I am new to the forums and I just want to see what sage advice there is here in regards to my older lab, Moby (11yo). Moby is definitely starting to get pretty creaky, and I've noticed it for a while with longer exercise periods with running, jumping, or going to the beach. At times, he would have some stiffness for maybe half a day, and then bounce back to his precocious self. Now, just like a senior athlete, we've started to switch the routine to more walks and less runs...definitely less jumping and very little at the beach.
My feeding/supplement routine has been:
- Canidae Platinum (Senior formula), which I've cut back on a little to help his weight
- GlycoFlex III, Stage III - 2 tablets twice a day (on vet suggestion)
- Nordic Naturals Omega 3 - 5 capsules daily (started this a month ago)
- Ester C - 1-2 tablets daily (*just* added this a few days ago)
Other than this, I've been trying to keep him warm when he wants...turning on a fireplace, putting a heating pad on low in his bed. And make sure I get him at least 20-30 min of exercise even when he's gimpy.
Recently, I've noticed that his back right leg seems to "bow out" a little more (almost like he turns it slightly when he walks) and in the last 3-4 days he's had a limp and tenderness in his right foot. That may have to do with a little struggle with the groomer (I have not been the best at keeping his nails maintained and now it seems like it's important). So, the tenderness in the right back foot and some of the limp seems like it might heal.
Tonight, he was a little nervous inside the house and didn't seem completely comfortable. My fiance said he was fine till I came home and then he was restless. We took a walk where he alternated from being pretty spirited, to being slow. For around here, it was pretty cold (maybe 38-40). When we came back, he laid down on the cool tile by the front door. Then after maybe 20 minutes he came with me into my office. Both before we want on the walk and for a few minutes when we got settled in my office, he was quivering...as if he was quite cold. Now he's sleeping comfortably.
I guess I am looking for a.) any suggestions on things I am missing to help with the arthritis and b.) if anyone notices anything with my description - specifically the quivering - that indicates there might be something more serious. Part of me thinks it's just that he's getting older, that he is healing a little from an injury, and it's unseasonably cold. Another part worries that maybe he's getting near the end of his journey and obviously, that makes me very sad and anxious.
Any help, suggestions, things to try, or straight talk is appreciated. No judgments on anyone really trying to be helpful!
Have you looked into Adequan injections?
They may be helpful for the creakiness and stiffness.
I don't know what's in Glycoflex III, but you want a supplement that has at least 1500 mg of Glucosamine, 1000 mg of chondrotin, 1000 mg of MSM and the addition of hylauronic acid (I think 20mg seems to work for dogs).
I second the Adequan injections. I started my Buddy who is 11
on them a few months back, and it has made a big difference !
I also give him Grizzly Salmon Oil and Canine Hylasport and keep
Post pics when you can !
The quivering could (and is more likely) from pain and not cold. Is he on anything for his pain?
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
The quivering is pain and the leg being unstable. Erns gets it.
You know your dog best, but I know all too well that is it time worry. I have been having that worry for a couple of years with Erns and learned to take each day as it comes and party when we get through another winter.
I would see the vet as there are many things you can give him. Erns has monthly Pentosan (Adequan).He has 30 mins walk, but if slow or sore less. If he is having a sore day I rest him. Erns wears a coat at night to keep his hips warm. He sleeps better now instead of wandering around the house. Wondering around and fidgeting makes me think pain. As he cant talk I am not sure, but presume so.
His leg may bow due to injury. Tess is 12 weeks post TTO surgery and her leg bows out. Erns does sometimes.
Quick update on Moby: I was ready to make the vet appointment yesterday morning, and then he started to get more "frisky" and wanted to get out more. I am now thinking his recent bad night had largely to do with a.) that his limping was somewhat caused by a little boo boo getting on and off the groomer table (where I finally was learning how to trim his nails) and b.) it started warming up around here.
The original "day and half" did involve the quivering and it did involve pacing around the house and panting (not from exercise).
I am not thinking everything is "fine now." I am trying to do my research and compile it from what I am learning here (and *somewhat* from the internet, but there are definitely some "wonder cures" out there I raise my eyes at). I am still going to take Moby for a blood panel and describe any symptoms (maybe even track what I notice for a week and give that to the vet). I have a non-force chiropractor who does doggie adjustments and I think I will try that and a vet acupuncturist. Definitely the pain management will be high on the list.
I realize he's a Lab and 11 is 11 for a Lab. I just am basking in a little relief that I can do some research and have a good total course of action to help him be comfortable and happy for as long as possible.
I am thinking I am the "grasshopper among the Masters here," but I will post any of my research here if it's useful (I like doing annotated spreadsheets with the 'shared google doc' thing).
Love to all and thanks for all the good information I am going to use!
Another update for Moby. Energy-wise and enthusiasm-wise, he's ramping up. He does seem to have a bum wheel which you can see in the videos at the end of this post. It just seems like he compensates a lot for a weaker back right leg by using his back left leg. That in turn throws his hips a little out of whack. I'm not sure how much of this was from before the injury at the groomer (sort of falling off the table and my pulling him back on before it was a worse fall) and how much of it was after the injury. He does this thing where he gingerly puts his right foot down that seems more related to the injury. Anyway, I am just going to do my research, watch for any pain or deterioration, then probably go do the blood panel at the vet and start researching pain meds...and chiro and acupuncture. It's a shame (I'm sure lots of lab owners say this) because I bet if that bum wheel wasn't holding him back, he'd want to go on longer walks. At least he seems much happier than the beginning of the week!
Moby inside - YouTube
So my update, 9pm. I think either I was too optimistic in my updates or Moby pushed himself a little more with our three mini-walks (15min each). I say this because he's laying at my feet quivering again. He fell asleep for a little while, but then woke up and started some quivering again. I am thinking it's from this right back leg, and earlier after the walks, he was acting more normal - went up and down stairs a few times (and optional too...the "hey, what are you doing up there?" sort of checkin on me, not the end of the night "well, guess it's time to go to sleep" kind).
He was stretching and making more groans of stretching then pain. And now this.
I don't know if this is the kind of pain that is related to working out and stretching an injured leg, but I am a little down that I didn't go to the vet already. I'll get him in as soon as I can now, if only just to find some pain meds.
I wish there was a mellow homeopathic or "at home" way to help him with his pain and then assess if it's "enough."
Does anyone have any experience to help guide me?
What do you mean by "enough"? I don't know how old you are, but it sucks getting older. My knees feel like hell every morning when I get up and if I didn't have some Advil to take I'd be experiencing more pain than I needed to. Your dg is probably like me. Getting older. Things hurt. He should get some medical relief.
The subject of whether there is something orthopedically wrong with him needs to be determined by a vet.
Dogs will routinely overdo it. He can exercise himself into a worse injury. If you really want to take a wait and see approach, he should be on completely restricted activity for a few weeks. No walks, no stairs, no fetch. Leashed potty breaks and rest in the house otherwise. If after you go through that period of allowing him to heal (if this is just a strain or soft tissue injury) and he still has pain and symptoms, then X-rays should be pursued. All my opinion of course.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.