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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I live in Japan and my dog who is turning 13 this summer severely

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I live in Japan and my dog who is turning 13 this summer severely pulled a ligament in his right leg. He's been in a lot of pain lately which we thought was arthritis but when the doctor did X-rays, the hips look good but the right leg seems to have a loose ligament now which makes the bone rub the bone. This causes him a lot of pain getting up and down. So...lately he won't lay down. The vet gets that it's in his mind and my husband and I agree. He has the dog on an anti-inflammatory and some doggy valium. For four nights, the knock out pills let him sleep but last night he was back at it again, trying to lie down but every time he hit his pain thresh hold he'd bark and get back up. How long should we keep giving the valium in order to change the mental pattern? Is surgery an option? What medicines would you recommend? We can't get everything in Japan but we're hoping to use our Japanese vet and info this summer to get some US help. Right now he's on glucosamine, and he takes this Japanese anti inflammatory off and on. They don't prescribe high doses here but we'd like to preserve his day to day quality of life. He's had a great run of it but it's so hard to see him uncomfortable and grumpy as hell due to pain issues. Any help or guidance you can provide would be awesome! Thanks!
Hello. Thanks for writing in.

Did they say what ligament was damaged? Was it in his knee?

What anti-inflammatory is he on?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The doctor drew a picture and it looks like the knee. He's on an anti-inflammatory that I don't know the name of. I asked about rimadyl and they said it was similar but you can't get rimadyl here. If it's similar than I think the dose might be too low since it only has a low level impact. The vet said once he lies down, he shouldn't be in pain but it's the process of lying down that's wigging him out. He's pretty high strung anyway...think Marine Corps! Does that help? The doc here wants to give him a glucosamine shot but he doesn't have it available yet. Of course, going to the vet with this kind of dog is a challenge in itself. :-)

Thanks for the information. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I was working on an answer and had to deal with an emergency. It all depends on what ligament is affected. If it involves the knee, it is usually the cruciate ligament that is affected. With larger dogs, surgery is usually the best option. With strict rest and anti-inflammatory medication, the injury will heal eventually, but it may take a few weeks. If the ligament is ruptured, scar tissue will build up around the joint to help stabilize it, but the ligament won't heal on its own. So, the joint will never be as stable and will most likely develop arthritic changes. With this type of injury, though, they can usually lay down and get comfortable. Make sure he has very thick bedding to lay down on. The Valium will not change his mental pattern. It is a short acting anti-anxiety medication. It won't help to change a certain behavior, like Prozac would. Even then, I am not sure a medication like Prozac would help. You can certainly ask your vet about it, though. There may be a pinched nerve associated with the injury, which could be the reason he has more of an issue getting comfortable. I would continue the glucosamine supplement and anti-inflammatory. Make sure it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID). I would also consider adding tramadol and gabapentin for further pain control, if they are available in Japan. You may be able to get them online with a vet prescription and shipped to you. They will offer more central and neurologic pain control. I assume the injection your vet is talking about is Adequan. We usually use this with dogs with such severe arthritis that they cannot get up. Again, not sure how much it will help here, but it can't hurt. It will require multiple injections to see the biggest difference. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns before rating. Hope this helps.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for this. I feel much more grounded in how to proceed next. I have some tramadol on the way and am hoping it makes a difference.


Arigato go zaimasu!



You are very welcome. Glad I could help Good luck!!

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