i have a 9 year old cocker spaniel who has slowed down recently. He has arthritis, hip dysplasia and spondylosis. He has trocoxil monthly, yumove advance 360 daily and I also have a photizo light therapy device which I’ve just got so going to use. He’s eating drinking and happy. I think I’m just scared Of him getting old. Is there anything else I can do to make him more comfortable? Any nsaids recommendations better than trocoxil that isn’t going to damage his liver and kidneys. (I’m a vet nurse but I’m in mum mode) any advice greatly appreciated. He still runs up about down the stairs keen for a walk etc. It could also be the heat that has slowed him down abit. really just looking for some advice and tips. Sorry for the long questions.
Funny how “Mum Mode” even gets us vet nurses isn’t it?!
With regards to the NSAIDS, the most problems seem to occur when the animal already has kidney/liver issues, rather than the NSAIDS actually causing those issues themselves. So, if the troxocil is suiting him then stick with it and blood test regularly. There is no gold standard NSAID otherwise, it’s horses for courses!
Have a look at your home environment. When you say he still runs up and down the stairs – don’t let him! Our dogs are injuring themselves on a daily basis and it undoes all the good work you put in with medications etc. They have no brakes, so easily hurt themselves coming down steps, sliding on floors, slipping on door thresholds, jumping in and out of the car etc. Have a look at the website and FB page for heaps of tips about what to consider. Tailor exercise to suit his limitations.
Maybe think about some complementary therapies. Hydro/massage/myotherapy etc. It can be trial and error to see which suit him and which may or may not work. Be aware of his chronic pain indicators and then you know whether he is improving or not, because these will also be his improvement indicators. For example, stiffness, not defecating in one spot, licking his legs, head and tail carriage…. If these improve, you know your management plan is working, or what days it may need some tinkering with.
Make sure his weight is good and that you are keeping him lean. Aside from the loading on joints, fat is an inflammatory source in itself, so fuel on the fire of arthritis.
Interactive feeders, scatter feeding can be useful both for mental stimulation and gentle exercise, getting them to use those neck, back and forelimb muscles whilst they’re not even thinking about it. This kind of thing also works as a distraction, which is a clever mode of pain relief….
Hope to help. I also hope your practice runs arthritis clinics, because as someone “going through it” with your own dog, you will be a wealth of information for other owners 🙂