Dogs and Arthritis
Although we treat pets as our job, advising our clients on how best to treat any manner of medical conditions ranging from diabetes to seizures, we also have first hand experience managing our own pet’s aches, pains, and medical issues. Dr. McCabe has a soft spot for senior pets, and tries hard to make all of them comfortable– specifically her senior dog, Zoey. We invite you to read this story about Bea’s journey to treating arthritis pain in her dear friend.
Zoey’s Arthritis Treatment
We had begun to notice our 10-year-old mixed breed, Zoey, had lost some spring in her step. When it comes to dogs and arthritis, this is a tell tale sign that something is amiss. While we continued to walk her at the park every day, we noticed her gait had become stiff, and her stride had shortened. She had trouble getting in and out of the truck. Zoey has been on Dasuquin for joint care, 1 chew per day, since she reached senior status at 7 years old. She is fed Hill’s Derm Defense dry dog food to help with her seasonal allergies, and requires no medication for this particular ailment.
During a physical exam, I noted Zoey had a decreased range of motion in her hips, and had some pain on extension of her shoulders. Radiographs of her hips, spine, and shoulders unfortunately confirmed osteoarthritis. We immediately began short term NSAID (Rimadyl) treatment to control her pain, and began twice weekly Class IV laser sessions for 3 weeks.
Zoey enjoyed visiting with the LVC nurses who administered her treatments and gave her treats! During the last week of laser treatment, we began Adequan injections. Adequan is a polysulfated glycosaminoglycan used to treat osteoarthritis by restoring joint lubrication, relieving inflammation, and renewing the building blocks of healthy cartilage. Treatments consist of twice-weekly injections for 4 weeks. Zoey continued to show improvement, and by week 3 of the Adequan treatment, she was running at the park with her head and tail held high!
Improving Quality of Life
Our family is very happy with the outcome of Zoey’s treatment plan, and we feel that her quality of life is excellent. She will likely need some further laser sessions and NSAID use in order to maintain her well being. We will continue to monitor her overall health with lab work on a biannual basis.
Please contact LVC if you are interested in discussing dogs and arthritis, or any quality of life issues you may have regarding your senior pet. When it comes to dogs and arthritis, there are many things we can try to make your pet more comfortable. We have many options for multi-modal therapy to treat osteoarthritis or other chronic pain conditions including oral medications, acupuncture, Class IV laser, Adequan, and information on exercise and physical therapy. When it comes to dogs and arthritis, there are many things we can try to make your pet more comfortable.
–Dr. Bea McCabe