I'm sorry, but it is illegal for a veterinarian to prescribe medications without a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship. Establishment of a VCPR requires in-person history-taking and hands-on physical examination of the patient.
If Tara has chronic issues with arthritis
, a multimodal approach to pain relief is recommended. Rimadyl, if that works for her, is a good medication to use. Other choices for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory therapy include Previcox
, Zubrin, or Metacam
. Coupling one of these NSAIDS with Tramadol, can enhance the efficacy of both medications. In addition, if there is any element of nerve pain associated with her arthritis (as is often the case if there is arthritis of the spine or hips), then medications such as gabapentin and amantidine can be helpful.
Your dog should also be on a glucosamine- chondrotin sulfate supplement (your veterinarian can give you a dose appropriate for your dog). G-CS helps to rebuild the cartilage within the joint that is being continually damaged by the arthritis. While it has not been proven definitively to help in cases of arthritis in dogs, there's been enough anecdotal evidence that I feel it's worth using. This is something she should be on daily for the rest of her life.
I would also recommend you consider switching her to a diet
that is specifically formulated for joint health. There are a number of over- the- counter brands that are marketed for this purpose. Hill's also has a prescription formula called j/d. This food contains glucosamine-chondroitin sulfate, as well as EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid which helps decrease inflammation. J/d also has l-carnitine in it, which facilitates the maintenance of a healthy weight.
If there are particular joints which seem to trouble her most, you may also try doing some physical therapy- such as passive range of motion exercises. If your dog is amenable to it, you can gently flex and extend the shoulder to increase flexibility. You may need help to do this initially, as if she is painful she may object and there is the potential for injury on your part. Heating increases the flow of oxygen to the tissues and reduces joint stiffness, so heat therapy (warm water bottle or hot pack wrapped in a towel) should be used for 5- 10 minutes prior to physical therapy. Lightly massage the leg for a few minutes before starting range of motion exercises. The joint motion should be smooth and controlled, with steady motion through a comfortable range of extension and flexion.
Swimming is also a great low impact exercise for the joints. If your dog enjoys the water, this is a great way to improve her joint health.
Underwater treadmill therapy is of great benefit for chronic arthritis cases, as is Therapy Laser (low level light therapy which decreases inflammation and pain), and acupuncture.
To get the ball rolling, she will have to visit your vet. After the initial visit, however, your vet should be able to refill the medications, as needed. He will likely require periodic (every 6 months) blood work to assess liver and kidney values, since most NSAIDs have the potential to be hard on these organs.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can help your girl to live with less pain.