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This morning Heidi was having a really bad time moving. I carried her bed all over the house wherever I was because she wanted to lay by me. The vet recently upped her dosage of Rimadyl, but she seems to be in a lot of pain today. Am trying not to panic. She has and will have good days and bad days. A bad day is not so dire. The vet said if the larger dosage of Rimadyl doesn't help he will put her on something else too, mentioned Tramadol. I was on Tramadol once myself and had a terrible time with it, so am reluctant about it. Does anyone have any suggestions of pain meds better than Rimadyl or compatible with it? And what of your experiences with your dogs on Tramadol? Thanks.
 

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I am sorry to hear about Heidi.

My old girl Maddie took Rimadyl and Tramadol. We slowly ramped up the Rimadyl dosage over a period of 11 years (she started at 5 yrs old and almost made her 16th birthday) as she needed it. The last year or year and a half we added Tramadol--again ramping up the dosage to something like 4 pills a day (2 with breakfast and 2 with dinner).

She did very well with both meds. The Tramadol made her sleepy. We monitored her liver function every 6 months and she was tolerating the Rimadyl very well. We also tried some Adequan injections the last few months--the first couple of rounds seemed to help her but the later ones did not. But I think at that point she had other issues cropping up.

I hope Heidi has some better days ahead.

Take care,

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. Heidi is 13 and I just don't want her to be in pain. She has done well on the Rimadyl so far. If the vet suggests it, we will add the Tramadol also. Thanks.
 

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I'm sorry that Heidi isn't feeling well. I have an almost 15 year old small dog and I understand the worry you must be feeling. With the medications, as long as she doesn't really display negative reactions/side effects, I would do whatever it took to make her comfortable. Really, that's the most important thing at her stage in life.
 

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Rimadyl/Carprofen and tramadol have seemed to work better in combination together than either med alone, at least for some dogs I've known. You can also ask the vet about the possibility of considering a third drug, Gabapentin, added into the mix. I had one that was on all three at the end of his life, once he was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Your vet should be able to talk to you about other options besides Rimadyl too. Metacam, Deramaxx and Previcox are other possibilities too (more expensive). The hard thing is the switch is not easy because you have to wash the Rimadyl out of the system for a while (not giving any) before you can start a different NSAID, and that may not be a good option for some dogs. All this can be part of the conversation with the vet.

Is Heidi getting any treatment besides pain meds? (Cold laser? Acupuncture? Hydrotherapy? Supplements? Adequan?) If not, looking into another treatment modality might be worthwhile to help with the pain. It's not "either/or" -- these are all options you can think about to support pain management.
 

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Thank you for all of these ideas. I have not tried alternate therapies for Heidi, mostly because she was always so nervous and temperamental that I was afraid her stress would just make everything worse. Now her mobility is decreasing, so the amount of going to the vet matters. I will consider all of these though and speak with my vet. Thanks.
 

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Lucky is on Previcoxx has been for about 5 month. He sems better but still has some bad days. we are looking at Adequean injections next.
 

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Our previous non-GSD seniors both took rimadyl and tramadol in their senior years. As the need for higher doses of tramadol came we noticed more sleepiness and unsteadiness. We spoke with our vet and worked out a better dosing plan. We found that rather than giving say 50mg of tramadol 3 times a day (every 8 hrs.), giving 25mg every 4 hours worked better. Sometimes it's better to give lower doses more often to ease side effects like severe drowsiness or being wobbly on their feet.

For us this worked well. Seemed they tolerated the lower but constant blood level of the pain killer better than the highs and lows of the "normal" schedule.

Talk to your vet. They will work with you and your concerns. Hope Heidi has more better days then bad.
 

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Gunther was on Tramadol along with his Rimadyl for a little over a week and now it's just going to be on a as needed thing. The only issue I had with the Tramadol (100mg twice a day at 12hr intervals) was just a little constipation that was remedied by some pumpkin and kefir.

I just discussed Gabapentin with my vet and she said if it's a constant pain that the dog deals with everyday then Gabapentin would be one of the options for pain relief.

Good luck with your girl and I hope you find something with your vet that works for her.
 

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Shasta's vet gave her an RX for Carprophen at her last visit, the vet described it as like ibuprofen for dogs. I had asked the vet about the Adequan (sp?) injections and she said that at her old age she does not like giving an injection because if she had a bad reaction to it, you can't stop it where as with a pill you just stop giving it to them. I don't give her the Carprophen every day but if she has been limping or did more physical stuff than normal I give it to her in the morning. It really does not seem like she has much pain though, just weakness so it's hard to tell if it works. I hope you find something that works for your girl, maybe the Adequan injections would work since she is a little younger?
 

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Clipper was on carprofen and tramadol and did well. He also got the adequan and supplements. The dose of tramadol at first was too much and made him kinda loopy so we cut it back, and later on gave in doses more spread out over the day. With Cody I just wish I'd known about the shots, if they may have helped. He was on different pain meds, previcox and he was on prednisone. Cody had a more difficult time than clipper.
 

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I notice that when my golden seems sore that an ice pack on the area loosens him up and he feels better. The vet also suggested fish oil to help with arthritis on my oldest dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How old is Shasta?

The vet gave us Tramadol. She will take 1 tablet twice a day with meals. I gave it to her last night and watched her for any side effects. She didn't seem to have any so far and she did appear to feel better, even got a toy! I hope this works. Massaging her hips seems to help a little. I took the afternoon off yesterday and stayed home with her and it was really nice. We just hung out and I read a book. Heidi wanted to get up on the bed with me, so I lifted her up and down. She seems to be getting more clingy now and follows me, so I lift her down every time I leave the room so she won't try to jump off by herself. Guess it's lucky she has lost weight; it isn't hard for me to lift her now. I hope the Tramadol does help her, as it seems to so far.

Nice to know there are other options also.
 
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