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Grace is an 11 year old 110lb Rottie/Akita/Shep/Mutt. She has been struggling with arthritis for about 2 years now - most likely she has had it for longer than that but that is when it became noticeable and started impacting our activities. She was overweight for the first half of her life and was a pediatric spay, and she's quite old for her size, so it's only expected.

The initial incident that spurred me into action trying to get a handle on her pain and slowing further degeneration of her joints was when we came home from a walk/hike and she was non-weightbearing on her right hind leg. After an hour or so she was putting partial weight on it. Brought her to the vet the next day thinking it might be a CCL tear, but the vet thought the joint felt stable but she did feel crunchiness/resistance which led her to think it's arthritis. We decided to rest her for 10 days, during which she was supposed to be on Duramaxx and Dasuquin. I ended up pulling her off the Duramaxx early as it wasn't really helping her and the potential side effects weren't worth it. So she was then on just Dasuquin for a short while.

I saw improvement from the Dasuquin, but wanted to try Adequan to see if it would make a bigger difference. Adequan is commonly used for horses and as a horse person with a horse of my own who is on Adequan, I was hopeful. I was able to do the injections myself which made it more budget friendly, versus having to bring her in for the shots constantly. We tried it for the loading period and a bit beyond, but ultimately I did not see any difference in her on the Adequan vs Dasuquin. And given the difference in price (Dasuquin much cheaper) and having to inject the Adequan IM, Dasuquin was the obvious choice to continue.

Fast forward nearly a year and I got a new job and am now able to feed her a compeltely raw diet. I introduced bone broth to her meals daily and her condition overall has improved, along with her arthritis symptoms. I attribute this to the raw diet and bone broth. I decided to see what would happen if I put her on Cosequin instead of Dasuquin (Cosequin is not as potent as Dasuquin, but is significantly cheaper as well). I have seen no difference and she has been on Cosequin now for several months and doing well.

I have a BS in Exercise Physiology and one thing I feel strongly about - motion is lotion. Aside from the different medications and supplements and diet changes I have tried, I have also worked on rehabbing her. I enrolled her in a conditioning class through my training center, and have increased her daily walk times. She is also now hiking more than she ever has before (usually hiking Saturday and Sunday, up to 15miles either day, off leash). This might seem counter intuitive, but her muscle tone has improved dramatically and I believe this helps with her arthritis, overall.

At the end of the day, she's an old dog with arthritis. Some days, we skip walks because she is feeling sore/stiff. Sometimes on Mondays I elect to make her rest if we had a particularly strenuous weekend as far as hiking goes, even if she seems fine. Some weekends she stays home because she doesn't seem up to it. Sometimes we don't hit our summits or have to turn back early because I don't want to push her too hard. I've learned to read her and listen to her and trust her to know her own limits (to an extent). If she's lagging or doesn't seem to want to get in the car or just doesn't seem bright eyed and happy, I listen to her and she gets to relax and rest. She is never completely sound, but neither am I, lol. At the end of the day, my main goal is to keep her active, fit, healthy, and happy for as long as I can.

Currently, where we stand, she has developed some arthritis in a front paw as well. I noticed some tenderness and limping recently and after a vet visit it was confirmed that it is arthritis. So, I've decided to introduce a full spectrum CBD oil into the regimen and see if it makes a difference. If not, I will look into switching back to Dasuquin or upping the dosage of Cosequin. My vet is happy with her progress and I will udpate this thread periodically.
 

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Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm always interested in hearing what other owners do to prevent or treat joint issues. Best of luck too!
 

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Thanks for sharing! I just posted a thread about glucosamine supplements as we are having some hip dysplasia issues with our dog. Let us know how the CBD oil goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm always interested in hearing what other owners do to prevent or treat joint issues. Best of luck too!
Thank you! I figured it would be worth documenting my experience with keeping an active but arthritic dog going and keeping her as pain free as possible for as long as possible. I find there are recurring threads here about preventatives, but less about actually managing/maintaining an old dog with arthritis.
 

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Thanks for sharing! I just posted a thread about glucosamine supplements as we are having some hip dysplasia issues with our dog. Let us know how the CBD oil goes.
I certainly will update this as we see whether or not the CBD oil makes a difference. It's supposed to arrive Monday! I'm hopeful it will be beneficial to her, but time will tell. I read so many raving reviews, but it seems too good to be true lol.

Good luck to you and your dog as well, sorry to hear you have been having issues.
 
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