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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12485
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My dog will be 10 yrs old I'm oct. she just doesn't

Customer Question

My dog will be 10 yrs old I'm oct. she just doesn't seem herself lately. Doesn't want to walk far and when she does she pants. The panting does stop when I comfort her. The vet checked her heart. She does have some arthtitis and takes rimadyl sparingly
when I notice her stiff or limping. Think she would do better given it everyday but I'm afraid of it. She's pArt lab and I heard it's not good for them. I'm going to make her an appt for a ck up and blood work. Her bloodwork was fine back in April
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr Altman and happy to assist you both today!

It does sound like she could potentially be having some joint issues and would benefit from some alternatives to rimadyl to get her comfortable. I will list some options below for you...I agree in using rimadyl sparingly because it is harder on organ function and there are so many safer alternatives now.

1.) Gabapentin- this is called neurontin in people. It works by dulling the nerve firing associated with pain and is my top choice for senior pets because it is not metabolized as readily by the liver and is easier on a senior pet. The pros are that it is not pricey, has no high end dose so if the pain escalates as your pet gets older we simply adjust the dose, and is easier on older pets. The cons is that it has to be given consistently because withdrawing it suddenly causes what is called rebound of pain which is higher then original level, can cause mild sedation initially

2.) Tramadol- this is in the opioid class so it is given as needed for pain when there are bad days. It can be given longterm to senior pets two to three times daily if needed

3.) Alternative medicine: laser or light therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy. All are fantastic ways to help minimize pain, increase strength, and allow rest more comfortably. If there is a physical therapy facility in your area they would have all of these. Typically I will start with acupuncture and/ or laser therapy and then add in the physical therapy once we are more comfortable. I often see remarkable results with one to two sessions

4.) Adequan injections. These are pricey but given twice weekly subcutaneously (I have owners give the medication at home after a demonstration to minimize the visits) for four weeks then taper frequency as improvement is seen and if there are bad periods then increase frequency once again

5.) Supplements: Glucosamine sulfate 1500 mg daily, fish oil with 1500 mg EPA & DHA daily, Vitamin E, Ester C are all great to slow progression of disease and assist in comfort

If you would like assistance finding someone in your area that might have more alternative options or physical therapy please give me your location (city, state, zip) and how far you are willing to travel to give her some relief!

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION. Bonuses are always welcome (I am not compensated in any other way). Thanks!

If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. Altman..." or "Dogdoc4u..." and others will leave the questions for me. Good luck to you both!!!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She pants slot when we come back from walking but I notice she stops when I pet her sand soothe her. What do u make of that? If it was her heart I don't thinking comforting would htlp
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

She may simply be out of breath from the exercise/ exertion and calming or soothing her lowers her respiratory and heart rate thereby reduces the respiratory effort

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Similar to breathing a certain way when running to reduce the shorter breaths and exertion

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately as we get older we start to lose muscling and with exercise or exertion tire more readily. Calming her after a walk will lower her heart rate and therefore reduce the pant. I hope this makes sense!

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
I am glad to see you were able to view my responses earlier.
Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today!
If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept so I may be compensated for my time. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Holly. How is everything going?
Dr. Altman