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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19579
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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I have an 11 year old lab/boxer. she does not like to go

Customer Question

I have an 11 year old lab/boxer. she does not like to go for walks much anymore. My vet chercked her and said her heart is fine and she does not have arithitis. She is 20 lbs overweight. No limping. Should I be worried?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 8 months ago.

Hello. Thanks for the question.

It definitely sounds like there is some degenerative joint disease going on. Arthritis is not something we can easily diagnose with an exam or x-rays. It has to be fairly progressed before we see signs on x-rays or clicking in the joints. most of the time, it's just some cartilage degeneration that we wouldn't see without an MRI or scoping the joint.

If bloodwork has not been done, I would also do this to rule out organ issues like kidney or liver problems.

There is no real cure for this, but it can be managed a lot of ways:
1. Keep him at an ideal body weight, overweight dogs are much worse. I would use a low calorie food and also consider Slentrol to get her to drop some pounds.
2. Anti-inflammatory meds- Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam. Unfortunately, you'd have to stop the Prednisone before starting these.
3. Other pain meds- Gabapentin, Tramadol, Amantadine
4. Joint supplements- Glucosamine, Chondroitin
5. Using a diet J/D (joint diet) can actually supply glucosamine, chondroitin and essential fatty acids without having to supplement. You would get this from your vet.
6. Low impact exercise- swimming, slow walks, stretching

You do not need to do all of the above, but a good combination of what works is the best way to manage chronic arthritis in dogs.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.