Diagnosed with osteoarthritis in hips - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Diagnosed with osteoarthritis in hips


I am new to this forum, but found it through my searches in helping my dog. My dog, Midnight, is a Shepherd/ husky mix and has been the best and healthiest dog I've ever had. He is slowing down at 12 and a half years old though. In the last few months, he's gone from fairly active for his age, to barely being able to walk around the block. we noticed he wasn't jumping on our bed anymore, he was having some difficulty with the four stairs down to our apartment, and he needs assistance jumping up into my 4 door sedan.
we had bloodwork done 6 months ago and everything was excellent, I took him in last week because of his issues and we did some radiographs. We found that he has very little cartilage in his hips and there is the bony developments that come with arthritis. His left hip is worse than his right. The doctor wanted to do an NSAID panel which we did, to make sure he is ok for NSAIDS. These of course are going to be used cautiously if at all as I am aware of the dangers. I worked as a registered tech for several years before a career change, but I still stay current on the latest and greatest.
Anyways, he was sent home with Tramadol till we get the bloods back and he does the NSAID flush as i gave a buffered aspirin the night before as he was in lots of pain. The bloods came back again perfect and we are good to start treatments.
The doctor wants to do adequan injections which I'm going to do at home. She also wants to do Previcox for the NSAID as needed. I have had him on glucosamine for years. I've used various brands and switched to a human brand 2 years ago. Well I don't think it was absorbed properly as apparently the tablets are coated and he wasn't absorbing them properly. I bought some dasuquin with MSM to switch to. He also gets salmon oil, Vit E, ester C (which I may stop) and he's on a grain free diet.
I'm really hoping the adequan works. The doctor I worked for never used it so I haven't got to have first hand experience with it, but I've read good things about it, especially for dogs that have their arthritis in their hips. I am also going to look into acupuncture as my aunt is an acupuncturist. It is sad because this dog is so healthy in every other respect. He is a smaller dog at only 58.4 pounds so not as big as my previous shepherd who weighed in at 104 pounds. That poor guy was a rescue, and had spondylosis, hip dysplasia and arthritis. He eventually went down in the back end.
We never considered Midnight old as up until the last two months, he's been going on 2 mile walks, chases cat(which he still does), and just a happy dog. Now it is finally hitting us that yes even though he's a super dog, he's not immortal and I have yet to find the cure to aging. we aren't ready to give up yet so here's to hoping that our treatments work.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 06:53 PM
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I've used Previcox on my aussie worked great, didn't work so well on one of my gsd's.

I have also done adequan injections on another dog, and did work well but after awhile we just seemed to hit a plateau.

I like the dasaquin with MSM, and I'm all for acupuncture (works WONDERS!)..

If you were a tech/nurse, ask your vet for a scrip for the adequan and give the injections yourself, soooooo much cheaper (which I did) ..

I 've also used tramadol at different times, again, worked ok for one dog, not so great for another..Meloxicalm (human form of metacam) worked well and was very inexpensive also.

As with anything, you probably have to just try and see what works best for your boy.

Good luck and I hope he gets some relief and gets back on those walks

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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It's promising that there is so many different things out there. If one doesn't work, try another. That's what we did at work. There were dogs that did great with rimadyl, others metacam worked better. I'm excited about the adequan as if it works, I won't be just masking pain but actually helping. When I had my old shepherd, rimadyl was the only thing available and he had a bad reaction too it. Now there is so much more and for him to get this far without NSAIDs, I'm hoping we can help. On the plus the tramadol seems to help, though it wears off pretty quickly.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 11:51 AM
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I have an almost 10 year old that has issues too. Our vet does not want to use NSAIDs as she reacted to Rimadyl when she had a hip replaced 4 years ago.

So we do high doeses of Glucosamine, Get Up and Go, Adequan injection about every 3 weeks. We recently added a new product called Pet Thrive Petthrive - Resveratrol Therapy for Dogs. Jury is out on this one yet.

Last month we opted to have her joints injected with Hyaluronic Acid. The loading dose is 3 injections 1 week apart and them 1 every 6 months or so. I have seen improvement but I think she will not go 6 months between injections.

We use Tramadol as needed.

I feel like if I can get her to 11 or so before having to turn to NSAIDs at a low dose I will be happy.

Just some more ideas for you.

I think it fabulous that Midnight is 12.5 and has been doing so well for his age to this point. Hopefully you can get some relief for him so he happily motors on for several more years.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 12:08 PM
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I used adequan injections on my old man. It worked wonders for his pain. I also had him on a double dose of Springtime Longevity (learned about it here). We also did vit e, fish oil, vit c mix as well. With all of the above, he was in minimal pain. The adequan really did help though and I am so glad he was on it.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I just wanted to give an update so far. We just started the adequan injections on Tuesday. The next one is Saturday. I'm giving them myself im which I have no problem doing as I was a vet tech for a long time. Anyways, he is also getting a half of a 227mg previcox once a day in the am, and tramadol as needed am and pm. He seems a little more energetic and enthusiastic to go on his walks, which we've kept fairly short, but still by the end of the walk it seems like he is weak in his rear end. We are going to give the injections more time as it is only the first one. I'm also giving dasaquin and we are still on the loading dose of that. He gets salmon oil I the am and pm at meals. I'm just hoping something will work. He's happy and healthy in all other respects, and he lives for his walks, so I am hoping to be able to get back some of the length in walks that we used to have.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2012, 10:30 PM
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I have a 10 year old who was slowing down dramatically due to arthritis. I have a thread about him that has many good suggestions you should read here:

Adequan worked wonders for him, but it took about 3 weeks into the loading dose (2X per week for four weeks) to see an improvement. Then we scaled back to 1X per week for a 2 weeks, then down to every other week, which is where we are now. I wish I had known about it long ago.

He also gets supplements that are similar to what you are giving, plus a few more you might want to consider:
1. natural eggshell membrane supplement (FastJoint+ brand, available at Drugstore.com)--see the thread linked above for the recommendation about this,
2. Type II cartilage supplement (available at Whole Foods, or online)--again, see the prior thread about this, as you can potentially make this yourself with chicken bone broth
3. Ester-C (there is some research on it is that is promising)
4. B-complex
5. 4000 mg of fish oil (natural anti-inflammatory)---I think the key is to give a big enough dose, so that it's a therapeutic dose, instead of just nutritional support. We worked our way up from 2000 mg. to 3000 and now 4000 (too much too fast can upset the stomach).
6. vitamin e (mixed tocopherol), due to the large fish oil dose
7. Prozyme (digestive enzyme, with Bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory)

We've been so successful that we've faded the Carprofen/Rimadyl nearly away (though he does still get some Gabipentin, as the vet wants to avoid a pain-recurrence syndrome, and Gabipentin is much safer than the NSAIDs). I also keep the Carprofen on hand in case my guy has a bad day, but he's doing very, very well.

After a couple of months of this, he is asking to jog again when we go on our walks. His gait is so much faster than it was, it's almost unbelievable. He no longer moves like an old guy. At the socialization field, he is playing "chase" again with the other dogs. Last week, he ranpretty hard with the other dogs, and it made my heart smile to see him doing that again. He wasn't doing any of this 6 months ago--he was slowly walking around the field, staying very close to me and not running at all. He's feeling good!

I hope you see the same Adequan results. I can't say how much of my results are Adequan, and how much are supplements. My vet thinks it's all intertwined. All I know is it's working, and it's totally worth the expense.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! This does give me hope! I will definitely look into those other supplements. As of now, Midnight is getting a grain free dry food with grain free canned. He gets about 3000 mg of Salmon oil split between am and pm. I am also giving 1000mg of ester c, 800IU of Vit E, 100 mg Coenzyme Q 10, 100mg of hyaluronic acid, the loading dose for dasaquin, 1000mg of pure msm powder, a half a previcox in the am so walks will be easier and tranadol in the am and pm. We give our number 2 injection on adequan tomorrow.

He does seem much more energetic at the beginning of his walks, but by the middle he doesn't have his tail up as much and it looks like much more of an effort to move the back end. His range of motion is pretty bad on both hips, so he kinda shuffles along . At first I was worried about DM but the doctor says his reflexes and proprioception are still good. He also steps up curbs normally and dosen't high step it like my old shepherd did. I honestly think that it may still hurt to move his legs too much so he is kinda sloppy on his gate. DM is still in my mind as a possability so we will see at his recheck if he is improving at all. He is getting up a little faster, and I can totally tell when he has the tramadol and not. Tramadol definitely puts a spring back in his step but it doesn't last long. The previcox we are only on our third day and I read that it takes about a week to get to theraputic levels in their system. Not sure on that. I would like to phase that one out if the other stuff works. It's funny though because he can still chase the cat throughout the house and you'd never know he has arthritis. It's just those walks that he runs out of gas on. He wants to keep going, but I have to turn him around because I am afraid he would get too tired before getting home.
I have also started taking him to our water front beach walk as I know how far he could go a few years ago, and I know how far he could go before the meds. we are going to take that walk once a week to see if there is any improvement. I figure it will be easier to gauge a difference on the same route week by week. He will go to other fun places at other times during the week though. Here's to hoping!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 07:39 PM
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I give my old guys Dasuquin and Tramadol. In the past I've also used the Adequan injections on some of them and they also seemed to help and will do it again if/when necessary.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2012, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I just felt like updating on how Midnight is doing since being diagnosed with arthritis. Well to put it simply, he is doing 100 percent better. He isn't 2 years old again, but it is like taking him back 3 or 4 years in age. He has been on the dasuquin with msm for almost a month. We have just done the 5th injection of adequan in the loading dose period. Ive reduced the amount of tramadol he is getting and the previcox I'm doing every other day. He still gets ester c, vit e, salmon oil, extra pure msm powder, a super b complex and co enzyme q 10.
He is doing much better on walks. we are going almost our normal distance again and he is trotting with his tail up and happy instead of down. He moves with more range of motion in his hips and therefore doesn't scrape his nails anymore. I was slightly worried about DM because he was scraping his nails on his walks before all these treatments. The doctor says he wasn't lifting his feet enough because his hips were so stiff and sore that he would scrape his nails. We didn't rule out DM but she said if it was DM these treatments wouldn't improve and we would start noticing more neurological signs, which we haven't. The scraping no longer occurs and he is walking great. He jumps up from a lying down position super quick, chases the cat at dinner, he can actually sit without pain and is starting to jump up in the car again. Alot of the improvement we started noticing after the 3rd injection of adequan and he is improving more every week. He goes back for a recheck after the 8th injection and then the doctor will tell us what our maintenence doses are on everything. It's hard to to pinpoint what is actually working or if it is a combo of everything working together, whatever it is it's a miracle!
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