Bauer is a 10-year-old, mixed breed, male dog. He originally presented as the owners believed he was slowing down and not willing to jump in and out of the car like he used to. He also seems to be more tired and sleeps a lot more during the day. Bauer’s owners were concerned that he may be sick and wished to get to the bottom it.
When Bauer was examined he was very stiff when he walked. The owners claimed he was like that as long as they could remember, and usually gets better through the day. Bauer also seemed very thin around his hips and back end. When an attempt was made to stretch his back legs he responded painfully. X-rays were recommended and as suspected there was severe arthritis of Bauer’s hips. The findings are common for medium to large breed dogs and a maintenance therapy was recommended.
Bauer was started on chondroitin and glucosamine supplements to help improve joint health. He also was given a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for immediate relief. Although NSAIDs do give immediate relief, they do have side effects if used long-term use. Because of the potential side effects, Bauer was also started on an Adequan regimen. Adequan is a neutroceutical medication that offers cartilage protection in the joints as well as increases fluid production to help better lubricate the joints. Once the adequan took effect Bauer was taken off the NSAID and told to use them sparingly and only as needed.
1 month later Bauer’s owners were very happy with the results. Bauer was able to jump in and out of the car with no issues and had a lot more energy. The owners claimed it was like he was a puppy again.
Although Bauer responded very well, some dogs are more difficult to manage with arthritis. There are some which do require long-term NSAIDs as well as other therapies. When this is the case it is crucial to monitor blood values periodically, but consistent, and to be sure to only use the medications as needed. If your dog is predisposed it may benefit to start glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as well omega 3 fatty acids early as a means to prolong joint health.