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Dr. Z.
Dr. Z., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Over 25 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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We have a male 9 year old Rot/Lab mix. He is lathargic and

Resolved Question:

We have a male 9 year old Rot/Lab mix. He is lathargic and walks very slowly now. We feel it may be arthritis trouble getting in car. Is there an over-the-counter drug we can try?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Z. replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr Z :

Hello,

Dr Z :

Can you tell me how long this has been going on?

Customer:

About 4-5 months

Dr Z :

Is he still eating and drinking normally?

Customer:

Yes, lately he has been throwing up - took to vet and was given an ant-acid and antebiotic

Dr Z :

Ok, so the vet has seen him recently? Did they run any bloodwork? Did the medications help with the vomiting?

Customer:

Bloodwork came back fine. Stool sample fine. XRays fine. Everything checked out okay.

Customer:

Vomited once since we were finished with the medications.

Dr Z :

So you are looking for a medicine to try and help his arthritis pain, is that correct? Did the xrays show any arthritis?

Customer:

No they didn't, my wife saw the symptoms this morning on TV and they matched what our dog has been experiencing.

Dr Z :

Over the counter choices of pain meds are limited. Most of the ones humans would use are not safe for dogs. While aspirin is someitmes used, it is not a very good choice. It can be hard on their GI tract and I have seen it lead to gastric ulcers. On top of that, it is not as effective a pain reliever as some of the newer prescription meds designed for dogs that have a wider range of safety. In his case, with the history of vomiting, I would not recommend. He may benefit however from nutritional supplements like fish oil or glucosamine type products. Would you like some more information on these?

Customer:

Yes please.

Dr Z :

Ok, give me a few minutes to figure out how to paste things on here. (this is my first live chat on this site and the set up is a little different then the question and answer type)

Customer:

Okay

Dr Z :

Fish oil/omega-3's— The active ingredient of fish oil for humans and for dogs is EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). The dose recommendations are 180mg EPA and 120 mg DHA per 10 lbs body weight daily. There is a large range of safety and it doesn't have to be that amount exactly but this gives you some guidelines. You just want to make sure you are seeing those on the label as an ingredient and not just the words "fish oil" as these are the important part of the fish oil and not all fish oil capsules have them in it, especially the cheaper ones.


 


Chondroprotective agents: Dasuquin® made by Nutramax is one of the one's that shows promise to be a step above due to a unique combination of components, but others like, Cosequin® or Adequan® are helpful in some dogs. These products work to protect the joint by "lubricating the joint" and "cushioning" it in simple terms. The Adequan is a prescription product, but the other products can be found at pet stores.


 


There are also some newer veterinary diets (Hills j/d) that work very well to provide similar components and increased antioxidants mixed right in with their food. I have had pretty good results with these.


 


I have had some dogs benefit from some sort of physical therapy including hydrotherapy (water treadmill) if it is available in your area.


 


One final option that we have employed with good results is acupuncture.

Dr Z :

Even though the xrays did not show arthritis, it may be worthwhile to give these a try and they certainly won't hurt him. If his signs are progressing however, I would have your vet re-evaluate him. Weakness (from other disease) can be easily confused with pain. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer:

His teeth probably need cleaning - could this add to the illness?

Dr Z :

Dental disease, if it is bad enough, could lead to mouth pain or infection. We don't usually see it cause systemic problems, but if he needs it, it is good to have his teeth taken care of as part of his general health.

Customer:

Okay. Thank you so much - have a great day.

Dr. Z., Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6265
Experience: Over 25 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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Dr. Z.
Dr. Z.
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Over 25 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.