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Discussion Starter #1
Heidi just started on Rimadyl for her hips and seems to be tolerating it well and it appears to be helping with her pain. In order to get more of it, the vet is insisting that a comprehensive be done, which apparently is a blood test that checks liver function and maybe other functions. Heidi is almost 13 years old and her hips are failing. Although I am trying not to dwell on it, I believe we have days or weeks, not months or years before she will need to be put down. What I am wanting to know is is this test, which I am pretty sure is expensive going to tell us anything that really matters at this point in Heidi's life? I hope I don't sound like I don't care about my dog. A couple of years ago, she had a problem, the vet suggested a complete blood panel and I gave the go ahead, no questions asked, but now...if there is a good reason for it that will change anything, then I am ok with it. That is what I am asking. Thanks.
 

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My vet has seen Rimadyl throw a dog into kidney failure. I would do it. You only need the Chem 10 which isn't that expensive.
 

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Yep, I agree. I think it's important -- *especially* in a senior. I repeated the bloodwork regularly too with my senior. You actually need to do the bloodwork at least twice. The initial blood work tells you if the liver's already weak--in which case, this isn't the drug for her. Follow-up bloodwork tells you if the liver is tolerating it well (because the values in the bloodwork are hopefully unchanged).

This helps explain it -- note the heightened risk for seniors: http://www.vetinfo.com/drimdyl.html
And more info about why the caution with NSAIDs: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2006/october/rimadyl-controversy-6509
Bottom line: it's highly effective drug, and like many highly effective drugs, there are some serious side effects that affect some but not all dogs, and your vet is working to make sure dog isn't one of them, and if it is, get it onto a different pain management protocol quickly! That's a good vet, to my thinking!

Please also look into whether Adequan injections might help give your senior some more quality of life time. There are lots of threads about them here, and your vet should be able to advise if your dog is a candidate. I've seen them work wonders -- they literally gave my last senior 2 more years of mobility and happiness, and my only regret is not knowing about them sooner. They do more than mask pain--they help regenerate cartilage to cushion the joint. They don't work for all dogs, but when they do, after 3 weeks, it can be dramatic. Mine went from slowly ambling behind me on walks, with a creaky, old gait, to jogging--he had pep in his step again!
 

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Although I am trying not to dwell on it, I believe we have days or weeks, not months or years before she will need to be put down. .
I think we're all missing this sentence here.

If you believe this is end of life care and are just making her comfortable, the I would probably not do the BW. If I saw major improvement that would make me change my mind on this, then I would take her back to get the BW done.

The organ function BW is not that expensive but if you think the money is better spent elsewhere to help her be more comfortable then that might be the better option.
 

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You need the blood panel to start the meds. I just took my 11-1/2 yr old off Carpropen (generic of Rymadel) he was on it maybe 3yrs and I don't believe it was helping him. I stared giving him turmeric because I take it myself and I do think it's helping him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info. Jax, see that's the thing. I think the Rimadyl has greatly reduced her pain and that is why I will do whatever I have to to get it for her. However, her hips seem still the same, not improved. She still stumbles, still almost falls, etc. I think maybe I should take her to the appt. so our vet can see her (he hasn't seen her since April, and she has gone quite downhill since then; this might be part of the communication problem we are having), and before he does the blood workup, have a heart to heart. Let him know what is on my mind.

Magwart, just how costly are the Adequan injections? This is something I may ask the vet about.
 

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We didn't overdo BW with Banshee. It comes to a point that you have to ask what she is going to die from. Is it long term life saving treatment or short term quality care. Previcoxx is a much safer drug for anti-inflammatory and I would use that in a senior over rimadyl any day. It IS much more expensive though.
 

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Magwart, just how costly are the Adequan injections? This is something I may ask the vet about.
It varies widely -- and depends to some extent whether you are comfortable doing intramuscular injections yourself at home, once the vet prescribes it. I wasn't, so we had to pay to have the vet techs do the injections for me. It was $45 each. There's a vet across town who only charges $25, but the traffic was too bad for me to get over there regularly.

The usual protocol is two shots a week for 4 weeks--and you'll know by then if they're working. If so, they step down to a maintenance dose (we settled at every other week, for life; some are able to go down to once a month, but I'd be cautious about that if the arthritis is bad).

The other thing I discovered toward the end of his life was acupuncture. In his first session, the vet showed me how at the beginning if he pushed against my dog's rump, he'd sit because he had no strength in the hind end. After one 20-minute session, my old guy was solid as a rock when you pushed on his rump. He felt really good after that session. It's not long lasting (at least at first), but there was definite improvement for him. He seemed to enjoy it during treatment too (which is weird since they were sticking tiny needles in him), but I kind of got the feeling he really liked the experience. It's not inexpensive -- about $100/session here, if done by a vet who has cross-trained in "Eastern Medicine." It was part of his end-of-life care once he was diagnosed with cancer. It's another modality I really wish we'd been doing for years for the arthritis, instead of starting only after the oncologist suggested it to help him feel better.
 

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My vet has seen Rimadyl throw a dog into kidney failure. I would do it. You only need the Chem 10 which isn't that expensive.
:thumbup:

Lucky when he was quite young had a significant rise in his liver enzymes w/ Rimadyl. He started on some meds for his arthrirtis but first we ran his senior panel which included a Chem 10.He has always had some liver abnormalities. Lucky is in a different position then your Heidi. I agree w/ you let her have her rest and relaxation,swimming and yummy meals. Whatever allows her to enjoy her time. The Chem 10 panel Jax spoke of would be alot less but could prevent kidney and/or liver failure due to meds. I think your idea to see your vet who knows heidi could give you some better idea of what your facing as he has known Heidi. Still sending prayers and thoughts for you and your girl. Take care.
Maggi
 

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:thumbup:

The Chem 10 panel Jax spoke of would be alot less but could prevent kidney and/or liver failure due to meds.
The BW can't prevent organ damage. All it can do is tell you whether the animal has it or doesn't have it at that particular time.

Personally, I would go with the more expensive previcoxx. It's safer and people report good results. Maybe also ask about some Tramadol if you think she's in pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for your comments, Maggi. It really means a lot.

I guess what I am asking is, assuming Heidi isn't meant to live more than say till the end of the summer, what is the worst thing that could happen, due to the Rimadyl, in that amount of time, considering that she has been on it for 12 days now with no apparent side effects? From everything I have read, it sounds like dogs may have side effects that begin very shortly after the first dose, and long-term damage can be done on dogs that are on it several years. Is there middle-of-the-road problems that may come up?
 

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Kidney failure is the biggest concern.
 

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Lucky just started Previcox as he cant be on rimadyl b/c of past experience on it.I think the middle of the road might be best determined by your vet who sees Heidi regularly.
 

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I agree with the suggestion for previcoxx. I loved the results I saw with Frag.
 

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Maggi - did you do a 5 day wash out between the rimadyl and the previcoxx? I guess they've found that switching from one to the other can overload the organs. Liver, I think but not sure. So they wait 5 days between for the one to leave the system completely.
 

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Jax the rimadyl was years ago. I just made sure that our new vet was aware of it and that was why we went w/ the Previcox. Good to know about the wash out as i haver two other seniors in the house.

Bridget if I could do over Daisy's last 4 monhs she would have eaten all her favorite bad stuff and she would not have taken all the supplemnts and pills we gave her thinking it was DM. I think letting a dog be comfortable is the most important thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What I want for Heidi is for her to enjoy her last days, without needles or even visits to the vet, unless they will truly add quality to her life. Then when it is her time, I hope to help her cross over peacefully and with as little fanfare as possible. I guess that is what we all want, right? I think what I am really afraid of is that he will want to do bloodwork every time you turn around if we start it, which I WILL NOT do unless I believe it will actually extend a QUALITY life. I think maybe I am being irrational.
 

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No, you are not being irrational. It's what we wanted for Banshee. She was terrified at the vets. We did not take her for BW every 6 months as they wanted. We did it yearly. We refused the BW and signed the paper.

You need to do what you think is right for her. All I can say is every time we thought it was near the end for Banshee, she would bounce back. So I keep that in mind when I advise you to do the BW. But you live with Heidi and know her best.
 

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The late barker sisters were helped very significantly by accupuncture & chiropractic treatments. (They liked the vet - Barker the Elder positively loved going to the vets - any vets - whatever they did.) I am very cautious about rimadyl having one dog on it for years that developed kidney problems. If I were considering any of the traditional pain meds, I would want blood work done. Do discuss this with your vet with Heidi there.
 
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