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Diagnosed with Osteoarthritis!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on TheCatSite, well over a year but last night I received some not so good news regarding my oldest cat, Pepper and I didn't know where else to go to receive the kind of support I would get here.

She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both of her back knees She has been having trouble jumping and walking stiffly the last couple of days, so I made an appointment with her vet right away (and I have to say her vet is fantastic, she's a lovely woman). I know with the symptoms she was having she could of been diagonsed with something a lot worse than arthritis (kidney, spine, hip problems, etc.) but just knowing that my sweet baby girl has been and is having pain and discomfort is killing me! We have started her on meds right away and I am hoping it won't be long until she is starting to feel better.

My Pepper will be 8 yrs. old in August, I really didn't consider her an "older" cat because she has always been so healthy and active...it's quite an eye opener. My vet told me that osteoarthritis is quite common in older cats and dogs, so if anyone else has had experience with this, I would appreciate any advice you can give me on things I can do to help make Pepper more comfortable and her life a bit easier (maybe some massage tips, exercises, etc.).

Also, if anyone can give me the names of websites I can research and books that I read, it would be greatly appreciated. I want to understand all I can about how osteoarthritis will effect Pepper and how she lives her life.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
post #2 of 10
Oh no poor Pepper! I'm gonna send many healing, pain-free vibes for your baby girl and leave the advice to more experienced members
post #3 of 10
What meds are you using? I found Cosequin seemed to help my arthritic boy. He was also getting Tramadol (a pain medicine) for a while, but it made him rather loopy. Right now he's not on any meds (though I should probably keep giving him the Cosequin). The thing that he most enjoys is his heated bed. I ended up buying just the heater and using it in his favorite bed--he sleeps there even when it's warm out.
post #4 of 10
Nabu just turned 12, and this spring he fell. The xray to check what he hurt showed he had significant arthritis for his age.

We started him on Cosequin, it's been a few months and we can tell a difference. I also have 2 pads that aren't heated but reflect heat back to the cat. We have 1 electric heated pad, and 3 other pads we can microwave for him.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper Girl View Post

Also, if anyone can give me the names of websites I can research and books that I read, it would be greatly appreciated. I want to understand all I can about how osteoarthritis will effect Pepper and how she lives her life.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
ETA: sorry, I thought you were asking for suggestions on what would help her, I didn't realise you had her on meds.... but these links still are relevant, and I'd highly recommend talking to your vet about it especially since it is easier on the pets rather than NSAIDs

Glucosamine

My dog has arthritis in her hips, and the vet offered a supplement but I frowned at the price...the supplement was glucosamine in a "pet formula". My vet gave me the dosage to use, of the human stuff, so I didn't have to spend a fortune. I buy the capsles, so I just open them and sprinkle on food or by accident I bought caplets, and had to grind them up with a coffee bean grinder.

Anyways, it does take continious use to see affects.... It was about 6wks before Brandy's wobble in her hindquaters went away.

But I will swear by it, as well my vet. Brandy's follow up xray, a year later, showed improvement, no additional arthritis, and she's doing very well. (been on it ummm2-3yrs now)

we also changed things around home. She does not go up and down flights of stairs anymore.... that was about it. (she's not allowed on the couch...so we didn't have to change much)

If you do a search on here, I remember talking about glucosamine before. But here's some links:

http://www.glucosamine-arthritis.org/arthritis-pets/

read the link about Holistic approaches: http://www.glucosamine-arthritis.org...pproaches.html

it is very informative, there's bout 5pages in it.

http://www.arthritis-cats-dogs.com/a...tail.php?ID=45

http://www.porsha-distribution.com/information.html
( this one is a link to a commercial product, but has info as well )

http://www.glucosamine-osteoarthriti...s-in-cats.html

I hope some of those help.

for your kitty.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the kind words and vibes.

The vet has prescribed Cosequin (which I think is a Glucosamine) and she did tell me it would take a few weeks of continous doses for it to really take effect. We are hoping that when we go back for her check up in 4 weeks the vet will start to see an improvement in her x-rays. She also has something for the pain, I can't remember the name of it right now (I'm at work so I can't even check the bottle) but this medication is only given to Pepper every 3 days and only a few drops.

I feel a lot better about her prescribed medication, the Cosequin, now that it seems to be so common, I am hoping this means it works

Snake_Lady, thanks for the suggested links, I will be sure to check them out!
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper Girl View Post
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the kind words and vibes.

The vet has prescribed Cosequin (which I think is a Glucosamine) and she did tell me it would take a few weeks of continous doses for it to really take effect. We are hoping that when we go back for her check up in 4 weeks the vet will start to see an improvement in her x-rays. She also has something for the pain, I can't remember the name of it right now (I'm at work so I can't even check the bottle) but this medication is only given to Pepper every 3 days and only a few drops.

I feel a lot better about her prescribed medication, the Cosequin, now that it seems to be so common, I am hoping this means it works

Snake_Lady, thanks for the suggested links, I will be sure to check them out!
The pain meds you described sounds like metacam. If this is the case, be wary. While some people are completely against metacam as it's been known to cause liver problems in cats, I personally think it's okay given for a short period of time in very small doses. Sounds like your vet has your baby on a pretty low dose, which is good. Just make sure you are very very careful about giving the prescribed amount. Also, depending on how long your vet recommends having her on it, I would suggest getting some bloodwork done to make sure it isn't affecting her liver.

As far as the Cosequin (or anything in the glucosamine family), it usually helps a tremendous amount. Hopefully your baby girl well improve!!
post #8 of 10
My Callie was diagnosed at about 8 years old with arthritis, so it's very common. We give her 1 Cosequin a day, just empty the capsule into her wet food, stir it all about...that's what it's all about!

We live where it's warm most of the year, but she still get "gimpy" from time to time due to the weather. I make sure she's got nice warm blankets to sleep on (fleece is her favorite) throughout the year. I invested in a little kitty bed warmer/heating pad for when we do have cold weather. Both of my girls roost on that thing during the winter months! It stays at a constant temp equal to normal kitty body temp and if they get up, it cools off. Eventho it comes with a fleece wrapper, I wrap it up in a towel, then put it in their beds with a piece of fleece over it. This really helps her during the winter. The ones I have are similar to this one, but not exactly like it. I did buy mine from Drs F&S though.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...6&pcatid=17736

Something else to think about is providing her "steps" to jump on to get to higher places. Once she gets her mobility back, she may not need them, but it's something to consider. We use chairs, ottomans, boxes, and the like in my house. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well she'll do with the Cosequin.

Lastly, I would encourage you to avoid Metacam at all costs. You can search the health forum for all the "news" and reviews on its use.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper Girl View Post
...She also has something for the pain...this medication is only given to Pepper every 3 days and only a few drops.
Quote:
The pain meds you described sounds like metacam. If this is the case, be wary. While some people are completely against metacam as it's been known to cause liver problems in cats, I personally think it's okay given for a short period of time in very small doses. Sounds like your vet has your baby on a pretty low dose, which is good. Just make sure you are very very careful about giving the prescribed amount. Also, depending on how long your vet recommends having her on it, I would suggest getting some bloodwork done to make sure it isn't affecting her liver.
Pepper Girl - My suspicion is also that this drug is Metacam. This drug is primarily an anti-inflammatory agent and, by reducing the inflammation, the pain is relieved.

The problem is that these drugs are potentially very dangerous for cats - Metacam is a kidney-killer (NOT liver). Anyone with any doubts about this need only join any of the specialized online support groups for cats with kidney failure and pose the question there. At any point in time there are sufficient Metacam victims in those groups to dispell any such doubts.

Metacam is not licensed/approved for use in cats in North America. It is so licensed in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

In the countries where it is licensed for cats, it is available in a reduced-strength formulation (.5 mg/ml). In Canada, the only available strength (licensed for dogs) is THREE TIMES the strength of that for cats in other countries (1.5 mg/ml).

In the countries where it is licensed for cats, it is only approved for short-term use.

The ONLY study of its long-term use recently came out of Australia, where the researchers determined that a dosage of about one tenth (1/10) (0.01 to 0.03 mg/kg) of the approved short-term dosage appeared to be safe. You can read about that study and find a link to it here.

The other point you need to understand is this. The suggestion has already been raised about "getting some bloodwork done"....the plain facts are that "bloodwork" will ONLY show kidney damage WHEN 60-75% of the kidney function HAS ALREADY BEEN LOST. Obviously, by then, it will be too late because kidneys can not regenerate.

As plainly and simply as I can state it, these descriptions of "only a few drops" or "only in small doses" are extremely dangerous when speaking of Metacam.

The only safe way (relying on the study I referenced) for you to use the Canadian strength Metacam, is to have a qualified pharmacist dilute the solution for you and then calculate the daily dose amount based on .01-.03 mg/kg of your cat's weight.

IMO, the safest course of action would be to NOT use the Metacam.
post #10 of 10
I have had great luck with this in both humans and cats and dogs

www.trixsyn.com It is one of the FEW that has the clinical trials
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