Spondylosis in an oldie

875 viewsCanine Arthritis Management

Hello, I wonder if you could suggest a good regime for managing an active oldie with spondylosis?

She is a 14yo dobermann, happy to walk/run/trot for an hour or more still but her back is getting gradually more painful.  She has a onesie to help keep her back warm when it’s below 5C (she finds clothing too warm above that), and she’s on a tablespoon of golden paste twice a day and 50mg tramadol 3x daily.  No other supplements at the moment as that combination has worked well for a long time, but I’m aware I need to get her on something.

She is still jumping into the car too but I will be sorting some steps for that – she is now starting to misjudge how much oomph she needs to get in at the end of the walk so I often have to give her a bit of a push!  I don’t street walk her due to the high impact surface, so 99% of her walks are on soft ground.  She is kept at ideal weight (25kg, she’s a dinky girl).

I have tried acupuncture to no effect at all, and she gets chiropractic a few times a year, although it didn’t make much difference last time.

Aside from adding the joint supps (chiro has recommend Riaflex), what else can I do?  Despite her physical age she is still very much a young dog, active and playful so I’m keen to keep her as comfortable as I can for as long as I can!

Answered question

Hi nikirushka,

I second what Sarah says regarding giving specific advice, and I would look initially at the home environment and eliminating any hazards that may lead her to slip, trip or fall and injure herself. Great that you are getting steps for the car, keeping her warm and keeping her at a good bodyweight.

In terms of pain medication there are a variety of options and combinations available and it is worth having regular reviews with your vet.

Other therapies that may be beneficial include hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, myotherapy and laser therapy.

As Sarah says, have a good look around the CAM website at https://www.caninearthritis.co.uk/ for lots of information, advice, and downloads on our resources page.

Kind wishes,


Answered question


Unfortunately we can’t specifically advise what else would be recommended for your dog as each case is individual. Our aim is to give you the tools and information to make your own decision and to enable you to have informed discussions with your vet.

I would recommend you take a look at some of the ideas on facebook and the website for the different aspects of a multimodal approach to treating OA, including spondylosis.

Sarah x

Answered question


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