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Discussion Starter #1
Hello people. How is everyone doing today?

Background info on my dog:

Golden Retriever. Approximately 13 years old. Not underweight or overweight. He is a house dog, he stays inside all day except when he goes out to go to the bathroom. He is not walked habitually nor has he ever been. (Please don't bash me, this is going to change. I am going to start walking him regularly.) His physical fitness level is not good because he doesn't get any exercise. Eats once per day.

He has sort of a hard time getting up stair sets & when I have taken him on walks he tires out after one or two blocks. Also sometimes when he is walking, out of nowhere, his legs give out & he falls to the ground.

I want to buy him fish oil & glucosamine. The brand is called TerraMax Pro Hip & Joint Supplement. On amazon it has 569 4 1/2 stars. It is approximately $40. Is this a good option for my dog or will this have negative side effects? Have anyone ever used this same brand of fish oil & glucosamine before? If so-would you recommend it?

Any tips/advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I love my dogs. I have two. These are my family dogs & I need to start taking better care of them. If anyone needs further information in order to give a better suggestion or better advice I would be happy to do so. Thank you for taking your time to read my thread. Have a great day everyone. Bye for now.
 

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My first piece of advice would be take him to the vet and have a set of hip x-rays done. His legs giving out could be a sign of pain, a pinched nerve, hip dysplasia or plenty of other things. X-rays could probably help with a diagnosis.

My second piece of advice (contingent on how the vet visit and x-rays turn out) is to start slow with him and gradually ramp up the amount of time and distance you walk him. Don't walk him every day - start with light walks a few times a week and increase as his endurance builds.

Also, if you have access to a lake or swimming pool, swimming is a fabulous exercise for dogs with joint problems because it is low impact.
 

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I agree with Hireath about getting a vet's opinion, and about building up exercise gradually. Xrays may be needed, but they may not ... to an extent this will depend on how much anyone wants to spend caring for the dog. An experienced vet can tell a lot without Xrays . . . and at 13 years, even if it is HD, pain management and keeping the dog comfortable are the most likely measures. Some vets will go ahead with pain meds after simply feeling the dog over and watching it move, though they may need to do blood tests to make sure the dog can handle the meds. It could be simple muscle wastage.
 

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What ever brand of glucosamine you use, you might give more than recommended for about 30 days to build the initial loading dose needed to get the supplement to start working.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will have to take my golden retriever to the vet when I make some more money selling items on online auction websites. I live with my "mommy & daddy" at the moment... so I have no source of stable income. How much approximately would that cost do you think for x-rays? Would that be included in a normal check up? If I remember correctly one time the vet told my parents that he had some type of "dog arthritis" wether or not that is the actual term the veterinarian used I am unsure. That is the term that my parents used. They don't know anything about dogs though.

I will start taking him on habitual walks a few times a week & then increase the amount of time like you said. I also have a lake nearby which I can take him to so he can start swimming. He has only swam a handful of times in his life so it will probably take some encouragement from me in order to get him in the lake. I appreciate this advice tremendously.

The brand of glucosamine & fish oil that I was considering purchasing is called NerraMax Pro Hip & Joint Supplement. The reviews on this specific brand seemed to be very positive. I have a question about this sort of supplement though because you said that I might need to give my dog more for about 30 days to build the initial loading dose. By how much-double? a quarter more? Also can a dog "overdose" on this sort of supplement. I wouldn't want to be counterproductive and cause my dog any hardship.

Thank you all for the replies. This is a tremendous help for me because to be completely honest I don't know much-if anything about dogs & dog health/fitness/etc. This is my first dog I have ever got. (I also have a min pin but that dog was second) I hope you all have a great rest of the weekend. Take care. See you around the forums.
 

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Given that $ are tight, and dogs often need more vet care when they get old, you might want to do some vet shopping. Maybe your present vet is fine . . . I don't know. But when you ask about the cost of X-rays: I've worked with vets who manage a pretty good diagnosis without X-rays, vets that love Xrays and use them for everything, vets that insist on anaesthesia before doing an Xray (increases cost a lot and requires caution with an older dog) . .. and have been charged everywhere from $80 to $450 for diagnostic Xrays. A couple of the more expensive ones were of very poor quality and not useful for diagnosis.

There is no magic recipe for finding the right vet for your circumstances, but it might be worth giving a call to your local animal shelter or ASPCA and explaining your situation. They will tend to be familiar with local vets and may be able to recommend one who isn't going to run up big bills with unnecessary testing and procedures.
I often find the old country vet type is a good bet.

If you stick with you present vet, do explain your financial situation from the start.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello sandgrubber. I believe I have seen you on one or two of my other threads that I created.

I have to admit I am very paranoid when it comes to having to take things in to shops/people who supposedly know what they're doing-wether it be a car, a piece of machinery, in this case obviously my beloved dog. By the time it's all set & down I have a pricey bill to pay. More than what I expected it was going to be & I don't like surprises when it comes to things like that because of my financial situation. My dogs are more important than money though so I will take them to a local vet. Right now my dogs don't have a specific vet that they go to regularly/yearly because we very recently moved out of state. I have moved approximately 10 times in my fairly young life span so I never had a go-to vet or even a go-to doctor for my own self. My living situations throughout life have been quite abnormal. Like you suggested, I am going to call my local animal shelter or ASPCA & explain the dilemma I am currently in so I can get a better idea of what vet to take my dogs to.

I'm heartbroken to say this but I honestly don't think I will ever get a dog when I'm out of the house & on my own. I love my current dogs, they are literally my only friends, but I feel that I don't have the means to take proper care of them. It's a very sad realization that I have come to.
 

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I use the suggestions from dogaware.com for dosing.
"When giving glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis, start out at high doses: at least 500 mg glucosamine plus 400 mg chondroitin daily for a small dog (up to 25 lbs), 1000/800 mg for a medium-sized dog (25 to 50 lbs), 1500/1200 mg for a large dog (50 to 100 lbs), and 2000/1600 mg for dogs over 100 lbs. If you see improvement, you can try backing off to a smaller dosage. Some dogs do well on less, some need the higher amount to get relief. If you don't see any improvement in four weeks, try a different brand. Different dogs seem to respond better to different brands. Glucosamine/chondroitin can be given with food."

It can upset the tummy, Sassy started to refuse it when she was really old even though I ground up the tablets and mixed with something yummy. I'd try out a low dose and work up to the loading dose as your dog is doing quite poorly and watch how he does.

I am sure that liquid is very good and palatable. I was cheap and bought NatureMade TripleFlex from Costco. 2 tablets have just about the same amount of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM as an ounce of the liquid stuff so is much cheaper as an 170 tablet bottle costs a few dollars less and contains 142,500mg of glucosamine where the bottle contains 51,200mg of glucosamine. Dogs can take human supplements so long as there isn't any elements dangerous for dogs like xylitol in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will try a low dosage to begin with because obviously I don't want to be counterproductive towards my dog's health. I'll start off with half of what the recommended dose is for my dog's weight. (Golden retriever, approximately 70-90 pounds) NerraMax Pro Hip & Joint Supplement is a liquid. I am leaning towards this certain brand because of all the positive reviews compared to other brands. Because it is a liquid & not a tablet/pill I'd assume you'd add it to the dog's water but the thing is my dogs share the same water bowl so perhaps I will have to separate the two dogs while they eat their food/drink their water & watch over them so one doesn't try to drink out of the other's bowl. They do that often (with their separate food bowls) so I'd assume if I made them drink from two separate water dishes they'd try the same thing. I sincerely apologize for all these damn questions I am asking & concerns I have... As you can probably tell already I have not been the best caregiver towards my two family dogs.

Take care Kathyy. I will see you around. I must feed my dogs now. I will be on the forums later tonight.
 

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Fish oil and Glucosamine will not "Harm" the dog if you 'overdose'. The main result is loose stools, which clear up quickly if you stop dosing for a day or two. Then, you can start again with a lower dose.

As far as low income care, many cities have some type of pet care through low cost clinics that may be as often as once a month, but you'll have to ask around, since we don't know your location.
 

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The Orlando area has many old and new Vets. In your case, I suggest following sandgrubber's suggestions, maybe asking for favorite Vet's... Sandgrubber may live near you.
 
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