Hello & welcome, Jon. I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.
Based on Gage's signs, history, and age; this does sound like an underlying arthritis
for him. Since it is just when laying down, we would be suspicious that this may involve the back/spine and could be related to that previous injury.
Now in regards ***** ***** this at this stage, even if you cannot afford xrays, we can at least try him with some supportive care to ease his signs. To start, I would note that there are some very good OTC nutritional supplements that you may want to consider for him. For example, you can consider supplementing him with fish oil (omega 3 or 6; EPA/DHA) and/or glucosamine/chondroitin.
In regards ***** ***** fish oil, these can be helpful as they do have anti-inflammatory properties. In regards ***** ***** we tend to give this at a rate of 20mg per pound of their body weight. So, this could just help soothe any lurking joint/arthritic inflammation and get him more comfortable.
Otherwise, you can use glucosamine/chondroitin here. These are a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats
). They work to aid joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Normally we give dogs 300mg glucosamine + 50mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, these would be worth consideration for him as well.
For acute pain (usually due to secondary muscle
strains from struggling with their arthritis), then you may want to speak to his vet about dispensing dog safe anti-inflammatories. There are a number that they can dispense (ie Metacam, Onsior, Previcox
) and these can be great long term options for dogs with arthritis. Otherwise, as a short term intermittent treatment, you can also potentially consider offering a low dose of buffered Aspirin (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/acetylsalicylic-acid-aspirin/page1.aspx). Of course if you use this, do make sure to only give it with or after food. As well, you can even pre-treat with an antacid (ie Pepcid, Zantac) to offset any Aspirin induced stomach
Overall, his signs do raise some concerns of underlying arthritis being present. This could be related to the rib issue or even spinal/back arthritis. Therefore, in his case, I do think the nutritional supports would be a very good place to start with him. Or if he seems very sore, then dog safe pain relief could also be used to settle any soreness and get him more comfortable when he lays down.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,