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fishinchicks

Arthritis in lab

25 posts in this topic

We have a yellow lab that is about nine years old. She isn't a hunting dog, but she has been a great rock picking dog. She figured out early that if she went into the fields when we were rock picking, and stood by the rocks, she would get a pat on the head. grin.gif

Unfortunately, she seems to be developing arthritis from all of uneven terrain, and a couple of injuries to her legs while running through the fields. Have any of you had dogs with sore joints, and how have they been treated?

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If it's mild sorenes, a crushed up asprin/tylenol/advil/etc can be very effective. I have a 12 year old lab mix with sore joints. My lab really appreciates a good shoulder rub as much as any person would, also.

If it's beyond mild a trip to the vet for better advice may be in order.

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Advice I have been given says not to give a dog acetaminophen (tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as it could be harmful. I was told to use only buffered aspirin or childrens aspirin.

I had a retriever that had pretty bad hip dysplasia. When it hurt him he got a crushed up buffered aspirin in a slice of ham. We also had him on a 2X daily dose of Glyco-flex which is much like glucosamine-chondroitin for people with arthritis.

The Glyco-flex really did work for him. He had sore hips starting at 3 yes and he lasted past 10.

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I have had good results with Prednosone (SP). To get it you would need a vets help. It has done some amazing things but it has some side effects.

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I have a dog with Mild HD and ED.

I have my lab on a Glucosamine + MSM supplements. It helps with the day to day aches and pains.

Could also look into Hyaluronic Acid tablets, I just started my dog on these now also. They are meant for dogs with confirmed arthritis.

Last, I use a Rymadil at times when he looks to be in more pain or sore. Especially after a day or two of hunting. He will get one tablet either that morning or that night.

I have contact information if you are looking for more info on these. Leave you email if you are interested.

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Thanks for all the replys. I think I will start with the buffered asprin, and see how she responds to that. Hubby came in the house this morning and said the dog wouldn't get up for him, but as soon as my father in law pulled into the yard, she got up and went over to his pickup. grin.gif His pickup coming into the yard is like Pavlov's bell. He always brings her table scraps, and he shares his lunch. grin.gif

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You might also try 500mg of vitamin C I used this with one of my very old labs who refused to stop hunting. On the advise of my vet a tab in the morning and one in the evening worked wonders and is easier on the stomach then aspirin. Also the Vitamin C is flushed through the system, works on humans to grin.gif

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I would strongly recommend doing some research (or talking to your vet) on the benefits of Glucosamine for the symptoms your dog has.

The Glusomine/MSM pills I use also include 500 MG of Vit C.

If you want a brand you could look at Cosequin....although it's fairly spendy, but is the only one that has had studies performed specifically on it. I use another brand however.

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I recommend glucosamine chondroitin on a daily basis. I find that it is a win/win situation. It presumptively increase fluids in the joints which slows down arthritis (note - it does not stop it) and there are no to very minimal side effects.

If you are going to use aspirin, please consider buffered aspirin. This means that it does not get broken down in the stomach but instead the breakdown occurs in the intestines. This avoids ulcers which can happens with either short or long term use of aspirin.

The other thing that you should be aware of is that the lameness may not be from arthritis. There are multiple tick borne diseases that can cause the signs that you are seeing. Consider seeing your veterinarian to make sure that it is not one of these.

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We had her in a couple of years ago when this started, and they couldn't find anything at that time. I have asked Hubby to bring her in to the vet for another check up. (She sleeps with the cats, and I am extremely allergic to the cats and cannot bring her in myself.)

I have seen the glucosamine tablets that are meat flavored. How big are they? She doesn't like dog treats all that much, so I am not sure she would eat them very well.

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Typically, things change in a couple of years so she could have progressed relative to arthritis, or she could have a tickborne disease or she could have weakness that looks like arthritis. Radiographs (x-rays) and bloodwork may show something. As to the glucosamine, they come in different flavors. Cosequin, restoraflex, etc are but a few of them. You can even try some of the over the counter ones (Costco, walmart, samsclub, target, etc) but be aware that because these are supplements, no one oversees if they are putting in what they say they are putting in. I typically try one of the veterinary ones. If I see a difference then I consider trying one of the ones that are over the counter and if things worsen, I know not to go with that over the counter brand again. The ingredients to look for are glucosamine chondroitin and if MSM is present, that is usually fine. One word of caution is that if your dog has other issues such as diabetes, chronic bladder infections, bladder stones, etc talk to your vet before using these things. They can worsen the other disease process. Hope that helps.

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Quote:

The ingredients to look for are glucosamine chondroitin and if MSM is present, that is usually fine.


From my understanding (breeders/vets/dr.) MSM is one thing to look for in a supplement (sounds like that is not something you specifically look for?). A few breeders/dr's I know specifically recomend the Glucosomine/MSM/Vit C specifically. "The main reason for MSM is that it is a Sulfur donator and Sulfur is a huge water/lubrication fluid transporter. By increasing fluid transport, that in turn may help reduce pain and inflamation, but it is in a "backdoor" way." I have also heard that the chordroitin is more of a factor in young growing pups (6 months-year) or older dogs that have severe joint issue or have had surgery. Not necessarily worthwhile in 100% healthy dogs.

Also, as vetobe mentioned many of the costco/walmart stores carry many different brands of supplements, none of which are regulated for content or purity......so I personally would not just grab any old bottle off the shelf. You could do as mentioned and test it yourself to see if it is making any difference.

As far as your dog eating them....you will probably need to either put them in something to hide them, or like I do place them as far back in the dogs mouth as you can so they can't spit them back up!!! Makes for a good slobbery hand! tongue.gif

There was a decent article a week ago on MSNBC ddoooottttttttttttt com about joint supplements. It's title is "Arthritis supplements often lack key ingredient" if you want to go to that site and search for it.

P.S. When did the word D0T get on the bad list....it's annoying.

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These three drugs - glucosamine, chondroitin and msm (Methylsulfonylmethane) have a large amount of controversy as to their effectiveness. Most of the research has been done in people but there have been some good animal studies. For glucosamine, a major study came out recently that stated that in mild arthritis, it did not have a great effect but in moderate to severe arthritis, patients showed a significant improvement. As to 311Hemi's statement about chondroitin there was a recent study that showed that it did not do much if anything at all. I am unsure about its use in growing dogs. As to MSM, there is still huge amounts of gaps in our knowledge of how it works and there are huges amounts of claims for what it can do. I am not totally comfortable with the studies that are out so do not tend to push it as an ingredient to my clients. As an aside, chondroitin is typically the most expensive one of the three ingredients - interesting that there is still confusion on whether it does anything or not.

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Not to highjack the thread....but Vetobe, have you done any reading on Hyaluronic Acid, either pill forms or injections?

My dog was part of a study at the U of M for HA injections in the elbows, and I have talked to some people who feel the HA in a pill form (not related to the said injection study) can be beneficial for dogs with arthritis. I do not think the study is done at the U of M so I have not heard the results of that study.

The U said HA injections on humans has been beneficial in reducing joint pain, and that is why they are now studying the effects on dogs.

I am sure it falls into the same controversy as mentioned above depending on who you talk to.

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hey 311Hemi,

I have done a little reading about HA. Like the other supplements, there is some controversy. HA, when injected into the joint has shown some good results. But, when it is taken orally, the expected positive results have not been seen. In humans, it has shown to cause a significant change but usually this change is shortlived. It is similar to cortisone injections for back issues - it only lasts a short while and then either the inflammation is better or you have to repeat the injection. In most dogs, the inflammation will always be present due to the instability in the joint which causes the pain and the arhtritis. We are trying to make these patients feel better using things where the benefits outweigh the risks (risk of stomach ulcers in long term anti inflammatory use). Usually with these patients, they are receiving multi modal treatment. What I mean by this is that they are on anti inflammatories (rimadyl, metacam, etc), specific diets for both weight loss and their anti inflammatory ingredients, and joint supplements. In most cases, I cannot determine how much each adds to control of pain/inflammation.

How did your pup do with the HA injections? Any improvement? I would think that you may have seen something for a period of time. What else was he/she on or did you have to withdraw from using anything so they could see if the study worked?

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Vetobe,

My lab (two years old) has been diagnosed with both ED and mild HD. Both his parents were OFA good on the hips and elbows were good also....I just got one of the small %. Kash was on Glucosomine/MSM/Vit C.

Anyways, we first had surgery on the left elbow because he was limping on it (removed a spur or something from the joint). Surgery seems to have worked because there is no limp anymore. They went into his right elbow but it was fine. They had me take him off all pain meds/supplements before the study.

I really can't tell if the HA injections helped because of the surgery. I did find out he received a placebo in one elbow and the HA in the other...but they would not tell me which ones. They also did multiple gait analysis' after a series of three injections.

It's been over 6 months since his last injection and really hard to say if it did much or not. I think the gait analysis would show the results the best. It would have been easier for me to tell you if the surgery had not been preformed...but it was needed!

I do know that the HA injections were very spendy for the study (obviously I did not have to pay). But the ordinary Joe would could not have afforded to do them every 3-6 months as they may be needed. The hope was that this study would show they were affective and eventually the price would drop as it became a more common practice.

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311Hemi

That is the unfortunate thing about OFA certification. There is always the possibility though limited that the pups may not be as good as the parents. I have had some dogs certified as good and they still come back with HD. I still highly recommend it in every breeding dog since we are trying to make the breeds better.

It sounds like you have made a very significant effort to help your pup. There is still research out there that is working on joint cartilage regrowth or new growth. Hopefully it comes to the market in the near future because I know a lot of hunting dogs that would benefit greatly from it.

How is your dog walking now? Stiffness? Pain? Occasional use of anti inflammatories?

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Quote:

311Hemi

There is still research out there that is working on joint cartilage regrowth or new growth.

How is your dog walking now? Stiffness? Pain? Occasional use of anti inflammatories?


Do you have more info on the research mentioned above, or is that related to the supplement discussion?

His walking on his front legs is good...no issues. He does usually sit with one foot extended more in front than that other (could be pain related). He does have a sway in the rear, almost looks like he may keep his rear legs straiter than he has to. He does bunny hops and sometimes it almost looks like he skips once in a while when moving around at a slower trot. It might just be how he walks though so I am not sure it of concern. I am going to have a vet look at him either way to make sure he has no other leg issues. He runs full speed without hesitation and jumps around a lot, and climbs up stairs without hesitation. He is a high drive dog and very energetic....so the joint thing is unfortunate.

As far as stiffness/pain, I don't see much. I really only use Rymidyl after full day hunts.....otherwise it's just supplements. I am working on getting some video of him around the yard so I can get feedback from others on if his gait looks odd.

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Another suggestion regarding HD/arthritis is to lose weight. After being diagnosed w/ medium severity HD, glucosamine supplements and losing some weight (for him it was about 10-12 lbs) worked wonders.

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Hemi,

I once had a lab with Moderate HD in one hip, kept her weight consistant and swam the heck out of her to keep her muscle mass up and her joint wear down. I believed I used previcox for pain management (only needed it after a long day of pheasant hunting after age 8). I didn't want to go the Rimadyl route as I didn't want to do the liver tests and risk liver damage.

She hunted long days till she died at 10 1/2 form lymphoma. Her hip never gave me an indication of pain. She was either a tough ol' girl or her hip was functioning enough to not show clinical signs of the dysplasia.

On a side note: There is no way of telling 100% if a pup will develop dysplasia based on it's parents screenings. The more generations of clear you can stack, the greater the percentage in reduction of incidents you will recieve. 1 generation is only marginally better than none. 2 generations begins to give you optimism, 3 generations is the minimum I feel gives you a fairly good guarantee of clear hips/elbows/eyes... and the least amount I will except when purchasing a pup or breeding a litter. 4 generations is what I shoot for. With that said, my friend has an eleven month old pup out of a Nationally recognized CH-Master Hunter bred back to a gal dog from one of the most respected Lab breeders in the country. Both dogs carry over 4 generations of clearances and his pup has a "bad wheel". It happens! The dog I spoke of early that was mine was out of my first breeding many years ago... only 2.5 generations on the male's side and my dog plus her grandma on that side... 2 confirmed bad hips in that litter... I ended all breedings from those lines. Back in the 80's their was an accelerated learning curve for dysplasia... we've come along ways in the last 15-20 years!

Good Luck with your dog Hemi... I hope he gives you many more years of service! Hopefully the amount of time and money you've invested pays off in dividends of years of quality service! You know what they say... "Labs are just 3 wheels and a spare"! grin.gif

Good Luck!

Ken

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Thanks for the info Labs...it gives me hope I wont have to retire him early!! The Rimadyl is used sparingly and mainly only during hunting season.

And I agree on the parent screening part of it! Kash has 4 or 5 generations of clearances (can't remember which, it might even be 6), is from a bigger breeder, and still had issue. A friend of mine has his brother who is in perfect condition. Sound similar to your friends situation.

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311Hemi,

There are a few ongoing studies into joint regrowth especially in labradors. There is also ongoing research into horses and joint cartilage regrowth. These studies are still in immaturity so I do not want you to get your hopes up. My statement previously was more of a broad statement about cartilage regrowth and the things that it may promise in the future.

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Vetobe...I understand 100%. I was just looking to read more about what types of things they are doing, don't worry about getting my hopes up!

The next big thing I really want too see is a test for EIC (hopefully the U study is successful in doing that in the next few years), the joint regrowth would be great if it ends up workinig out!

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exercise induced collapse is another very interesting disease. Have only seen a few of these but they scare me since their temperature spike and they have a chance of dying if they go to far. Research is definitely needed. I have to believe that this is a completely genetic trait and if we can isolate the genes that are causing it, we can test for it and eliminate it.

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Quote:

I have to believe that this is a completely genetic trait and if we can isolate the genes that are causing it


Thats the sounds of it.

Here is the last update from Jan. 2007:

Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted. I wanted to let you all know, thanks to the help of the many who have already donated samples, that we are VERY close to determing the gene that is responsible for EIC. We have narrowed our search down to a small segment of a single chromosome (dogs have 38 ). We've also obtained additional funding from the AKC to follow up on this area. All data so far indicates that we are in the right area, and additional sample have only served to verify that we are indeed in the right spot. Alas, the area is quite gene dense, so we have a lot of candidates to sift through.

At this time, we would be quite interested in obtaining additional affected FAMILIES of labs (mom, dad, and affected and unaffected sibs), as well as samples from other breeds that appear to have the same condition. These samples would serve to help us determine if there was a single founder.

Just thought you'd like to hear the good news. Hopefully we'll have more to follow sooner rather than later.

Katie Minor, RN

University of Minnesota

Canine Genomics Lab

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