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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17386
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Resolved Question:

I just sent you the first question with my credit card information and no one responded, I am trying again but I hope I do not get charged for 2 questions...Here goes, I have a Lab named Kasey she is 12 years old. Her arthritis is kicking in quickly. Occassionally, I have given her tylenol (suggested by my vet instead of buffered aspirin it upset her stomach) and it does help, however, I think she is getting beyond that. It seems when she runs with the kids as they are in the pool, (she no longer goes in swimming) she runs up and down the pavers around the pool, the next day she is hurting. She gets up very slow, stairs are hard etc. She doesn't do it all the time only when she has moved quickly and hard. I see it occurring more often, so I asked my vet what I can do to make her more comfortable. She is already on 2 Glyco flex a day. He suggested Rimadyl and I did not want that since another lab in our family passed away because of the effects on the liver. So, he is now suggesting Deramaxx 75mg chewable only on the occassions that she needs it. I am so afraid to give her any of these anti inflammatory drugs. She is my baby and I do not want to make other things fail on her since she is getting older. Please help me with this decision. Also, someone suggested changing her food. She is on Pro-Plan for Senior dogs. The food they suggested was Hills perscription J/D but when I look it up it is only rated 1 star... Help me please I only want her to have a good quality of life as she is getting to the point of being very old and I know labs do not live much pass 13 or 14. I thank god every day I wake up and I still have her in my life.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Gary :

Hi Kasey

Dr. Gary :

Have you been helped?

Customer:

No one has responded yet.

Customer:

Is someone going to respond to this? Please I am waiting ...

Dr. Gary :

Yes

Dr. Gary :

How long has it been since your dog was on Tylenol?

Customer:

I only gave her one on Sunday and before that maybe 3 weeks prior

Dr. Gary :

Ok. I would stop the Tylenol. It has the potential of causing liver toxicity in dogs.

Customer:

Ok what about the baby aspirin before the perscription drugs by the vet

Dr. Gary :

What I would do with your dog is first check some screening bloodwork to make sure the liver and kidney function is ok and then get her on an anti-inflammatory + an opiate for the arthritic pain

Dr. Gary :

Aspirin is ok for mild pain, but Rimadyl is actually safer and works much better.

Dr. Gary :

The aspirin dose if you do give it is 5 mg per lb every 12-24 hours (so much more than a baby aspirin in a good sized lab)

Customer:

Her blood work was just done in June all was fine. But what about the deramax that is what he has given me instead of the rimadyl.

Dr. Gary :

As long as the kidney/ liver bloodwork is normal, she will have no problem with Rimadyl- don't be scared to use it. It's a great drug. I'm not a fan of Deramaxx as I've seen a couple dogs have bad GI ulcers or kidney failure from it. It's still relatively safe, but it's just personal preference and experience that pushes me to RImadyl.

Dr. Gary :

Here is my approach to arthritis:

Dr. Gary :

1. Anti-inflammatory med like Rimadyl

Dr. Gary :

2. Opiate pain med like Tramadol

Dr. Gary :

3. "other" pain med like Amantadine or Gabapentin

Dr. Gary :

4. Consider J/D as it has therapeutic levels of glucosamine and chondroitin

Dr. Gary :

5. Low impact exercise- swimming, walks (not running), stretching exercises

Customer:

What is the difference in the two drugs? I had a lab in my family die from the Rimadyl so I am so afraid of it. I also do not want to give her pain meds unless she needs them. She really doesn't cry she keeps on going I can not tell if she is in a lot of pain.

Customer:

Also, the J/D was only rated 1 star is that good for her, she would need other nutrients that an older dog needs can I mix the dry foods?

Dr. Gary :

Rimadyl and Deramaxx are both Cox-2 inhibitors so they interrupt the inflammatory pathway. Deramaxx is a little more selective for a certain enzyme and it's a once a day medication as opposed to Rimadyl that is a twice daily medication

Dr. Gary :

I'm not sure where you got the rating. Most orthopedic surgeons are recommending it for their patients now. it's not a life changer, but it a piece of the puzzle that helps. It's also cheaper to do J/D than to supplement with glucosamine, chondroitin and fatty acid supplements.

Dr. Gary :

J/D is a complete diet- you don't need to mix it with anything

Customer:

Ok I think I will give it a try, as far as the Deramaxx maybe I should go back to my vet and try Rimadyl or will the Dramaxx do the same thing for her as far as the anti-inflammatory? I would think that the certain enzyme would not let the liver absorb as much or it would not damage it or the kidney as fast? I may be wrong but I am just so confused and afraid of the Rimadyl...

Dr. Gary :

If you're more comfortable with Deramaxx then that would be fine

Dr. Gary :

I would give her at least 7 days with no aspirin and no tylenol before starting Deramaxx

Dr. Gary :

I would also, for peace of mind really, check liver/ kidney bloodwork 3-5 days after starting the Deramaxx just to make sure you're not having any issues.

Customer:

The only thing is I was told to give this to her only on occassions when she is really not walking or climbing stairs easily, not every day, so I would replace the aspirin with this am I understanding you correctly? When it gets to the point the aspirin is not working I would then just give her one of these? I won't know 7 days prior because she is only going to get this once in while. I am trying to avoid an every day thing just yet

Dr. Gary :

Yes, typically we'll give it as needed first and eventually it may be daily if that is what is needed. I would basically stop the aspirin or tylenol now and hopefully she doesn't need anything for over 7 days. Then we have our wash out period. We need this when changing any anti-inflammatory med; even going from Deramaxx to Rimadyl.

Dr. Gary :

These meds should all be as needed, not daily unless she tells you that is what keeps her comfortable.

Customer:

Ok thank you for all your help, I am a realistic individual and I know I am very lucky to still have her and in such great condition up til now, so I will try everything to get her comfortable and make sure there is quality in the lifespan left. One more question if I give her one dose and it works well, if I do not have to do it again until say a week or so, should I then take her for blood work after the 2nd dosage? Do you think that would be wise?

Dr. Gary :

If you're just giving it periodically, I would give it 3-5 "doses" rather than 3-5 days and then get it checked. That may be 1 week or it may be 2 months. Hopefully the later!

Customer:

Ok thank you I appreciate your input.

Dr. Gary, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17386
Experience: DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary
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DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)