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5 year old tripod beginning stages of arthritis
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29 June 2017 - 6:27 pm
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looking for some advice on helping my girl with her beginning stages of arthritis . She's been on joint supplements and oils since she was three months old. Just recently she started to have some minor issues with stairs and jumping on couches , nothing extreme but enough for me to know a vet check with the orthopedic was due. We did two weeks of nsaids with a combo of amantadine . Don't know much about amantadine and not sure if any of your pets have taken this before . Also we are going to give laser and physical therapy a try and see if that helps but not sure how long because the cost is very high for continuous therapies. Adeqauan was also another suggestion by the vet as well but also not sure regarding this medication since it has such split reviews. She was denied for a prosthetic as there wasn't enough of the residual hind limb left but was suggested a brace for the good hind limb ? Does anyone have experience with this ? As you see I am going through every option possible as long as she's happy and moving not in pain, I am happy. Just looking for some advice from others about any options or things I can do for her to keep her as young and mobile as long as I can .

Maputo, Mozambique
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6 July 2017 - 1:17 am
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Sorry, no advice to share 🙁 But bumping this thread so that hopefully someone with a similar experience can advise...

We were given tramadol/rimadyl + metacam - but the latter can has some consequences if used for too long

London, UK
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6 July 2017 - 10:27 am
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Hi there, I'm sorry I missed this, and thanks, Izzy, for bumping it up.

I'm certainly not an expert, but I do have experience of managing arthritis in both my girls, an 8 year old Tripawd (Meg) and a nine year old quadpawd (Elsie).

Both take Dasuquin (joint supplement) and fish oil and are also on longterm Metacam. Though this can cause problems, Meg has been on it for pretty much two and a half years straight now, and so far is handling it fine. Elsie was also prescribed a small dose of paracetamol twice a day, which actually made all the difference to her (she has cruciate problems, and quite severe arthritis in both elbows and both knees). They both have regular blood tests and so far all looks good.

In addition, we do see a rehab vet about once a month for acupuncture and laser (Meg) and laser (Elsie). I'm totally with you on the expense, though for Meg in particular it is certainly and obviously helpful. You don't necessarily need to go regularly to get a great deal of benefit, though. The rehab vet should be able to check her over (sorry, I don't know the name. Is it Luna?) and show you some core strength exercises etc, you can do at home. Core strength exercises would be very helpful in taking the pressure off her spine, shoulders, neck etc., and helping her build strength.

In terms of jumping on the sofa etc., I would try and keep that to a minimum, perhaps by using a box or some steps. Also, what is the traction like on your stairs and any other hard surfaces. Slippery surfaces will definitely put extra strain on the joints (even if she appears to be managing fine).

What sort of exercise do you do? How much and what type? A rehab vet will be able to advise, which is another good reason for seeing one. Also, what is her weight like? I never considered either of my girls to be overweight, and had never been told they were by a vet, but they have both lost  a good few pounds and are now right at the lower end of fine, and the difference in their energy and movement is obvious to see.

Look forward to hearing more about Luna (?), has she been a tripawd from a young age?

All best wishes to you both,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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6 July 2017 - 5:22 pm
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Thank you Izzy for bumping my post! 

Meg , 

thank you for the insight, this arthritis stuff is all pretty new to me and to me she's (Luna)so young that I am trying to stay away from said long terms and things of that nature. I haven't talked to the vet about metacam , today we went for our physical therapy and laser consult. Luna will be doing laser starting off every other day for a few weeks then well reduce it. The physical therapist showed me great thing to do at home to strengthen her slowly including stretching out her spine because she's hunched( not sure if other tripod experience the rear end hunched). I am definitely excited to start all of this and relive her of some discomfort and make her more comfortable. They vet did throw out acupuncture but I am not familiar with this . 

Luna is currently on joint supplements and salmon oil. The vet just suggested duralatin and prescribed gabapentin for pain, although I'm no sure how much pain she's really in. Also, adequan was suggested as well. Sounds like so much as I'm writing it out. They also suggested looking into t-cyte which i believe is still trial like for arthritis in pets but the vets heard and read only good things, its pretty new so I'm not sure how many people are familiar with this yet. I definitely doing research and some homework.  

Luna goes for walks about 15-20 min and in the summer swims a lot. The physical therapist suggested her walking on sand to help strengthen her a little more. I totally understand the weight, I've always been cautious because i know the extra weight is detrimental when there missing a limb and she was amputated at three months old unfortunately because of abuse from her previous owner. She's 59lbs and the orthopedic didn't suggest for her to lose weight but the physical therapist suggested to get her down to 55lbs. She on the smaller spectrum of german shepherds.  

I'm glad to hear your pups are doing great on the medication rasberry

Durham, NC
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7 July 2017 - 8:35 am
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Gabapentin is really helpful for managing pain and my dog has been taking it for about a year solid, no ill effects. Keep in mind that dogs naturally hide discomfort, so although Luna may not be exhibiting indicators, that doesn't mean she's not feeling any pain.

Sounds like you're on the right track! Hope the therapies help your cute pup!!

~Amy & Izzy, too

Momma to the world's most beautiful American Bulldog, Izzy!! Lost her front leg to OSA 9/18/15. Diagnosed w MCT in June 2016. Celebrated her 1 year ampuversary with knee surgery on 9/18/16! MCT recurrence in Dec 2016. Happy & hungry til nearly 14, earning her wings on 7/31/17.

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7 July 2017 - 5:45 pm
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Amy and Izzy ,

thank you for your feedback , it makes me feel a lot better giving Luna the additional pain medication. The vet prescribed twice a day but right now I started with once a day at night because it makes her drowsy and loopy . The vet said it will take some time for her to adjust to the medicine. I always worry about medication long term but you have definitely put my mind at ease. 

Virginia
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7 July 2017 - 6:16 pm
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Well .Miss Luna, aounds like you've found the best furever home EVER!!! 🙂 Your Mom is certainly doing her research!!

I know all these options sou d overwhelming, but just try and keep things chunked down. Try one or two options for awhile and see what kind of results you get. Then you can try another option if that isn't working, etc.

Great insight from everybody!! 🙂

Youre on the right track with fish oils and it certainly sou ds like her weight as it is is just fine.

Did you see any results with the nsaids a d the Amantidine? It does sound like you don't need to be pulling out any of the big guns yet so you jave ple tymof wiggle room down the road. We have seen many on here who do get good results from the Adequan I jections but I don't think her case is severe enough that yo u would need ro go that route.

Ueah, the Gaba can hace a sedation effect so yoy may have to tweak the doses and see what works best for your gal...with Vet approval of course!

Let us know how it's going a d we would loooooove to see pictures of this sweet girl!''Her avatar is precious!

Hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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7 July 2017 - 9:37 pm
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I most certainly have been trying to do as much research and get as much feedback as possible from other that have the experience . I appreciate all this wonderful feedback I'm receiving and taking it all in to consideration . I am so happy I found the tripawd community. 

I'm not sure how much improvement the nsaids have made ( it may just be me and my unrealistic expectations) Luna isn't on them long term , her vet just wanted to give her a boost in the right direction and thought the nsaid amantadine combo was the best to do that. Some conflicts are occurring where her orthopedic specialist wants to keep her on amantadine forever and her gp vet doesn't quiet understand why because it's usually used to enhance the nsaids . 

Adequan is an option that her vet feels she would benefit from starting now . It's just over whelming when all these medication and supplements are being suggested . I just don't want to give her all this stuff , it seems like a lot or maybe to much . I'm not sure if this is the usual with all these supplements and medications. You would think over the course of 5 years I've had her I would know a little bit more , but I feel like I'm learning new things all the time with her to make sure she's happy and healthy. 

I would certainly post more pictures , I'm just not sure how to . 

Luna and I aappreciate all this wonderful information and support !

London, UK
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8 July 2017 - 6:15 am
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You would think over the course of 5 years I've had her I would know a little bit more , but I feel like I'm learning new things all the time with her to make sure she's happy and healthy.

Now that, if you don't mind my saying so, is just daft! We are all of us learning, all the time. You can't know how to deal with things until they happen to you! That's what this community is for – to share experience, and we all of us bring different things. I'll bet after five years as a Tripawd Mum, you could teach me one hell of a lot.

Sounds as though the rehab visit went well. I suspect those exercises to stretch out her spine may be very helpful. Reluctance to jump up, use the stairs etc., does sound as though it could well be caused by tension/knotting in the spine. Incidentally, I would consider acupuncture, if you are able to. My understanding is that digs, like people, respond quite differently to it. For some it is extremely effective, for others moderately so, and then a few see little impact at all. My Meg is in the strongly responsive category, and the effect is really quite remarkable, most particularly along her spine, where she does get some tension and knotting. And, if it is effective for Luna, an additional advantage of acupuncture is obviously the lack of side effects, or worries about long term impact.

Adequan is not licensed for use in dogs in the UK, so that's not an option for us, unfortunately. If it were, I would try it, as I have heard great things from others on these forums. I haven't heard of the t-cyte. Another new drug is Galliprant, which seems to be very effective in some dogs, and not effective for others. Again, this is not available in the UK, but I expect it to become so later this year, and then I will certainly be trying it and hoping it will be effective for at least one of my girls.

I do understand the concern about over-medicating, especially in a relatively young dog, but I would ditto what Amy (Izzysmomma) said about dogs not showing pain. I experienced this with Meg (some time before her amputation). When she was put on Metacam, the transformation in her mood and movement was so obvious, I felt terrible because it was only then I realised how much pain she must have been in before, despite the fact that she had never shown any reluctance to exercise, or given any pain signals (so far as I could tell). That's why now I really don't hesitate. I don't want to give them more than they need, but I want to be absolutely certain that they have enough. Of course, every situation is different, with different factors to consider. And it certainly doesn't makes things any easier if the vets disagree amongst themselves (perhaps your vet and the orthopaedic specialist could have a discussion? It is certainly not up to you to engage in 'conflict resolution'). 

Please stay connected and let us know what you decided and how you get on. For posting photos, the easiest way is to start a free blog, then you can upload to there and paste the link to the forums. Looking forward to seeing more of Luna.

All best wishes,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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8 July 2017 - 8:53 am
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Meg,
I am going to look in to acupuncture , Luna had her laser appointment today and one of the vets at the practice does acupuncture. I will definitely set up a consult appointment to learn more about it. Anything is worth a try to see what may help.

I will look into that other medication as well, she'll be starting her adequan regimen next week , since she just started her pain medication this week and other supplements , I wanted to space it out just in case something didn't settle with her .

I did tell her primary vet to call her orthopedic specialist to discuss the amantadine conflict. From what I understand according to my orthopedic that it is a newer practice to keep them on in long term and it's not well established yet as a long term medication.

Physical therapy has been a struggle at home with her exercises because she automatically defaults to sit when I need her in a standing position . I'm going to try to use a sling to keep her propped up during the exercise as the pt suggested .

I will definitely look into the blog , thank you for the suggestion !

Luna and I continue to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and suggestions ! 

The Rainbow Bridge

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8 July 2017 - 9:08 am
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Oh yikes, my apologies for not giving you a proper welcome! Hello Luna and family! I may have approved your first post when I was half-asleep. Duh! I'll try to answer some questions:

She was denied for a prosthetic as there wasn't enough of the residual hind limb left but was suggested a brace for the good hind limb ? Does anyone have experience with this

Absolutely! Yes a stiffle brace made by a reputable orthotics company can definitely help. You can check out these OrthoPets videos for more information. Also, Hero Brace makes excellent custom braces too.

I would certainly post more pictures , I'm just not sure how to . I would certainly post more pictures , I'm just not sure how to .

Here's a post about adding images to the Forums. Let us know if you'd like assistance, we're hoppy to help.

As for the arthritis, have you looked into Galliprant? It's easier on the body than NSAIDs and vets are seeing excellent results with it.

If you haven't already, do check out the Tripawds e-book Loving Life On Three Legs and the Tripawds Gear blog for more exercise tips.

Finally, has Luna been to a certified canine rehabilitation therapist? If not she could really benefit from an evaluation and you could learn how to do home exercises as well. The best part is our Tripawds Foundation will even pay for your first rehab visit.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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8 July 2017 - 11:07 am
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Hey Jerry, 

thank you so much for welcoming us . I wish I knew about this wonderful community sooner (better late then never ). 

Orthopets is actually the company who recommend the brace and I'm glad to have some feed back regarding the brace. Luna's pt didn't seem so sure about the thought when I suggested the brace. I will follow up with those videos on there website.

  I will ask about galliprant today while we are there for her laser treatment  and do some of my own research on it . I will also look into a certified rehabilitation specialist that's near us .

just started to read the ebook !!!! 

Biggest thanks from Luna and I in helping us in our journey .

The Rainbow Bridge

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9 July 2017 - 10:25 am
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YAY for doing your research and talking about Luna's options with her vet team. I'm guessing maybe there's a reason why the PT wasn't sure about the brace for Luna? All dogs are different so there could be something else going on that would hinder the brace's effectiveness?

Luna is such a young GSD, I have no doubt you can find a way to help delay the onset of arthritis. Keep in mind that all bodies change over time, so just as her needs were different when she was a puppy, they will be different as she ages. Good dog parents like you make every effort to learn about the changes and accommodate the accompanying needs, so keep up the great work!

P.S. Our Wyatt Ray thinks she's a foxy girl!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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10 July 2017 - 9:29 am
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I think Luna's pt team is newer to the tripawd development and didn't quite understand what a brace would do for a dog with only three legs. I think the brace would benefit her and I have them all the info to look into it further because they will be the ones working hand in hand with orthopets for the brace . 

I however did schedule Luna and appointment with a certified rehabilitation specialist, who she will see next week to be evaluated. 

Luna receives her third laser treatment today and call me crazy but I feel like I have already seen some difference in her since we started the new regimen and laser treatment . 

Virginia
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10 July 2017 - 5:38 pm
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HA!! Those of us around here who amputate legs are probably called a lot worse than crazy by outsiders!!! We don't care what you call us as long as something works to improve the lives of our pets!! 🙂

Glad to know the laser is helping! And glad you're going to a Rehab Specialist. Perhaps they'll be more in tune with dealing with tripawds.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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