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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2655
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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Hi thereI have a 12 year old lab who has arthritis, she

Customer Question

Hi there

I have a 12 year old lab who has arthritis, she has a 12 weekly injection of cartrophen. I feed her Hills J/D. I'm looking at other dry foods, are there some particular amounts of nutrients etc that I should be looking for, and what is too much glucosimine & chontroitin, are there other things I should be looking for - thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Z. replied 1 year ago.

Dr Z :

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you.

Dr Z :

Has the j/d seemed to help her? How long has she been eating it?

Customer :

I don't really think so, perhaps but she is a very laid back lady ,sleeps alot and like most labs is on a constant diet, I've been looking at other foods but don't want to undo any good that may have been done, she's had around 7 large bags of J/D, I believe that is the best food for her but I'm not sure

Dr Z :

The j/d diet is a great alternative for some dogs, but it does not provide equal benefit to all dogs. From a nutritional standpoint, it is a great choice. The glucosamine and chondrotin are an excellent addition, but not every dog with arthritis will see results from that supplement and if they are one of those dogs, giving more is not going to help. It is a fairly safe supplement however and I have not seen any adverse effects of an increased dose.

Dr Z :

J/d also has the addition of anti-oxidants, but that can be found in other diets as well and is not exclusive to j/d.

Dr Z :

One of the biggest additions to j/d that seems to provide help to a lot of the dogs is the omega 3 fatty acids, particularly the EPA.

Dr Z :

But again, that is something that can be given as a separate supplement should you change to a diet that is not adding it.

Dr Z :

So, answer your question. It would not be a major problem to switch her to a different diet, as long as it was a nutritionally adequate one and supplement her separately with glucosamine/chondroition, omega 3 and antioxidants. Using the j/d just makes it easier. You may or may not notice a difference in her response by doing so, but I would tend to think you would not.

Dr Z :



The concept of multi modal therapy (combining drugs) is very effective however and if the Cartrophen alone is not enough, adding another drug to the regime may be beneficial. This not only incorporates attacking the pain by a different mechanism of action, but the sometimes synergistic effect of the two drugs together allows you the keep the doses of both down, avoiding potential side effects. Two of the oral drugs I keep in mind to add for pain are Tramadol and Gabapentin. Your vet will know if either is an appropriate choice for Libby if you need to provide extra pain relief now or on a more chronic level in the future.

Dr Z :

Another supplement that holds promise is one called Duralactin.



Duralactin® is a patented dried milk protein from the milk of hyperimmunized cows. It’s action is to reduce inflammation of osteoarthritis and tissue damage that results because of it. It is available as an oral supplement. I am not sure of it availability in New Zealand. Here is a link with more information.


duralactin

Dr Z :

Does that help with your questions and concerns?

Customer :

Not entirely. I'm not sure how much pain she is in, perhaps not much??,she never yelps , she had a large absess under her tail and didn't attempt to bite it at all. it is more around the optimal protein, suppliments etc that I should be giving her, what % etc and are there some that are more beneficial than others, collegen ? flax seed ?

Dr Z :

On the pain aspect, Labs can be pretty stoic and it can be difficult to determine if they are painful or not. Some of my clients have a hard time telling if the supplements are doing any good until they try to stop them and then note subtle return of the symptoms. Symptoms can be vague (slow rising, tiring earlier on walks, reluctance to interact, etc). Give me a minute to type more about the other part of the question.

Customer :

yes and they don't come more stoic than Libby

Dr Z :

There is tremendous variation in protein recommendations for dogs among dog food manufacturers and vets alike. The most important part of a diet choice for a dog with arthritis is whatever will keep her at a healthy weight. Also it is important to verify with your veterinarian is a reduced protein diet may be needed (due to her kidney function). In general, most well balanced senior diets are reduced in protein somewhat (usually around 20% dry matter). Protein itself does not have a direct bearing on choice based on arthritis.

Dr Z :

As far as beneficial supplements, it can very from dog to dog as far as how they respond to any given supplement. Some will respond favorably and some will have no response at all, so all you can do is try them. Collagen and flax seed have not been shown to have any significant effect.

Dr Z :

I am going to send along a link that breaks down the supplement choices well.

Dr Z :

Supplements for arthritis: LINK HERE

Dr Z :

Can I answer anything else for you tonight?

Dr Z :

Has my reply adequately answered your questions now?



My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done. Thank you for allowing me to assist you.



Dr Z

Dr Z :

I see that you have rated my service as poor. I would be happy to continue the conversation and provide additional information that you are seeking.

Dr Z :

Can you tell me what additional information you are looking for.

Dr Z :

It appears that you may be having some difficulty with the chat feature. I am going to switch to Q and A to see if there is anything further that I can assist you with tonight that will satisfy your needs.

Expert:  Dr. Z. replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dr. Z. replied 1 year ago.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions.

Can you tell me what additional information you are looking for and what I can do to have you change your rating to a positive one?

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