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Dr. Scarlett
Dr. Scarlett, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4110
Experience:  I am a practicing small animal veterinarian with 18 years experience.
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my 12 year old greyhound suffered a right shoulder injury a

Customer Question

my 12 year old greyhound suffered a right shoulder injury a few months ago (unknown origin). We think her brother ran into her during one of his 45mph runs. The vet did x-rays initially with no real dx. Of course the word Cancer came up but there is no evidence. The rest of her blood tests are fine. She was doing better up in till 2weeks ago. She is limping more and will avoid weightbearing at times. No swelling is evident. She is eating and drinking. No crying and often looks like she wants to play till she tries and realizes it hurts. She is everything to me and I just want her to be comfortable. She is returning to the vet this friday and it is definitly her shoulder that hurts. Could it just be artrititis? She does get glucosamine and MSN daily. She is on thyroid medication, 10mg prednonse daily and tramadol 10mg 1-2x day. Any reassuring thoughts or anything I can do?
Thank you so much,
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 7 years ago.
Can you tell me why your dog is on prednisone--is it for the pain or another reason?

The shoulder pain could very well be arthritis--it may have been there all along but after being bonked it may have dislodged a small bit of bone or just made it more painful/more inflammation.

I would recommend that if your vet can't see anything on the x-ray again, that you ask that the x-rays be sent to an orthopedic surgeon or radiologist for review. Some of us vets are better at some things and not others and reading joint x-rays often falls in that latter category! If your vet has digital x-rays it should be easy to post them for someone to look at, otherwise your vet will need to send them to a specialist. Not sure where you live, but there has to be someone that your vet refers more complicated case.

The other important thing is that you need to really rest/confine your dog for at least 10-14 days. This means NO running, NO jumping, NO stairs and only short leash walks to go to the bathroom. Hopefully she just strained something, but as long as she is using that leg, it will not have a chance to rest and heal.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your response!

She was put on prednisone when she was still having pain after two weeks. I believe it was a 2 week supply. She had a few doses but was getting better so I stopped it. Never completed the series. I still had it, so when she starting having problems again I re-started it (about a week now). It has helped some. Walking as been hard for her over the last few months (poor endurance). She tires easily, so we just let her walk around our yard (fenced in of course) but often she just finds a soft cool spot to lie.. When she has her good days she likes to leap around/play with me but only lasts a few minutes. I will ask my vet about sending the x-rays out but I'm afraid if it is cancer I won't put her through surgury at her age but if its not will the x-ray make a difference in tx?

Thank you,


Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 7 years ago.
I don't know if the x-rays will make a big difference in treatment, but I would still have them done and reviewed. If no cancer is seen, then you might be more inclined to do the anti-inflammatory medication (I would prefer Rimadyl, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, over the prednisone, but you can't combine them) and perhaps some physical rehabilitation. It does sound like you are keeping her fairly quiet, but I would stop the leaping and playing until you know better what is going on.

If it is bone cancer, then you can go to palliative-type treatment--keep the pain under control and you'll have a better idea what to expect in the next several weeks as far as prognosis.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. It has helped put my mind in the right place and to better prepared for her visit to the vet. I can't think of it right now but she was on a maintaince drug a few months ago but it caused her to lose her appettite and she lost 10lbs like that. I did all I could do to get the weight back on. We stopped the med and her appetite returned. I am pretty sure it was not rimadyl. The problem I am having with the prednisone is she is urinating a lot causing accidents in the "house" during the night and while we are at work. Let me tell you I just can't get the smell out. Does Rimadyl have any side effects I just worrry about such as appetite, weight loss or incontience? I have read that vitamin C and some type of vitamin oil is reccommeded for greyhounds with artritis, what is your opinion on this?


Thank you,


Expert:  Dr. Scarlett replied 7 years ago.
It would be nice to get her off the prednisone because of the side effects. Rimadyl and other NSAIDS don't have those same side effects (since they are Non-steroids), and most dogs tolerate them very well. The most common side effects are vomiting and/or diarrhea. Sometimes the liver can be affected, so regularly bloodtesting is also required.

Omega-3 fatty acids, in really high doses, can improve mobility in dogs with arthritis. The best way to get this is through diet--Prescription Diet J/D has higher levels of the omega-3s then you could hope to supplement with pills. I have had dogs do really well on this diet. It also has glucosamine added, which can help increase joint fluid. If you switch to the J/D diet, you wouldn't need to add in her current glucosamine supplement.