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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Neb is 13 now. He's definitely slowing down, especially with stairs - he's really hesitant with them. We think it's pretty clearly arthritis pain. He's been on wild salmon oil for years, and glucosamine didn't do much. So we're starting him on the same med as one of our cats who has severe elbow arthritis and it's made a huge change.

It's cartrophen, which is similar to adequan - it lays down new cartilage, so gets to the root of things. It's an injection, and obviously stings, so giving it to Neb should be interesting - he's pretty mellow, but who knows with the sting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh thanks! I'll ask our vet about them. They look good. We'll give the cartrophen a shot (literally) first so we know what's doing what.

A vial of cartrophen is expensive but lasts for ages - we're coming up on a year for Timothy (our cat) and still have 3/4 of a vial. They can share too, just different dosing.

Nebbers will get a shot once a week for four weeks, and then monthly. Timothy is on monthly shots now too, has been for months and months.
 
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Molly had prescription pain pills called Carprofen for her joint pain, not expensive at all and could be used as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've heard of that. I don't think it's commonly used here, but I could be wrong. Cartrophen has almost entirely taken away Timothy's limp, we've been really pleased with how it's turned him around. A miracle drug for him, he doesn't need other pain management.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Neb (with the other dogs, to be fair) ran after a squirrel this morning! I know it's only one shot so far, but I was still excited! He seems less hesitant on stairs (by a slight bit).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We had Molly (and now Oliver) on TDC Joint supplements. They work wonders are aren't horribly expensive. They help a lot with joint pain and you can get them from a vet or online without a prescription 1-TDC Periodontal & Joint Health for Dogs and Cats by Elite Vet (heartlandvetsupply.com)
Like a dolt I forgot to ask. We had trouble with Friday's injection, not sure how much if any got in, so we're trying again tonight (wanted to space it out just in case). The vet noted hind end weakening - still has a very strong front end - so we're also supposed to try dog-specific glucosamine. They sent us home with a two-week sample bottle for a very expensive kind, and said any would be good so we could get elsewhere. I've ordered a bottle of Cosequin from Amazon.

I will keep this back pocket though. Really appreciate the suggestion.

And Neb officially had his 13th birthday this week! I think Sunday, but at some point I got fuzzy between April 18 or 19. Sometime in the last two days though.
 

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Happy birthday Nebbers...
I bought Cosequine for Cassie but she wouldnt have anything to do with it so i gave it to a neighbor for her dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Happy birthday Nebbers...
I bought Cosequine for Cassie but she wouldnt have anything to do with it so i gave it to a neighbor for her dogs.
Thanks Cassie, from Neb!

I hope Neb likes it better. We shall see I guess. He's not particularly discriminating so fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So - we did Neb's cartrophen (not caprofen or whatever it's called) which is supposed to rebuild cartilege. We gave him his shot weekly for a month (at which point he would've moved to monthly) and there was no improvement in his stiffness.

He had his annual during that and they agreed he has spinal arthritis.

So, we contacted them at the start of the week to say 'We need to think about pain management'. In their opinion, the options were NSAIDs, gabapentin (which is a nerve pain med so it's not my first choice), and tramadol (kinda opiate-y for a 13 year old dog? I don't know I want him on it long-term, and I am hoping he'll be around long-term).

He hadn't had bloodwork (beyond heartworm) since late 2019, so Toby took him yesterday for kidney and liver.

Kidney is great.

Liver - ALT is elevated (not horrifically, but enough that he can't just start a NSAID). They said we could try gabapentin or tramadol, but that in the vet's opinion, NSAIDs would be the first choice.

They had to order it in, but we are going to give him milk thistle for 3-4 weeks then retest. It's supposed to be liver supportive. I would expect that if it helps he'll have to stay on it while he's on the NSAID? But I didn't think to ask.

They think the ALT is likely just age-related changes. I know he's had issues with vomiting bile (GI upsets can also affect ALT) but that's almost stopped lately with us feeding more, small meals and pepcid. So I doubt that. He did throw up this morning, but that's AFTER the test.

So, sigh. Never rains it pours.
 

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Be very careful what you decide to give. As an example I took Tramadol after surgery and it made me feel horrible and I had terrible reaction to it. Is it worth it? Your dog may feel like a zombie after some of those..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Be very careful what you decide to give. As an example I took Tramadol after surgery and it made me feel horrible and I had terrible reaction to it. Is it worth it? Your dog may feel like a zombie after some of those..
Yes, I don't want to give tramadol. We tried Luc on it in the last year of his life - lasted a few days, it did not agree with him. It's basically an opiate and I don't want to give it to a dog that I hope has years left/long term. Gabapentin is a nerve pain med, so that's not a first choice either to deal with arthritis. I take it off-label for anxiety, I don't find it sedating, but I know people who do.

NSAIDs really are our first choice too. That's why I'm really hoping the milk thistle helps. I'm also looking into laser therapy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
An intriguing development. A week or two ago, when his liver values came back elevated, I asked the vet if him getting pepcid (which he gets twice a day for vomiting bile - he also gets fed 4x/day now) could affect it. She looked and said no evidence. I called today to see if there was anything else we could do for him before he gets the retest of ALT.

She called me back and said 'I was going to call you today. I poked around and found that while there's no evidence that pepcid raises ALT in dogs, it has been shown to do so in humans.'

Hmmm...not a definite causal link but enough that we're going to slowly transition him off of pepcid and see how he does. We'll keep him on the milk thistle as well and retest June 11th as planned.

And I pick up gabapentin today to help with pain until the retest.
 

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I think a prescriber should know all the side effects of a medication.. Im not sure why the vet wouldn't think it could affect a dog if it affects a human and should have raised an immediate flag with the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't think they're experts on what medications do to humans, they're vets, not MDs - they look at animals/dogs/cats, and there was nothing in that to indicate it had any effect. She decided to poke around at human studies afterwards.
 

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So Neb is 13 now. He's definitely slowing down, especially with stairs - he's really hesitant with them. We think it's pretty clearly arthritis pain. He's been on wild salmon oil for years, and glucosamine didn't do much. So we're starting him on the same med as one of our cats who has severe elbow arthritis and it's made a huge change.

It's cartrophen, which is similar to adequan - it lays down new cartilage, so gets to the root of things. It's an injection, and obviously stings, so giving it to Neb should be interesting - he's pretty mellow, but who knows with the sting.
I know I'm late reply on this one, but are you sure it's not his eyes? With Ally, when she started developing cataracts it really slowed her down on steps, especially in dim lighting. We put reflective tape on the edge of the steps (hardwood) and that solved it. I can't remember at what age we put her on joint supplements (glucosamine type), but that kept her going like the energizer bunny:).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
He just has his annual and no vision problems were noted when they checked him over. He seems to be able to follow us fine too when we move in terms of watching us. His eyes are clear as well.

But that's a good point, I could see that causing a similar issue. With him it's not, but thanks for raising it.
 
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