How to help my senior, pain management etc. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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How to help my senior, pain management etc.

Hi everyone,
Sorry this is a bit long…
I have a question regarding a senior Pekingese, not a shepherd although in his mind he is one lol. My boy has always been a guy with lots of health issues starting very early in his life. He has stomach ulcers, heart murmur and degenerative joint disease. Years ago he was paralyzed due to a few cushioning discs that burst into the spinal cord space. With acupuncture and crate rest we got him walking again. Over the years he has been suffering on and off with back & hip issues and would often receive Rimadyl to help with the pain.
These last months he has been more stiff than usual. I blame it on the cold winter weather and I haven’t been watching him carefully enough to prevent him from jumping up and down the stairs. He also is not a real fan of my German Shepherd puppy and gets himself so wound up trying to get her away from him. So I monitor that she leaves him alone by distracting her with toys to play with. In the evening both sleep with me in the bed and she knows to keep her distance from him although I sometimes do see her cuddling up to him and he just lets her.
I took him to the vet again as he was pulling his back into an arch again, looked very miserable and showing signs of pain (shacking a bit ). The vet gave me some Tramahexal & Diazepam and said I shouldn’t let him run up and down the stairs and try keep him calm (easier said than done as he loves running and acting like a crazy puppy lol). Luckily I work from home so can keep a good eye on him and I do see a slight improvement although with the meds he is clearly walking a little drunk.
So my question is what have you guys used and had success with to help your seniors overcome the aches and pains of age?
He is currently on the hills mobility but I am planning to switch him over to the Orijen senior but due to the high protein I was advised to first have his kidneys and liver checked.
If the vet gives me the ok for him to start him on the Orijen senior would I need to supplement this with anything?
This boy means the world to me and he is only 10 years old there must be more that I can do for him. Feeling a little helpless and worried
Thanks for reading
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 12:03 PM
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 12:26 PM
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When rimadyl stopped working on my senior she gave him metacam. It seemed to make a world of difference.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 12:53 PM
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I used accupucture for my old cat that really worked with lessening the pain of mobility. Laser treatment also worked for my GSD mix towards the end.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2014, 01:47 PM
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I know how you feel. No matter how llng you have them or how old they are, its just never enough time. Have you tried glucosamine? Adequan shots have really helped my senior recover some mobilty with out taking pain meds.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2014, 09:44 AM
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You have my sympathy; it is so difficult and ten isn't really old for a small dog. My Heidi is on Rimadyl, but you say you have already used that, so I don't have any other suggestions. Diazepam is the generic name for Valium, so it should keep him calmed down a bit, but may contributes to the drunken walk.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 02:51 PM
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I use Duralactin, a joint supplement and natural anti-inflammatory, to keep my old dogs and any that have had joint surgeries comfortable. I use this long-term to prevent the inflammation and to prevent pain or minimize the pain. It is available in forms for horses and dogs.

For years, I have used Tramadol when my dogs have had surgeries. It just became a controlled substance here and I will be asking my vet for other options.


Sabra - female GSD - born April 30, 2012
Sargeant - rescued senior GSD male/foster failure - approximately ten years old (August 2013)
Max - rescued GSD - Dec 22, 2010 to March 7, 2012 - at the bridge
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 04:54 PM
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I have a ShepX who has a degenerative back disease. We've managed 5 years, he is 10 now, although the last year has been more difficult. It's a balancing act, it's diet, supplements, eastern medicine, western medicine, but all in balance and moderation. When a natural path fails, then it's medication time.
I opt to go a more natural path - he gets a pain killer if he's limping, do not kid yourself, I do not inflict my personal opinions on the welfare of my dog to the detriment of that dog.
However, where we live, swimming is limited in a controlled setting, we put an above ground in, he gets his joint supplements, limited exercise, a diet, I have researched and am comfortable giving him along with supplements in the same manner. When he needs it, he gets a pain pill. It's a precarious balance. I live in the land of lakes, but, those lakes often due to high water tables contain too much bacteria - so a pool, controls the water, we're on year 5 of me swimming him in a therapeutic environment, I can, now do it alone.
Fo a long time, therapeutic swimming, acupuncture and chiropractic treatment along with a 60% RAW diet were maintaining things, now, we're a bit further from those luxuries, so what someone else did, I have to learn to do or work around, visits to a chiro or acupuncturist, due to distance are less. However, a larger property means more injury or irritation. It's a balancing act, invest yourself in every aspect of care and prevention and behaviour modification. Use medication when necessary, but it's really about improving a quality of life and getting it to a manageable plateau.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2014, 10:15 PM
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In my experience, we gave my senior nearly two years of great mobility and diminished pain using Adequan therapy, plus GOOD supplements (Natural Eggshell Membrane, Collage Type II, Ester-C, Fish Oil, Vitamin E (mixed tocopherol)). This combination was so effective that he got off Rimadyl almost entirely and was MORE mobile (and in less pain) than when he was on Rimadyl -- but it took about a month to be able to fade the Rimadyl away.

My experience is here:

There's a thread about Natural Eggshell Membrane here:

I want to emphasize that Adequan is a "game changer" for many dogs with arthritis. The loading dose is expensive, but it's powerfully good stuff--it heals the arthritis instead of masking pain.

Since acupuncture worked for your dog in the past, I would definitely go back to doing that for the pain too -- it can be awesome for arthritis!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2014, 11:08 AM
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Due to my schedule the last 4-5 months, I was unable to get my dog out too much, we brought an equine masseuse in weekly, massage and stretching. It seems to have helped.
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