Santa Fe Scoop

Any tips/tricks that you all would like to share regarding how you deal with your dog's arthritis?
Here's what I've learned with my SweetPea -- although nothing by itself works wonders:

I keep her nails trimmed so that I don't hear them "click" on the floor,
I get her to the chiropractor as often as I can afford it,
I try to keep her weight down (which currently is a losing battle -- the whole arthritis thing really develops into a catch-22),
I put her dish on a stool so that she doesn't have to eat "off the ground,"
besides the standard supplements for arthritis, she also gets a good quality Omega 3 to help with inflamation,
and my new secret tip: White Willow Bark supplements. It's a pain killer and is really seeming to help with her case.

I still need to get her a ramp to get into/out of the car each day.

Any other tips/tricks I would really appreciate!

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Hi Susan! Wow! This is the first time anyone's brought up stem cell therapy! Intriguing. My old girl is on a very restricted (high quality) diet. But I suspect she's eating the (much lower quality) doggie leftovers from my next door neighbor, even though he promised me he's not feeding her. I'm hoping to get her more gentle exercise once the weather breaks for good. I'm really hoping that is the trick.
I also wonder how much of the weight she keeps on can be attributed to her snacking in the horse poop pile? Has anyone ever done a study on the calories in dried up horse poop?? Every dog I know thinks they've gone to heaven when they find a huge pile of horse poop. :-)
Hey Cindy, While my kids don't really exhibit arthritis, and I believe part of that is because they are Ttouch addicts, but my sis in-law's dogs do. She orders a product called "FlexPet" online, not sure where, but it's got several good things for the joints, MSM, Glucosamine, etc. Made by Flexcin International Inc
I do know a rice sock or hot pack, helps and they enjoy that.
I know a LOOOOONG time ago (late 70's) when I worked for a vet in Fla, we were part of a study using cobra venom (of all things) on crippling arthritis cases. I saw some simply amazing results and to this day wonder what happened to the study and why there was nothing further explored with it.
Thanks for these tips Lisa! The good news is that since I posted this a year ago, SweetPea has lost at least 10 pounds and is SO MUCH more healthy and comfortable. I actually have her off of rimadyl now. She's on lots of supplements, all of which seem to help.
Thanks for caring. Hope to meet you soon!
Ditto Lady! We all definitely need to do breakfast or lunch one weekend! :)
Hi Cindy, I've been viewing the BLOG part of the website regularly and only just found your post here on FORUMS on something I'm very interested in. My dog Marlin (male 7 years, Border Collie/lab mix, 60 lbs) when I first adopted him had a bad leg and had TPLO (knee) surgery when he was 2 to avoid tearing the ACL.

He's 7 now and he's showing more lameness signs (not putting full weight on back leg).

I took him to Schwartz again who did the TPLO 5 years ago and we discussed hip replacement, but only surgery options, not medication options. On the med side my vet recommended adequan, dasuquin (glucosamine), rimadyl as needed before and after a hike. But then brought up another TPLO (knee) surgery may be needed for the other knee.

I called Schwartz around May 2009 when I heard he started doing stem cell surgeries in Santa Fe because I was encouraged by what I saw on the web in other states.. But.... I'll just say it's still in testing now. I want to wait for results. Stems generally are not for young dogs, but dogs later in life who aren't good candidates for major surgery. Still mixed and too early for me to test out with Marlin.

Marlin just finished the first 4 weeks of adequan injections. Not miraculous, but better.
I have found that homeopathy can really do amazing things for arthritis. Although my dogs are too young to need it for that, several of my cats have used a constitutional (a remedy that addresses all their symptoms) remedy that included their arthritis in the list of symptoms and have had a great deal of success. I also know a number of people who have used a low dose of Rhus Tox (a homeopathic remedy) when they have noticed stiffness, pain, etc. and their dogs have had benefit. You do have to be careful in dosing homeopathy because if you give too frequently (when they are doing well, you don't give it) you can cause an aggravation. But I really have seen it do wonders.

Acupuncture has also done wonders for a dog I had years ago and for quite a few of my clients dogs and cats. Years ago when we lived in Seattle, there was a vet who was a very talented acupuncturist and I remember over about a 6 month period (we were going in because acupuncture was helping with my aging poodle mix's hearing issues) there was a dog who when he first started coming to Dr. Larry was so crippled by arthritis that Dr. Larry would take his needles out to their station wagon and they would drop the back so the dog could be treated from the back of the wagon. 6 months later he was walking into the clinic without any indication that he was suffering from arthritis.

There are a lot of alternative options before you have to try rimadyl, etc. and deal with the negative side effects and other damage they can cause to our pets bodies with extended use.


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