Hello all, it's been awhile since we've posted. Kai, my 7 yr old b/w cardi just had a rather unpleasant vet visit and came home with tons of meds. Brief back story on Kai for those new since we've been away - Kai is "Superdog!", my braveheart dog has survived, on different episodes - a great dane attack and an akita attack, both vicious, both requiring surgeries approx 3 yrs ago. He still has his sweet, laid-back temperament, but has been having more problems lately. Won't jump up or down, trouble doing stairs, exhibiting pain (very rare for Kai) and starting to play rough with Luna. Took him to the vet and got not a bad diagnosis, but not that great for Superdog. Mild to Moderate Arthritis in 6 levels of his spine, probably due to the attacks.  I have to take him back for a liver ultrasound - seems some little eating disorder cardi got into some food prior to vet visit and the x-ray wasn't clear...........Oh, Kai. Anyways, he came home on the following: Increase of Rimadyl 100mg from1xday to 2x day; Dasuquin with MSM 2tabs day; Tramadol 50mg 1xday 4 seven days then increase to 3x day(?????) and Gabapentin 100mg 2 caps 2x day.  My question is does anyone else have similar med regimens, and or any suggestions about additions or deletions for Kai, to keep him healthy and happy for as long as possible? Thanks.

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Hi , I'm new here, but I wanted to join in to try to help your baby. The usual dose for Rimadyl should be 1mg per pound given twice daily, or 2 mg per pound given once daily. Giving more doesn't get better results, just higher chance of side effects (ulcers ect). Regardless, any dog on Rimadyl long term should have bloodwork done at east once a year. Tramadol is often used for dogs whose regular pain meds aren't enough, as a supplement when needed. I would definitely try to only use it when he really needs it. three times daily seems excessive. Have only ever seen Gabapentin used for seizure dogs, not for this application, hmmm. My dog had a dislocating shoulder(occasionally) from an injury, she was on Rimadyl when she needed it, but what I found worked the best was a mobility/joint type diet. I suppose it's the same as giving the Dasuquin, only everything was already in the food, so I didn't have to give anything else. I really hope Kai feels better soon..nothing worse than a dog that can't tell you where it hurts.
what food do u use that has a mobility/joint diet in it? is it for overweight and senior dogs as well? thanks for your help.
The food was made by Hills, called prescription J/D, which stands for joint diet. Medical/Royal Canin also make one called Mobility Diet which is not as pricey. I don't believe either one one of them are for overweight dogs though, sorry.
Hi Patti,
Sidney was recently diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia, and he had FHO surgery 3 months ago. He's got arthritis from the dysplasia; he was on Rimadyl once daily until the surgery and while recovering, but he's on it now only "as needed". He's on Dasuquuin chews, one every other day (it was once daily for the first 6 weeks, now it's cut down).

Sidney is moving well and seems much happier. I thought he'd be on Rimadyl every day but I guess the Dasuquuin chews are doing their job.

We also need to keep his weight in check (he's 27 pounds, adult make Pemmie) and make sure he exercises regularly.

I realize this won't be much help, but wanted to throw in my 2 cents. I hope Kai feels better soon!
Geri - your 2 cents are greatly appreciated and I hope Sidney is getting along great. Kai's dosage for the dasuquiin is similar to Sidney's - 2tabs 4 six weeks then cut back. (remember - Kai's a big, I mean big boy......) I did speak with the vet about exercise and he wants Kai to try swimming. hard surfaces may be too hurtful for Kai now he said. I'm just confused abit how Kai got this bad this fast - while the arthritis is mild to moderate the vet said that may be when it is most painful to dogs - but 6 levels? It's a tough judgement call, with regard to the opiod discussion - what's best for Kai being pain free now - adding the tramadol or gabaprentin. Curious - did your vet prescribe any of these meds for Sidney? I have also seen these laser treatments for pain mgmt in dogs. Kai's liver was enlarged at one point, so I would definitely prefer no more drugs. Any advice on the laser treatments? and again - thanks.........
My old dog was on a similar pain regimen but I have NEVER heard of increasing the dose of Tramadol. Not sure what the purpose of that would be since it is a very mild drug and you don't have to slowly build a tolerance. In my experience Tramadol tastes awful so you have to hide it well, and also it makes a lot of dogs REALLY out of it. I'd start on the low end with the tramadol and see how your pup does. Many times you don't have to increase the does much at all. Gabapentin is a strong pain medicine so you will probably find the same thing as with Tramadol adn may not have to give as much, like you may be able to get away with 1 cap a day twice a day. The Rimadyl give what the vet says because that is one that builds up and stays in the system so if you give it one day and then don't give it for a few days it tends to not work as well. With my dog we had to play with the doses of the pain medications (Tramadol and Gabapentin) to find the right balance of pain management and totally over drugged. He would get to where he was just staring into space and not doing much of anything which provides no quality of life. We were able to find a lower dose where he could still get up and play around and not be a zombie, yet feel more comfortable.Also, with past liver issues not sure Rimadyl would be your best bet as it has a history of causing liver problems, there are other NSAIDS out there that may not affect the liver as much. Ask your vet. We also did acupuncture that worked quite well. Good luck!
Thanks Melissa and Geri,
Spoke with the vet today about all this info. He feels that even tho Kai's x-rays show mild to moderate, kai is just in too much pain to NOT warrant this regimen - for the time being. Also brought up the laser therapy, and was told that some times while using the laser therapy, the drug regimen can be reduced. As I mentioned earlier, Kai has to go back for a liver ultrasound - and at that time they will start him on laser therapy starting at 3x week then tapering off. I'd like to try one additional therapy at a time to see what gives him the most benefit. Today he did try to run abit to chase Luna, but stopped and sat with me. Was in obvious pain afterwards. I really like the call about Canidae - I had heard such wonderful things about this food - but to further your argument about it not causing any weight loss - Luna, my 25 lb blue cardi, has gained 2 lbs by being on the same food..... 'nuff said. It makes me wonder how much Kai could have lost if I would have put him on the proper food. Thanks again for all your responses - Kai thanks u, and when Luna gets her buddy back, she'll give u a wink!
They also had Sidney on Metacam while he was recovering. Not sure if it goes by any other name. It knocked him out, though. We did do 6 weeks or water therapy and it worked wonders. We'll see how he maintains and may go back to it if his arthritis gets worse. He's only 3.5 years old.

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