Reba's at the vet

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.

Reba's at the vet

Postby BabyReba » Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:00 pm

Poor old lady Reba's arthritis has been progressively getting worse, and a few days ago, I noticed that she was starting to appear more bow-legged than usual . . . she's always had a bit of a barrel chest, but now she's starting to look like her elbows are pointing too far out away from her body.

They did a brief orthopedic exam and told me that all she's got left is bone grinding bone in her joints and she may well have elbow dysplasia, hence the bowlegged look. They are doing a full xray workup of all of her joints, and it looks like we're going to have to go with one of the major arthritis drugs like Rimadyl since aspirin just isn't cutting it anymore. For now, the vet has advised no more leash walking and that I drive her to the park and places she likes so she can get out and be happy . . . but the walking is likely causing her excruciating pain that she's been masking because she is such a tough, stoic old dog.

They told me it's just a matter of time before we have to start having the "quality of life" discussions. I'm so sad, she is only 11. Has anyone else gone through the degenerative arthritis/dysplasia with old dogs? How did you treat it? I'm so worried about putting her on Rimadyl, but I've done everything else I can: supplements, aspirin, glucosamine. It looks like my last avenue to ease her pain. :crybaby:
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Postby texas pit stop » Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:18 pm

I have a 13 year old Pekingese/schnauzer mix that was on Rimadyl off and on the past several years. It is hard on the liver though. We had to take him off of it when his liver function dropped below acceptable levels,since that time we have restored most of his liver function using daily doses of milk thistle. Turmeric can be helpful with inflammation,but if her condition is "bone on bone" it probably wouldnt help much. Best wishes for Reba.
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Postby pocketpit » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:25 pm

Ask your vet if you can use Deramaxx or Metacam instead of Rimadyl. They are both good pain relievers but are far safer for long term users.
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Postby BabyReba » Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:44 pm

Well, I went in at 6 and picked her up. I saw the x-rays and she's got pretty severe detioration in both elbows and also in her hips. It's dysplasia all over, basically, and her elbows are so far gone there's not a lot they can do but relieve they pain, they said. They did recommend swim therapy, though they don't have a spot in their program available right now. :sad:

I asked about surgery and they said they showed the x-rays to the resident orthopedist (they do orthopedics and rehab there as well as routine veterinary work) and she said surgery is not an option because she's too far gone. Basically, all she has is bone grinding on bone in her right elbow and the left has little cushioning left. The most they could do is to fuse the elbow joints, which wouldn't really make it easier for her to get around and I don't know how well she'd recover from that kind of surgery either . . . she's no spring chicken. Her hips don't look too pretty either, but she's got pretty good muscle mass in her hind end still, which will probably be the saving grace for her as she ages. Still, the elbows are the weight-bearing joints. Sigh.

They told me not to take her on walks anymore, limit her movement, don't let her jump on furniture or walk up stairs. Easier said than done . . .

We talked about Deramaxx and something else, probably was Metacam my mind is spinning with med names right now. They recommended using either Dera or Rimadyl, didn't recommend Metacam because they've had poor luck with side effects using it. They gave me a scrip for opiates because they think she's in much worse pain than she lets on . . . I don't know what to think. I think I'm going to go see my old vet for some second opinions, call around for info, and do some research. I think I might be facing a situation where I have to pick the route that'll ease the pain most while doing the least harm . . . whatever that is. I'm so upset about this, I can't stand it.
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Postby Leslie H » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:06 pm

Just wanted to give you my sympathy. You clearly care so much for your dog, this must be very hard for you as well as her. Dysplasia is a horrible thing, and our dogs hide it so well. You've probably done this already, but they seem to have some really nice dog beds available that should help keep her from getting to stiff when resting, though I'm betting she sleeps on your bed. My thoughts are with you.
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Postby spane1 » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:13 pm

I'm so sorry for you both :crybaby: It's so hard to see your pup in pain and not be able to do anything. So far we've had fairly good results with the Deramaxx and glucosomine on Jack. Hope you find something that works for your girl too.
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Postby concreterose » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:31 pm

Poor Reba :sad:
Have you tried that liquid glucosamine, Synflex? I tried it on Pookie after Ariel's recommendation, and it's made a huge difference in how she gets around.
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Postby BabyReba » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:06 pm

yeah, we've been glucosamine . . . not that one in particular, but a pure glucosamine powder that she's been on for years. she's also taking stuff called Fresh Factors which did improve her movement and flexibility to some degree. but i think we've reached the limit on what supplements can do for her. she used to have good days and bad days, but i've noticed that the last couple of months have been primarily bad days . . . she was with me at my parents' house in the "country" last weekend and she refused to walk back into the woods with me or do much of anything really. she just wanted to lay in the sun on the front stoop--not very typical of Reba at all. which is why i brought her to the vet.

i am going to call her old vet tomorrow and see if he can squeeze her in for a visit . . . he's known her for a couple of years and i'm wondering if he might offer me a second opinion. doug keeps saying he doesn't believe she could possibly be in as bad shape as the vet says because reba is, in general, so happy still. she isn't protective of her body, she still gets up and wiggles and wags when she sees us, and she jumps up on the bed.

i don't know whether he's in denial about this or if maybe he is right and the vet is just trying to shove rimadyl down my poor dog's throat. i don't really think that's the case, but he has me all worried now.
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Postby concreterose » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:31 pm

Check out these dog beds...I got one for Pookie for when she's on the floor, and it's really easy on their joints.
It'll at least make it easier for her when she wants to stretch out on the floor.
Canine Cooler Pet Bed
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Postby jmann4 » Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:42 pm

I'm sorry to hear about Reba.
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Postby barbponys » Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:14 pm

God that sucks Reba.......... I'm so sorry to hear she's having such a rough time. I had my last boxer on etogesic for a couple of years, he didn't have any troubles with it. He got some everyday for back/hip pain. I really hope you find something that will ease her pain.
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Postby blover27 » Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:13 am

poor reba...i hope they can offer you more options for her pain and quality of life going forward...i know how you feel :crybaby:
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Postby raebo » Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:44 am

I don't have any suggestions but I just wanted to say that I wish you both the best. From recent memory I know how you're feeling. It is very tough to get bad news like that. But, Reba is lucky to have a friend that cares enough to do the very best for her.

Rae
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Postby pollypop » Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:52 am

:crybaby:

It is just my opinion, but sometimes even the bad side effects are worth it, if the pain relief is significant enough. I hope you are able to find that middle path for Reba.
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Postby phez718 » Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:11 am

:( Poor Reba. I hope you guys find the solution that works best for you.
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