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Question
Posted by: dbk | 2007/11/27

Arthritis

Hi

I hope you can help.

My labrador/rottweiller was diagnosed with arthritis yesterday. He has terrible hips and elbows and the arthritis is advanced. We were told to give him Rimadyl twice a day lifelong. This medication is very expensive. Now, I heard from a friend of mine that they use cortisone tablets available at any pharmacy for their dog and it works great. I also read that Rimadyl can have quite severe side effects?

I don't know what to do. I thought about rather putting him down. I don't know if I can stand knowing that my baby is constantly in pain and uncomfortable.

Please help me!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

cortizone has numerous side effects that can be life threatening. Rimadyl also has side effects but they are fewer. Both drugs are used in the treatment of arthritis but must NEVER be used at the same time or the side effects of both will be exaggerated and can lead to severe stomach ulcers. Please discuss any changes with your vet. It is often possible to reduce the Rimadyl dose to once daily at a lower strength. One can also use nutriceuticals like chondroitin. Using the latter often leads to lower doses of Rimadyl being required and in some cases a move the the nutriceuticals only can be managed.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2007/11/27

The rimadyl is specifically for pain and inflammation - do what the vet says, and watch the dog, the discomfort should reduce considerably quite quickly. Then, slowly reduce the rimadyl to one a day, and see what happens. Some dogs can get by quite happily on one every alternate day, or even on one only on days they've exercised a lot, or when it's cold.

Meantime, check the web for products called Flex-O-Joint and Flex-C-Joint - they're local products and can be ordered by mail - it's a powder, they can be used together, and contain not only glucosamine, but also chondroitin, in reasonably inexpensive forms. You add a small amount to the dog's food, and this will at least slow the progression of the arthritis, and in some cases, as the cybervet has already said, make further treatment not necessary.

You don't say how old your dog is... this also does make a difference. If he's not very old then hurry with the supplements, because you may be buying him a whole lot more time. If he's older, then the prognosis isn't as great, but you can still help him a lot. Keep in touch with your vet, too - there's a lot that can be done for conditions like this nowadays, both to reduce the effects and to manage the discomfort.

Good luck.

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