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-   -   Arthritis so Young??? (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/198017-arthritis-so-young.html)

koda girl 01-04-2013 11:26 PM

Arthritis so Young???
 
My 3 year old was running in the woods, she let out a loud yelp and came running out. Checked her over and she had a little blood on both nostrils, other than that she was fine. I thought maybe she ran into a tree. Got home and she had trouble getting out of the van and up the stairs. By morning she could hardly move and I couldn't put my hand on her lower back at all. Off to the vet. We were very surprised to hear she has arthritis going down her spine and she said it was quite bad. She said in the woods something must have happened and a little piece of arthritic bone chipped off. She showed us the x-ray against a normal spine x-ray, so I do believe her. Just kind of funny when she never had a symptom before this. So now she is on Tramadol for pain, Metacam for inflamation, and we are going for an injection of Cartrophen for 4 weeks in a row. She also told me to get Glucosamine to give her. Does this sound like a good way to treat this to anyone out there that might have experience with arthritis. Any guesses why such a young dog would get this? She comes from a very good breeder. The vet said her hips and elbows are great. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. :)

msvette2u 01-04-2013 11:54 PM

Sounds like she injured her neck.

Did they mention an FCE?

jocoyn 01-04-2013 11:54 PM

I do have experience with hip dysplasia with severe remodeling in one that age. Symptoms came on after a cold swim about the same age. No experience with cartrophen but I know some who have had good results with adequan. All she ever needed until the end was fish oil and glucosamine/MSM supplement and some metacam maybe the last 6 months of her life (she died of hemangiosarcoma at 9)..but I really thought the value of glucosamine was joint lubrication and this is not a joint issue like hips are.

Grim has some spinal arthritis (spondylosis, bridging) but he is 9.5 and it is mainly at the thoracic/lumbar junction. He gets turmeric and some chinese herbals and fish oil. Turmeric has a lot in common with metacam - it is loaded with natural cox-2 inhibitors. The downside of metacam is you will need to go in every 6 months for bloodwork and it is expensive. The good thing though is the liquid can be metered down so that you can give the minimal effective dose. For Cyra the dose for a 20lb dog worked just fine with her 50lb body.

DEFINITELY the omega 3 fatty acids in good quality fish oil (The EPA and DHA) are highly anti-inflammatory and need to be included so I would ask the vet about that as well.

Acupuncture and cold laser haver really helped Grim (the one with spondylosis) - If he were younger I would be doing more research into stem cell therapy. Our vet just mentioned some kind of new cytokine therapy but I am clueless and looking into it. My vet is also certified in chiropractic but not with the arthritis.....

I would also talk with a vet physical therapist if you have one about appropriate excercise. Excercise is excellent for any arthritis but you don't want to add further injury. I would think jumping in and out of vehicles would be forbidden and walking and swimming probably excellent.

Mooch 01-05-2013 12:34 AM

Arthritic changes can happen at any age, puppies at 4 month old can already have arthritis in joints.
My first dog (Mastiff x) was on Cartrophen injections and glucosamine for 8 or 9 years, they did help her joints a lot. I have no idea if it will help with spinal issues but there's probably only one way to find out - the main thing is you need to be patient with the Cartrophen and the glucosamine especially it takes time to work, at least a month until you see a difference.

With Max it made a huge difference, the Vet told me to have her put to sleep when she was 4 years old because she was arthritic and had had surgery to repair a torn ACL - she lived to 12 years old :) She did get Rimadyl for the least 6 month because she was uncomfortable without any pain relief.
All my dogs now get a joint supplement with glucosamine and MSM - the older girl because she's 6 years old as a preventative (she's showing no signs of pain) and the 11 month old pup because he already showed arthritic signs in his elbows at 4 month old and had surgery to fix an ununited anconeal process :( They are both on a low maintenance dose of this stuff Joint Guard For Dogs - Nature Vet :)

I would also look into acupuncture like jocoyn said :) It worked great on one of my ex race horses that had spinal issues :)

GatorBytes 01-05-2013 12:54 AM

I would think at this age if it is arthritis then it would be rheumatoid - auto immune.

Also, I think a better check w/an ortho and a consult with a chiro after that to confirm...unless you could see yourself by comparison on the x-ray.

I would be more inclined to go with the neck injury because of the bleeding nose.

My aunts dog had acute lameness (a sheltie), suddenly wouldn't jump down off the bed and got lethargic...vet said lets check for HD, didn't have...so put on metacam instead of checking the knee (acute!)...dog now has kidney disease...

Another woman I met, Vet tests for HD, no HD (shep/husky)...couldn't walk, put dog on metacam, started spilling black tarry diarrhea...vet suggested PTS...she was giving the dog another couple of weeks while she struggled with the decision:(
I had met this woman in line at costco (may 2012) and somehow started talking about our dogs...My dog had blown his knee, so I thought that may have been what teh vet missed w/her dog...I recommended to her Fast Joint Care + (by genuine health), home-made bone stock (mostly chicken cartiledge w/splash of vinigar to the stock) and Wobenzyme...2 weeks later her dog was walking a 1/2hr...she called again a couple months after and couldn't be happier with his improvement, wanted to know if he could go swimming, lol:)- she called me again just before x-mas - said he was like a puppy again going on hour long walks, running...you get the idea (?)

msvette2u 01-05-2013 01:00 AM

A lot of the pain after a spinal injury is muscle spasms which will cause a dog to be very stiff, painful and not want to walk.

I'd ask your vet about methocarbamol + Neurontin for the muscle spasms and pain.
That med combo has helped a number of our own dogs and foster dogs here (Dachshunds, famous for spinal issues).

jocoyn 01-05-2013 04:33 AM

The bloody nose the sudden onset all may point us to something else (such as running into a tree or, as has been suggested, an FCE) but we are not veterinarians and we have not seen the x-rays. If the dog does have spinal arthritis, it may well be that a sudden impact caused one of the over growths to break which can cause great pain.

What you may want most is a consult with an orthopedic vet specialist.

JeanKBBMMMAAN 01-05-2013 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 2675929)
The bloody nose the sudden onset all may point us to something else (such as running into a tree or, as has been suggested, an FCE) but we are not veterinarians and we have not seen the x-rays. If the dog does have spinal arthritis, it may well be that a sudden impact caused one of the over growths to break which can cause great pain.

What you may want most is a consult with an orthopedic vet specialist.

Agree with that! :)

msvette2u 01-05-2013 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jocoyn (Post 2675929)
The bloody nose the sudden onset all may point us to something else (such as running into a tree or, as has been suggested, an FCE) but we are not veterinarians and we have not seen the x-rays. If the dog does have spinal arthritis, it may well be that a sudden impact caused one of the over growths to break which can cause great pain.

What you may want most is a consult with an orthopedic vet specialist.

Definitely.

In our case, our dog had spinal stenosis, a sort of arthritis, and he just spontaneously got the embolism (FCE).
But if she's got mild changes, it could be the impact with the tree (if that's what occurred) caused it to happen.

I don't know, when the OP says "could barely walk" if was due to pain or she physically couldn't move.

Our dog's back legs weren't working, one was worse than the other but neither were working like they should :(

arycrest 01-05-2013 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by koda girl (Post 2674993)
...
Off to the vet. We were very surprised to hear she has arthritis going down her spine and she said it was quite bad. She said in the woods something must have happened and a little piece of arthritic bone chipped off. She showed us the x-ray against a normal spine x-ray, so I do believe her. Just kind of funny when she never had a symptom before this. So now she is on Tramadol for pain, Metacam for inflamation, and we are going for an injection of Cartrophen for 4 weeks in a row. She also told me to get Glucosamine to give her. Does this sound like a good way to treat this to anyone out there that might have experience with arthritis. Any guesses why such a young dog would get this? She comes from a very good breeder. The vet said her hips and elbows are great. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. :)

So sorry to hear this!!! My Tex was a medical nightmare. In addition to numerous other health problems the boy had sever juvenile arthritis (he was around 1 or 2 when he started exhibiting the first symptoms). Unfortunately back then there weren't the treatment options that are available today, but I was still able to keep him happy and active until shortly before his 13th birthday. But I have had seniors with arthritis who were kept comfortable with similar medications that your girl is taking.

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR GIRL!!!


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