|Barked: Tue Jul 30, '13 4:16pm PST |
|It will come down to you knowing your dog best. Rimadyl is a dangerous drug, especially for long-term use. Any NSAID will be, although some are noted to be a bit milder. I have heard from many people who prefer Previcox and/or Trama-dol (there is no hyphen; this word triggers Dogster's not G-rated filter), for example. But as you've seen, it absolutely does stop pain.
Regardless of what you choose, I would try to wean his dose back so you're giving as little as possible. Many times a dog doesn't need the full dose, or can get by with an as-needed or every-other-day, or week-on, week-off schedule. Considering his liver is at stake, playing around a little may be very worthwhile.
There are complimentary therapies for arthritis as well. Glucosamine and condrotion supplements can do wonders. It takes a couple weeks to get into their system, and some supplements work better than others. I'm currently using Cool Dog Holistic Joint for my girls and I'm very happy with it, although they're on it for maintenance, not therapy.
Our holistic vet had Vance on Xymogen DJD Factors for his spondylitis and arthritis, and it worked very well. Not 100%, but nothing will be. He was greatly improved while on it, though. It is a human supplement, so you would have to research dosing. I coupled this with an omega 3 supplement, as O3's are a natural anti-inflammatory and typically lacking in our food supply.
Controlled movement helps arthritis as well. There are an increasing number of animal physical therapists offering exercises like laser therapy, hydrotherapy and ball work. Wizard of Paws is my semi-local place, and their website offers quite a bit of information. There are products in their store comprehensive enough for you to DIY ball work, too.
Although more controversial, chiropractic care can be immensely helpful. I have heard of people having luck with acupuncture as well, although I haven't tried it personally.
These are the things I used to keep Vance mobile. They worked well enough, with some blah days and an occasional very bad day thrown in. I am thankful I didn't have to make a call on whether to start NSAIDS or not. He had serious liver disease already, so I would have been buying him a few more happy days or weeks, not months or years.
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