Get Your Dog Care Questions Answered by Experts
Arthritis is fairly common in senior dogs and the good news is there are things that can be done to help with the discomfort as well as mobility.
The first step is to keep the house at even temperatures. The reality is cold weather or damp weather causes swelling in the joints and increases in discomfort. Make sure her sleeping area is not drafty or damp. She should have a more comfortable bed as well.....if you can make sure she has a few soft blankets to curl up in and keep those hips and legs warm. If she sleeps with you consider putting in dog steps so she does not have to jump in or out of bed. To much pressure on the hips can cause more pain as well.
Consider putting her food and water bowl on a small box to lift it up off the floor. When a dog has to bend her neck and back this puts pressure on the hips as well. Even a small lift helps.
Massage is the number 1 thing you can do for your girl. Some owners use warm towels wrapped around the legs or hips and massage over it. This allows the heat from the towels to seep into the muscle and help relieve discomfort. The best time to do massage therapy is at night before bed. This allows her to get comfortable before sleeping.
You will want to set up a appointment with your vet as well. Let him know the flex-cam is not working. There are several other nasaids that can be used as well as a few different forms of steroids and injections. The key is finding the correct medication that works for your girl. Try not to become discouraged, I know how hard it is to sit and not be able to do anything about her pain. Continue to work with your vet until a treatment that works can be found.
Rimadyl is a popular choice, though I am not a big fan of it simply because after a while it tends to become less effective and also tends to cause problems with the liver and kidneys over time.Of course at your dogs age this probably would not be a big issue as by the time it would cause any serious problems your dog would be much older.
I do like Meta Cam, simply because it is more effective long term and there is less risk involved with the liver and kidneys.
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I've just been to the vet who said flexi cam is the same as meta cam. Would you agree?
He didn't seem to be too keen on swapping to rimadyl but said he would if I wanted. What should I do? I don't know what to do for the best. I just want to improve her qulity of life for as long as I can.