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Discussion Starter #1
Heidi went to the vet yesterday. Like another poster, I was wondering if she was suffering from DM, in addition to her HD. Vet said he doesn't think so, thinks the problem with her back legs and hind end is just more severe HD. He didn't really say anything I wasn't expecting. I can take her off the glucosamine; it's done it's job, kept her feeling pretty good for 7 years, he doesn't think it can do anymore. I realized this morning that he didn't mention her heart, but I know he checked it, so not sure if that is significant or not. I know some disapprove of aspirin for dogs, but it has worked for us for 7 years, and he pretty much told me not to hesitate to give it to her whenever I think she needs it, as long as it isn't more than 2 per day. I guess it is what he DIDN'T say that alarms me. I just had the feeling that he doesn't think she has long.

I told him that the other day was the first time she didn't want to get out of the car to take a walk and I didn't make her. He said that she needs to go for a walk every day to lubricate her joints and I should try to get her to, even if she doesn't want to.

To my relief, my vet is now only giving the distemper shot every 3 years, so Heidi didn't get one of those but....they are giving the lepto vaccine separately now and he did recommend that. So maybe I am reading too much into it.
 

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Have you tried laser therapy on her?
 

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No, can you tell me a little about laser therapy? What is it, where do you get it, how expensive it is?
 

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Heidi is 12. We like our vet and usually follow his instructions. However, I was prepared to question the distemper vaccination if he recommended it; luckily he did not. I guess I don't really have a problem with the lepto vacc, as lepto is pretty prevalent around here.
 

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I would ask the vet which strains the Lepto covers and which strains he has found come into the clinic most often?

Vaccinating in general is hard on the body, but joints too. For a dog this age, IMO, I would not be vaccinating, but checking titers.

Something to talk to your vet about maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for this information. I am calling my vet today to see if this is an option for Heidi. I am really not ready for end-of-life stage and I don't think she is either. Hope I am not just in denial.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a call in to my vet about laser therapy. I have rethought this and I am not sure this would work for Heidi because of her temperament. Heidi is very nervous at the vets and will snap if they hurt her, causing me to have to hold her mouth shut during examination. However, somehow, they did get her anesthized to do xrays. After researching, I think this would be way too touchy-feely for her, causing her to stress out and possibly be dangerous for the person trying to do it. Does anyone have experience with laser therapy with a dog like Heidi?

So...anyone have experience with hydrotherapy?
 

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Swimming can help along with the laser therapy. My dog has arthritis from an injury 10 years ago. The vet told me glucosamine can be hit or miss for this of other joint/ muscle pain. She recommended fish oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I suppose she could be muzzled or sedated for laser treatments, but I am thinking that this stress on her would make it counter productive.

She loves to swim and I hope to take her as soon as the weather warms up. I am worried about her losing function while in the water, though? Is that a possibility? Maybe she could swim no further out than I can wade?
 

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You could get a life jacket for her. Rusti has one and loves to wear it. I think they cost about $30.

She loves to swim and I hope to take her as soon as the weather warms up. I am worried about her losing function while in the water, though? Is that a possibility? Maybe she could swim no further out than I can wade?
 

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I suppose she could be muzzled or sedated for laser treatments, but I am thinking that this stress on her would make it counter productive.

She loves to swim and I hope to take her as soon as the weather warms up. I am worried about her losing function while in the water, though? Is that a possibility? Maybe she could swim no further out than I can wade?
You might be able to find a place that offers swimming. I have one by me. The water is 92 degrees and they put on wet suits and swim the dogs
 

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Please look at some of the past threads here on Adequan injections.

It gave my senior about 2 years of high quality of life at the end of his time with me. He went from plodding slowly behind me on walks to jogging with a jaunty little step at the age of 10. It helped him tremendously until he passed of cancer at 12.

Instead of masking the pain, the injections help the joints generate cartilage to cushion them -- heal. It's an ordeal to get it started -- 2 shots a week for a month, then 1 shot for a couple of weeks, then every other shot for life. You'll know in week 3 if it's working -- I saw a DRAMATIC improvement in mobility.

I also highly recommend acupuncture. I wish I'd started it earlier for him. In his first session, the acupuncture vet showed me at the start how if he pressed lightly on my senior dog's rear, he'd give in and start to sit. At the end of 20 minute session with the needles, the dog could stand strong against that same downward pressure on his rear. The difference was absolutely amazing and unmistakable. Again, it's one of those things you know is working -- and you'll know after the first session.

Also, the dog totally relaxed with the needles. They pinch going in, and then while their in, the dog just chilled and relaxed. The whole experience was very calm. This was a wonderful dog who would let the vet do anything to him though -- heart of gold, and the gentlest soul I've ever known. I haven't tried it with an anxious dog.
 

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Second the Adequan - if it works, it's great. I buy mine online so it's cheaper (Foster/Smith had a good price), and pay them to do the injection (some vet offices do it for free, some people do them - I don't want to do an IM injection myself). 8 doses (so like 2 bottles) to load.

After my dog had a small spinal issue -which I think are the reason our dogs have the problems they do more than their hips (by the way - my one vet feels that the structure of the GSD causes spinal compression) she went for the underwater treadmill and laser. She loved the laser - she would switch sides, move her body so they could hit spots - she was totally relaxed and she's an anxious girl. Treadmill was too much like exercise for her. ;)

Good luck with your girl - if you didn't blood work helps to keep an eye on kidneys and other stuff.
 

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Yes the adequan works great! Clipper was 12 when I read about it here on the board. I wished I'd learned about it sooner. It helped strengthen his back and legs. I believe it added to his comfort greatly. After the first appointment to see if they would start him on the shots all the appointments were just for a shot so they just had me run him over before they closed. Since your dog gets nervious at the vets they may even just give it in you car or outside you car. I know just for shots they've came outside to the bench area at our vets. The shots for Clipper were 45.75 per shot, I read on here there is a generic brand. Clipper weighed 93 pounds and the cost is on much they have to give. They only did 6 loading doses then once a month. I do think he would have done better with maybe once every 3 weeks or every other week later as the week before his shot you could tell he really needed it. But it did help him out a lot.
 

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I agree about Adequan! I also second the swimming and acupuncture.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the great ideas. I will be checking with my vet about the Adequan. Sounds like this is the best way for us to go.
 
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