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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24353
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Our dog is almost '13 and often has trouble standing up.

Customer Question

our dog is almost `13 and often has trouble standing up. sometime crys in sleep. maybe from pain
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Sami. Ideally, her vet should take a look at her to make sure that she's not systemically weak from one of the many geriatric degenerative disorders that might have arisen. If she's suffering from geriatric osteoarthritis, however, there are quite a few ways you might address this...

We use a multimodal approach to osteoarthritis in our dogs - dietary management, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory pain relief, neutraceuticals, life-style changes and stem cell therapy. When used concomitantly these approaches should synergize and provide the best control of symptoms. For example, Sami might show considerable improvement if you add fish oil to her diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are anti-inflammatory. I use the cost-effective generic human fish oils and dose them at 20 mg/lb daily of the EPA in the fish oil. You'll find the amount of EPA on the label of the fish oil product.
Avoid flax oil because it is poorly bioavailable to dogs. They can't metabolize it properly.
If you prefer, there are diets that are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids. Hill's Prescription Diet j/d is one such diet.
Many vets feel that injections of Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) work better than oral neutraceuticals such as glucosamine/chondroiton sulfate or the over the counter Cosequin or prescription Dasequin (please see here: http://www.amazon.com/Nutramax-Cosequin-PLUS-Chewable-Tablets/dp/B003ULL1NQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1432474254&sr=1-1&keywords=cosequin). Adequan is injected into Sami weekly for a number of weeks at her vet's discretion. You can read more about Adequan here: http://www.adequancanine.us/
Regenerative stem cell therapy has come into its own and is now available for addressing osteoarthritis in dogs . Please see Vet-Stem's website here for more information:***@******.*** The regenerative stem cells are created from Sami's fat cells and are capable of differentiating into a variety of tissue types including tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, and muscle and have been proven to reduce pain and inflammation. I understand, however, that such an invasive procedure may not be appropriate at Sami's age.
We have to suspect that just as in people, geriatric osteoarthritis in dogs is painful. If a prescription nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam isn't sufficient for controlling pain, please consider adding a well-tolerated narcotic such as tramadol to these therapies mentioned above. All of these drugs are available from Sami's vet. Aspirin dosed at 10 mg/lb with food every 12 hours can be helpful in a pinch.
Weight reduction is essential. The less weight Sami's joints need to carry, the better.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Sami. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin

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