I agree with Jocoyn--ask about Adequan!
Adequan requires a commitment to do the loading dose (2 shots a week for 4 weeks), then maintain with shots every other week probably, but it helps the joints heal and build new cartilage instead of just covering up the pain. I honestly think it should be the first line of treatment for a lot of arthritic dogs because if it works, the results can be dramatic, and it's supposed to be very safe. For some reason, not a lot of vets seem to know about it -- my old vet never mentioned it as an option. I learned about it from this board, then found a younger, more progressive vet who had been using it successfully in his practice, who also did a very thorough ortho exam before prescribing it.
My 10-year-old senior went from moving slowly and having trouble getting up from his bed to wanting to jog again, and even putting his forepaws on my lap and standing up briefly with all his weight on his rear legs -- something he hasn't done in years. The change in him is amazing --- we're totally without NSAIDs in his treatment protocol now, and he's doing really well. We're using a combination of adequan maintenance shots, exercise, supplements, and a low dose of nightly gabipentin before bedtime.
For supplements, we are doing 4,000 mg of fish oil (we worked up to that) because it's a potent natural anti-inflammatory. We also add mixed tocopherol vitamin E, Ester-C, natural eggshell membrane, collagen II, and B-complex. My vet's theory is that my old guy's doing so well because the supplements are supporting the Adequan, and we keep him moving with his daily walks, and the multi-pronged approach consistently yields better results in his patients.
We tried just using NSAID pain meds for a short time before this, with my old vet. We got significant improvement, but not as much as we got with the multi-pronged approach, after fading away the NSAIDs.
Last edited by Magwart; 01-23-2013 at 10:38 PM.