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So - not a banner year for my poor "pup". We found out he's got mild to moderate heart disease and on top now his left hip is giving him trouble. I'm just trying to see who's had a dog that's managed well on the heart medications. I'm also thinking of giving him glucosamine. I'd love to hear of people's thoughts on it and if it's helped their dog. He'll only be 9 in June so not a super senior although I guess senior enough!
 

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Sorry to hear about your pup! My little guy (7 months old) has mild hip D on left side and moderate on right side. I use glucosamine chondroitant (for both my dogs) - Cosequin brand. I also do turmeric golden paste which I make at home and feed 2x/day. I find that it has helped a lot with both my dogs! I also have my little pup in physical therapy (hydrotherapy is the best). Building the muscle is important so it takes the impact of activity and not the bones/cartilage etc...

Hope that helps!
Tricia
 

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With heart issues, it would be helpful to have a vet cardiologist on your team monitoring the dog and the treatment plan. One supplement to ask your vet team about is VetriScience's CardioStrength, which combines several heart-supportive ingredients:
https://www.vetriscience.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=900631090

Our rescue's vet suggested it for a few dogs we had with severely damaged hearts from Heartworms. It's available OTC, though sometimes vet clinics sell it. Her feeling was that it could only help these particular dogs. She also uses it with boxers with congenital heart issues too. DO NOT USE without checking with your vet to see if there's any potential interaction with meds your dog is on!

Regular glucosamine pills from the supermarket or drug store are likely to be a waste of money. I've linked the long-term, excellent studies on them and arthritis many times. You can find those threads easily with a search -- one was as recent as a couple of weeks ago. The good, long-term studies have had very disappointing results. You'll find a lot of info linked here:
http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=glucosamine

There's ONE patented form of glucosamine/condroitin that's proprietary to NuMax (Cosequin, Dasuquin) that has had good study results in Europe. Their results were so different from the GAIT study results here that it makes on go "hmmm..." Either the form they're using is absorbed differently, or something is hinky with the study. At least they've got pretty good data that it works though. If you're not going to use that, I wouldn't bother with a commercial supplement -- just feed food rich in gluc/chon (like beef tracheas). Add in Natural Eggshell Membrane, and maybe Collagen Type-II.

The real game changer is Adequan (RX-only, series of injection), which can give lame dogs back some quality of life or keep early arthritis from getting worse by lubricating the joint and sometimes rebuilding cartilage. We've had lots of threads on this too. I just posted about it last night in another thread, but there are probably 50 great threads about it in the archives -- it's frequently discussed here.
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/742169-concerns-about-exercise-our-6-yr-old.html
 

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Thanks for responses. Unfortunately dx confirmed by a cardiologist so now he's on enalapril and pimobendan 2x a day. Not much else we can do; he's due for a follow up ECG in August to see if at least disease has slowed. His murmur was assessed as stable a week ago when we went for tests before heartworm meds start (all clear). He does get winded quickly though. Poor guy wants to play but after 5 minutes he's done. The legs not helping either.

I'll look into the glucosamine a bit more closely. We'd like him to at least be as comfortable as possible. On good note he's still eating like a piglet so that's positive. You love them so much but in the end you know it's inevitable they wiill pass on. We were just hoping he'd stick around a bit longer as he's such a great dog
 

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Not my dog or a GSD but I have a close friend that has a 7 year old Great Dane with DCM.
Diagnosed last summer. He is on Vetmedin (pimobenden) and another med I'm not sure what that one is. He is doing well. His owner tends to over feed him with toppers on his food and human treats. That doesn't help his condition as he tends to be overweight. Until recently when his owner became ill herself and the Danes diet was reduced to just his food and meds and he lost about 20 lbs.. With his weight loss and continued meds I've noticed his stamina has picked up. I was walking him daily for the last 2 months while his owner was recovering from her own illness. He's been on his meds for a good 8-9 months now and I think his quality of life and activity level has been pretty good for a senior Great Dane. He walks a about 2-2.5 miles a day and still gets the zoomies. As the weather here warms he will slow down. He does have a harder time keeping up his stamina in the summer heat of the southeast.
My own girl has HD. We tried Glucosamine/Chondriotin/MSM and I didn't see much improvement. She's 5 and if she has a really lame day we resort to the occasional rimadyl. Mostly we try (emphasis on try) to keep her weight down. She loves to play ball and frisbee. We limit repeated long runs. Throw the frisbee low so she doesn't jump to catch it. We try to swim when we can and we walk 2+ miles a day (mostly off leash). We try to walk on softer surfaces (woods or grassy places) as oppose to concrete sidewalks.
 

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Hunters weight is pretty good. He's only 3 kg more than his average weight over his lifetime and he's always been in excellent condition. He could stand to lose that though. I've started to cut food back to bring him down but even now he's not terribly overweight. He's not happy about less food lol. The lack of exercise ability isn't helping either! He gets tired now at the end of our morning walk so I've really had to slow it down for him. It's so sad as it's very noticeable that he's getting winded. I've got some meloxicam for "bad days" for his hip.
 

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Hunters weight is pretty good. He's only 3 kg more than his average weight over his lifetime and he's always been in excellent condition. He could stand to lose that though. I've started to cut food back to bring him down but even now he's not terribly overweight. He's not happy about less food lol. The lack of exercise ability isn't helping either! He gets tired now at the end of our morning walk so I've really had to slow it down for him. It's so sad as it's very noticeable that he's getting winded. I've got some meloxicam for "bad days" for his hip.
One day at a time I say. Hopefully after he's been on his heart meds for a bit he will feel better and will be able to do more with more ease. Enjoy each other in the new normal. Those slower more casual walks give you both a little more time to sniff and take the world in on a different level with a greater appreciation of the bond you have.
 
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