Friday, February 28, 2014

Old arthritic dog

I think it is time to face facts. Summit is not a young dog anymore. In fact, he's creeping up there. He will be 9 in May! Where did the time go?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Summit has always been a little lame on his left front leg, particularly in the winter. But never had it been as bad as this year. It was so bad that he was getting a daily dose of Deramaxx (a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory pain killer). You may also remember that I bought him a special therapeutic dog blanket and carpal wraps. The problem got bad enough last month that I decided I had better x-ray him because I was beginning to seriously wonder if this wasn't osteosarcoma.

We started with the shoulder where I thought there might be a problem, and just kept going when I couldn't find anything. He hates being up on the table but is a good boy, so no worries there. He didn't have to be sedated like Kili did.

Left shoulder

Left elbow

Left elbow in flexion

Left carpus

Left carpus
Fortunately the x-rays were all clean. In fact, I didn't even see a ton of arthritis. I'm a little baffled as to where the limp was coming from. If he wasn't doing better my next step was to x-ray his neck.

I started him on Cartrophen injections and what an amazing difference! Cartrophen is given as a series of 4 injections 5-7 days apart. Following the first injection I was able to stop giving the pain medication. This week will be his last injection and I haven't given him a single dose of pain meds because there has been almost no limping. If I was ever skeptical about the efficacy of products like Cartrophen and Adequan... I'm not anymore. I will certainly recommend all my arthritic patients give it a try to see if they can benefit. I'm just glad that I can hold off on the NSAIDs for a little longer for Summit.

1 comment:

Sue Bassett-Gold said...

I am thrilled that you are taking such good care of Summit/Dexter. Seeing him brings back many old memories - good ones. Thank you for staying on the internet and letting me know how things are going with him. It's been awhile since I last looked......
Sue BG