonics supposedly help prevent further degradation of the cartilage by protecting and possibly even rebuilding the cartilage matrix.
 

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You might try laser therapy. I used it for Pippin on his degenerative disc disease and it helped a lot. It was administered by a human chiropractor who did us a favour, but animal chiropractors and holistic vets usually offer it. You can also rent a machine and learn to do it yourself. Also, make sure to eliminate potatoes from his diet as these can increase inflammation. I hope he starts feeling better as the weather shifts!
 
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