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My beautiful boy Archie ( nearly 14 years young) jack Russell cross has been diagnosed with arthritis(spine and back legs) and been on a very low dose Metacam (2.5ml) for a year. He has recently been very anxious and pacing the house at night and we noticed the shaking in the back legs getting worse along with trying to get comfortable so went back to our vet.
His Metacam was increased to 10ml (he weighs 10kg) and given an anti – viral with this to help make it work better but we have only seen a little improvement. The vet did say Tramadol could be next but not sure I want to try this as seems many people feel that this does nothing.
We have bought him a Bioform collar, he has been on Royal canin mobility chews for a year, an orthopaedic bed, adaptil, and many other things as well as high quality food and we feel so helpless as he just looks at us and it breaks our hearts.
Are we missing something as in every other way he looks healthy, bright eyes, great coat, eats his tea & treats ad does want to play still at times.
Any advice would be welcome so I can work with my vet to get on top of this.

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Hey there
poor you… its a really tough time managing them in their frailer years.
there is so much that can be considered with regards to your case – firstly is the shaking pain related or is it another disease- there are many causes of trembles- some we can influence some we cant- yes pain is a potential cause so approaching with gabapentin (I assume this is the prescribed adjunct) but this also is a drug whose dose needs to be played with… it can be given 3 x daily and the dose range is wide and owners need to be helped to find the right dose over weeks of slowly increasing the dose.
there are also other drugs that can be tried in addition or separate to this….
yes tramadol has some followers and some that really feel they saw only mood enhancement if that… it again can be tried with a wise observant owner looking for actual improvement in comfort and mobility.
with regards the magnetic collar- there is very little evidence to support these- but some people swear they work… some people don’t…
the home changes are in my mind imperative… please join our Facebook group Holly’s Army as there is lots of support there. We also offer an 8 module course for owners to help them understand their dogs condition and how they can structure input to manage it to the best of their ability- we have to charge for this as we are self funded and man is this getting expensive to run!!
please also go to our website www.caninearthritis.co.uk and take advantage of all the info there- lots of CAM conversations and our home assessment tool #itsmyhometoo
You have not mentioned any hands on therapies and I am personally a massive supporter of these… there is more info on this on the website – but it would be definitely something I would discuss with your vet and see who they can recommend

I hope this is of some help… ps… there are many referral centres offering chronic pain clinics now to hep with these complex cases

regards

Hannah

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