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Had Grace at the vet yesterday for some lameness and she was diagnosed with arthritis. She's a 9 year old, 107lb dog who has been pretty active most of her life so I'm not super surprised. However, we've never had a dog with this level of arthritis before. The vet prescribed her Deramaxx and I've purchased her some Dasuquin as well. She's on Deramaxx for 2 weeks and then if it makes a big improvement the vet recommended bringing her back in for a blood panel and then having her take that daily essentially for the rest of her life. So far the Deramaxx hasn't made much of a difference, if any (two doses in). I believe she's on a low dose and I will probably ring the vet and see if I can give her a higher dose, at least for a day or two. The Dasuquin I ordered should be arriving today.

I'm hoping to get her activity level at least close to where it was prior to the last several months when the intermittent lameness began. She went from hiking 3-4 times a week and walking several miles a day to only being allowed outside on the smaller half of our yard and walking around the block on her good days. If we could at least get her out for a 30 minute walk a day and hiking once or twice a week, I'd be thrilled. Ideally I'd like to be able to manage this with supplements and maybe the Deramaxx before/after planned exercise, but only time will tell how realistic that is.

So, for those of you who have dealt or are dealing with managing an arthritic old dog - any tips? Supplements/meds that worked for you? Anyone pursue physical therapy?
 

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Our 14.5yo has been suffering from it for years now. I think we stopped walking him about 2 years ago now because it was clearly too painful for him... just letting hang out in the yard instead. We just recently gave him a turmeric supplement after reading about joint issues in dogs, and the difference has been AMAZING. In just a couple weeks he went from limping to the back door and refusing to go out because he didn't want to get down the two steps, and having to be carried upstairs at night, to just walking right out and going up and down without any issue... he's still limping a bit, but it's much better. He's been on Dasuquin with MSN for years now.

We tried pain meds when his limping got worse (and when I put him on the turmeric supplement) and it totally messed up his liver and we had to stop, but you couldn't tell that he stopped. He's definitely much better now. So, I'd definitely give that shot.
 

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I'd do a blood panel now to make sure organ functions can safely handle medication. Then, for that weight of dog, I'd probably do 50 mg daily of the Deramaxx. Then a blood panel every 6 months if heavy use of NSAIDs or other painkillers or yearly with moderate use.

Of all the various painkillers that I have used for dogs after spays/neuters, other surgeries, arthritis and such, Deramaxx has been by far the easiest on their digestive systems and highly effective. At 100 mg a day, I think it was as good as the opiod Tramadol after Chester's knee surgery at age 9 (with existing hip arthritis)

Chester was on an as-need dose of Deramaxx for the last two yeata of his life. More activity and stiffness and I dosed a full pill, less stiffness and a half pill. Some weeks, nothing needed.

Cosquin seems to help but takes 4-6 weeks to build up in the system and start working. It isn't a quick noticble difference kind of thing.
 

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I'd do a blood panel now to make sure organ functions can safely handle medication. Then, for that weight of dog, I'd probably do 50 mg daily of the Deramaxx. Then a blood panel every 6 months if heavy use of NSAIDs or other painkillers or yearly with moderate use.

Of all the various painkillers that I have used for dogs after spays/neuters, other surgeries, arthritis and such, Deramaxx has been by far the easiest on their digestive systems and highly effective. At 100 mg a day, I think it was as good as the opiod Tramadol after Chester's knee surgery at age 9 (with existing hip arthritis)

Chester was on an as-need dose of Deramaxx for the last two yeata of his life. More activity and stiffness and I dosed a full pill, less stiffness and a half pill. Some weeks, nothing needed.

Cosquin seems to help but takes 4-6 weeks to build up in the system and start working. It isn't a quick noticble difference kind of thing.
Thanks for sharing your experience, I appreciate it.

Grace is on 50mg once a day for the Deramaxx. I have seen little if any improvement in her limping, although she does seem to be in better spirits. Once her two weeks is up on the Deramaxx, I will probably be bringing her back in for a recheck, definitely for a full blood panel and possibly for xrays if the vet thinks it would help get a better diagnosis and treatment plan. Maybe my Hope's of having her pain free are too high.

I'm starting to wonder if a) this dose isn't enough for her b) this med isn't working for her or c) she may have a permanent limp regardless of whether there is pain involved or not.

I've been looking into other options for pain meds, but not sure if there are many other good options for long term use.
I started her on the Dasuquin today, she's getting the loading dose for 6 weeks, then half of the loading dose long term.
 

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Our 14.5yo has been suffering from it for years now. I think we stopped walking him about 2 years ago now because it was clearly too painful for him... just letting hang out in the yard instead. We just recently gave him a turmeric supplement after reading about joint issues in dogs, and the difference has been AMAZING. In just a couple weeks he went from limping to the back door and refusing to go out because he didn't want to get down the two steps, and having to be carried upstairs at night, to just walking right out and going up and down without any issue... he's still limping a bit, but it's much better. He's been on Dasuquin with MSN for years now.

We tried pain meds when his limping got worse (and when I put him on the turmeric supplement) and it totally messed up his liver and we had to stop, but you couldn't tell that he stopped. He's definitely much better now. So, I'd definitely give that shot.
Thanks for that idea! I had them all on a glucosamine/turmeric combo years ago. I'll have to try adding turmeric in as well again.
 

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No input on meds since our dog never handled them well but make sure to keep the dog lean and keep as much weight as possible off those joints. A lot of my friends/acquaintances have also had amazing luck with rx mobility diets (specifically the RC mobility support). Probably would not make that big of a difference by itself but may be something to think about in conjunction with the meds. I know a lot of people frown upon RC but since this is an old dog it might be worth a try if it can improve his quality of life.
 

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No input on meds since our dog never handled them well but make sure to keep the dog lean and keep as much weight as possible off those joints. A lot of my friends/acquaintances have also had amazing luck with rx mobility diets (specifically the RC mobility support). Probably would not make that big of a difference by itself but may be something to think about in conjunction with the meds. I know a lot of people frown upon RC but since this is an old dog it might be worth a try if it can improve his quality of life.
Thanks for your input. She is already extremely lean, probably could even use a few more pounds. She has a thick double coat, even thicker because it's winter, and I can still see a few of her ribs occasionally. She has lost muscle from reducing her activity but not much fat on her at all. I wouldn't be against RC if I thought it's what's best for her, but I took a look and I see the mobility formula has relatively low protein/fat which she has never done well on. She sheds horribly and her coat becomes dull at anything under 20% fat. About half her diet is raw, anyways, but still. Regardless, I will keep it in mind if the other avenues fail us.
 

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No input on meds since our dog never handled them well but make sure to keep the dog lean and keep as much weight as possible off those joints. A lot of my friends/acquaintances have also had amazing luck with rx mobility diets (specifically the RC mobility support). Probably would not make that big of a difference by itself but may be something to think about in conjunction with the meds. I know a lot of people frown upon RC but since this is an old dog it might be worth a try if it can improve his quality of life.
I'm also looking for help with my arthritic dog (Pekingese). I am researching dog foods to find something better for her - by RC do you mean Royal Canin? I thought that was a good brand - why do people frown on it? Thank you.
 

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I'm also looking for help with my arthritic dog (Pekingese). I am researching dog foods to find something better for her - by RC do you mean Royal Canin? I thought that was a good brand - why do people frown on it? Thank you.
I personally dislike it because of the ingredients. For example, when I looked at the mobility formula, the first ingredient was rice, and there were other various fillers in a relatively limited ingredient food. I like the food I feed my dogs to have a named meat source (salmon meal, not "meat meal" for example) as the first 3-5 ingredients. Most RC foods are also relatively low protein/fat, which might work for some dogs, but mine all thrive on high protein high fat diets.

For the price, there are other foods with "better" ingredients. I say "better" because really it's a subjective thing. Everyone has their own opinions, and every dog reacts differently to certain foods. At the end of the day, whatever your dog does well on (good coat, good poops, good energy, etc) is fine for that dog.

If you're looking for foods, there are a lot of threads in the food section of this site. My top go-to foods are Victor Select Nutra Pro (my dogs do best on this, and it's also budget friendly), Acana, Dr. Tim's, and Taste of the Wild.
 

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Thanks for your input. She is already extremely lean, probably could even use a few more pounds. She has a thick double coat, even thicker because it's winter, and I can still see a few of her ribs occasionally. She has lost muscle from reducing her activity but not much fat on her at all. I wouldn't be against RC if I thought it's what's best for her, but I took a look and I see the mobility formula has relatively low protein/fat which she has never done well on. She sheds horribly and her coat becomes dull at anything under 20% fat. About half her diet is raw, anyways, but still. Regardless, I will keep it in mind if the other avenues fail us.
Yeah, definitely isn't optimal for every dog but figured it was worth mentioning it in case! Purina's mobility formula is higher protein, but still lower fat. Perhaps it's to promote a healthy weight in likely sedentary dogs? Either way, it's a shame they don't have more options.

I'm also looking for help with my arthritic dog (Pekingese). I am researching dog foods to find something better for her - by RC do you mean Royal Canin? I thought that was a good brand - why do people frown on it? Thank you.
Yes, as the above poster said a lot of people don't like the ingredients and/or the protein/fat content. I always said I would never feed my dog RC for those exact reasons, and then I learned a bit more about formulation and am now fine with it (in fact my dog is currently eating a rx hypo formula for the next few months while I get some of her issues under control). At the end of the day you have to feed the dog in front of you, and RC is a very "safe" brand with decades of research behind it so if it works for the dog and helps it have a better quality of life then it definitely is a good option!
 
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