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Help for an old dog? (doggie question)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, I am posting a doggie quetion on a cat site, I posted a goldfish question and got help so why not

My dog Gizmo lives with my mom and dad. We got him when I was in 5th grade, which makes him 14. He is a lab/shepard mix and he is the most beautiful, well behaved dog in the whole world He has never had any health problems, he eats well, and all that good stuff.

I went to visit my mom the other day and noticed that poor Gizmo is walking really bad. He moves his back legs strangely when he walks and my mom told me it was arthritis and there is nothing the vet can do for him. I asked her if she had taken him lately, she said she had not recently. I was very concerned. My parents do take good care of him, and they told me it just appears to be really bad because I don't see him all the time. I know he is getting old, he is also losing his hearing. He doesn't appear to be in any pain, but if he has arthritis, wouldn't it hurt sometimes? Can vets give them medication to take to prevent the pain? My mom says she gives him aspirin once in a while, is that safe? Sorry for all the questions, I just want the best for the poor guy, and want him to be around for a long time
post #2 of 9
He more than likely has hip dysplasia. Kenai has this really bad and she is only 5 years old. You can help him by providing him a nice soft bed to lie in, prevent him from jumping and leaping up on things. You can also go to KalaHealth.com they have several options of pills (alternative medicines) that might help him. Also if they are still playing with him like throwing a ball etc...stopping this activity will help him as well. The hips can deterioate quite quickly.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
He doesn't play around much... I think I need to retract the sentence where I said they take good care of them. I should say they took good care of him except for in the exercise/ playtime department. To give you a little background... my mom is at home with the dogs (4 of them) all day. She NEVER plays with them outside. 2 of the dogs are inside dogs, Gizmo is one of them. She takes him and walks him around the front yard for a few minutes for him to go to the bathroom and then she brings him back inside. When he is inside he has to lay down all the time. I swear I get so angry with my mom I come over and Gizmo gets up, she lets me pet him for a few minutes and then tells him to lay down. It is ridiculous. The poor dog doesn't get to play and have a good time and now he's too old. She doesn't even take him for walks. When I lived there I played with him and took him to the beach etc.

Hissy- I am going to check into that site and go out and buy him a new bed To put my mind at ease a bit, are you basically saying that is he has hip-dysplacia (sp?) then it is bet for him to be inactive? (this way I can quit trying to convice mom to take him for a walk, not that it ever worked though )
post #4 of 9
My sister's rottweiler (sp) had hip dysplasia and they gave him a baby aspirin every so often. He got really stiff and sore when it rained and when it was cold out. He should be resting as much as possible, no running, jumping or rough play. As Hissy said, a big soft bed would make him more comfortable too. I believe my sister put an electric blanket set on low on his hips when he was laying down to help him out too.
post #5 of 9
For that breed and age, arthritis and hip dsyplasia are both very common. My Jethro had a little of both as he aged and we had him on Rymadil. A good vet will warn you that taken over a long period of time, it can hurt their stomach lining (same as aspirin). Once we had him on it on a regular basis, he actually started romping and playing again. I have heard the same from other people with the same problem. My personal opinion on it was that I would rather see him live a happy, painfree life for a shorter period of time than be miserable every waking moment of a longer life.

Aspirin is OK for dogs, but you should use the coated aspirin - gentler on their stomach. And I will offer advice that you should confirm with your vet: a dog that size can have a full aspirin twice a day. Rymadil is stronger and works better. An aspirin "once in a while" isn't helping this boy!
post #6 of 9
Talk to your parents about getting him some Rimadyl. IT is kind of expensive but it will help him be able to walk and get up without pain. Right now I have my female husky, Nakita, on this medication for hip dysplasia. It has helped her a whole lot. Nakita is only a year old and will have to take this the rest of her life.

Nakita is now able to run the Husky 500 in my backyard with Dakota. She is showing no side effects from this medication other than being wide open all the time in the back yard. I went today and got her prescription filled again and it was pricey $50.35 for 30 pills, but to me it is worth all the money I have just to see her not in pain. I will be able to save money if I break them in half like her vet said and try the once a day thing to see how she responds to that.

Good luck with your baby I know how you feel
post #7 of 9
Try a glucosamine supplement, too. It doesn't have any side effects (that I'm aware of, anyway). I take it myself because I don't have the best joints in the world. Vets have been using it for nonhumans like dogs and horses for ages.

Check with a good vet for an appropriate dosage. I use DEVA because it's made from corn, not shellfish, 1500mg/day.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
You are all so helpful I am going to talk to my Dad and work out something with him as far as payment. I am not sure if that is even the issue with them not having Gizmo on anything for the pain. But when I speak to him (I will talk to him instead of Mom because he is the more "reasonable" one) I will tell him I will split all medical costs with him if he will agree to let me take Giz to the vet. I am guessing he probably wouldn't let me pay half, but I think if he sees I am really concerned he will get him in.
Just to make sure I didn't portray them as bad in my last post, they are very good about taking the dogs to the vet, they are all spayed/neutered and they all ready spend a fortune on their other dog Lily who has a thyroid problem. I think the problem is that they are convinced this is just normal with aging and that since Gizmo doesn't appear to be in distres it's ok.
post #9 of 9
There many more options available to deal with age-related problems like arthritis than there used to be - they probably just don't know how much veterinary medicine has changed recently. If they go to the vet and mention the problem and ask if it can be addressed, the vet should be able to help.

We give our arthritic old boy a glucosamine supplement (Glyco-flex III) daily and Rimadyl if he seems exceptionally stiff.

Acupuncture can also help a lot, if you have a vet who practices it in your area.
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