The arthritis “triad” is a combination of THREE commonly used medications for canine arthritis discomfort. Tramadol is used WITH the other three medications in highly severe cases of osteoarthritis pain. Normally “triad” refers to the combination of Deramax, Methocarbamol and Gabapentin. Methocarbamol and Gabapentin have a WIDE therapeutic index but given together can make a dog kind of “out of it” at first. Continue reading Triad
Research seems to be validating more and more of Linus Pauling’s hypotheses about Vitamin C (ascorbate). Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize, twice. Continue reading Vitamin C Ascorbate for dogs
Methocarbamol is a muscle relaxer used in the arthritis “triad” I published on recently. How could a MUSCLE relaxer impact arthritis, especially in the hips? It’s possible that it’s a little-known spasm in the pectineal muscles. Continue reading Methocarbamol for HIP Arthritis? Whaaaaaaat?
The arthritis Triad – Three medications that make a big difference in most arthritic dogs.
Here’s a thorough discussion of arthritis in dogs. People never realize that there are more than 5 different things causing / impacting mobility issues.
How to dose these medications? Well in the first place, it’d be the vet doing the calculations. But here’s a chart to go by.
There are three ’causes’ for ‘arthritic discomfort’ including muscle spasm, inflammation and bone-on-bone mechanical pain.
I’m no genius but these three medicines work wonders on Arthritis in canines. I’m sure it’s because it intercepts three out of five of the common factors in canine arthritic symptoms. (I’ll pick all that in another article)
- Here’s the three medicines
- How they’re used
- What we want to achieve
- What we do with those results
Goodbye Dear One
How old am I?
I just couldn’t say,
I lived in the moment,
From each day to day.
All I’ve known
Is chase, and play
Guarding you, and to
Do as you say.
It’s been so great
to be in your Pack
Included in all things,
We each “got our backs”
But when life got harder
I gladly endured,
For the love of my family
It kept my heart moored.
Then like a pen,
I ran out of ink,
It got harder to move
Even harder to think.
And when it got bad
My people took note;
“We should send him to Heaven”
Came the merciful vote.
So, again I’ll stand tall,
with The Dog’s endless spirit
To serve as a new pup,
The one who endears it.
by Dr. Erik Johnson
What are the BIG Threats to Longevity in Dogs?
I’d like to do an article that describes “what really kills dogs“, or “What gets in the way of dog and cat longevity?”
There’s just so much stuff out there. With the advent of the Interwebs, veryone can sell advertising! 15 or 20 years ago it was just the major networks that could make money from a Nabisco ad. But now, anyone with Internet access, and enough of an audience can make money from advertisements running on their channel or web site. I’m fine with that.
The problem is that you have to have people (traffic) in your channel or website for those ads to make any difference, and so what you see is a lot of embellishment and hysteria and headline-grabbing and sensationalism; basically, which has been going on since the start of mankind.
Since EVERYTHING with dogs and cats is an overwhelming crisis, nowadays, how do you know what’s real?
I publish my longevity articles understanding that nobody’s really going to look at my stuff, and this has been borne out over and over again, because I don’t know how to trick Google into putting me at the top of the rankings and I’m not going to use headlines like “The president is dead“ to get people to click on my channel.
Don’t you think it’s funny that when Google started it was their job to be the best search engine there is. But now, instead of doing a good job of finding good information, they sit back and let the content provider come to THEM. It’s not about finding good content for them. It’s about content providers “toeing the line” and creating pages that Google “likes” whether there’s actually good content or not.
So what I’m going to do is write a quiet little article on pet longevity, what’s really killing cats and dogs based on experience in a suburban small animal practice.
Because it’s not dog food. And it’s not spay and neuter. And it’s not shots. Not hardly!
First, I’m going to brainstorm all the reasons dogs and cats died this last year.
- Extreme age and infirmity 75
- Cancer 35
- Complications from obesity 30
- Kidney failure 15
- Complications from Oral infections 7
- Biting and safety 6
- Hit by car and accident 6
- Heart disease 5
- Unexpected unexplained 3
There’s some overlap but not much. #2 is sometimes part of #1 and #4 and #8 find their root in #5.
Keep in mind that this is simply the number of cases that are subjectively assigned to a particular cause of death, from one little small animal practice in Marietta Georgia.
I think it sheds a lot of light on the reason people leave my clinic without a dog or cat (aka: pet expires or is put down).
What are the BIG Threats to Longevity in Dogs?
I noticed that a preponderance of animals face the end of life simply because they wear out. Their overall condition becomes so aged and infirm that quality-of-life is robbed from them.
As a distant second, lots of pets cross the rainbow bridge because of cancer, and a LOT of them have shortened longevity from complications from malignant obesity.
Many a day I will be putting asleep putting an animal to sleep that is considerably overweight and can’t get up. These dogs have carried the weight most of their lives, and into old age and then as their joints stiffen and their muscles weaken, they get down and cannot get up.
They pee on themselves, and in the house, and there is no dignity, and we put them down.
That is a commentary on overweight in dogs as they move into their twilight years. “Overweight past eight” – just doesn’t go well for them.
On the other hand, it’s never too late to start, putting them on Atkins diet which is essentially Paleo. Ultra low-carb feeding getting the carbohydrate fraction down to 10% or less eating eggs and non-starch vegetables with a little pumpkin stirred in for soluble fiber.
And, administering DHEA to these pets to shave her weight off of them. This can add as many as three years to the longevity of some of the larger patients, as their physical abilities deteriorate with age.
This is a pseudo-hormone that can restore many of the metabolic benefits of the sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen to the dog, increasing resistance to cancer, and aiding in the metabolic acceleration of weight loss.
Establishing thyroid status
Many older animals are hypo thyroid and when that is corrected, they get a new lease on their metabolism, a big boost to longevity and weight loss is remarkable.
Feeding ultra low-carb, once known as Atkins, achieved amazing weight loss, suppression of the ravenous appetite after several months, and extraordinary benefits to overall health.
I will never mention feeding dogs Atkin’s style, without simultaneously mentioning that when people feed their dog Atkin’s style, but also give carbohydrate treats and table food on the side, that will kill the dog! Atkins style feeding is high protein and significant amounts of fat, and if given with carbohydrates, the fat is deposited and the animals become PONDEROUS.
It is difficult to contemplate the extension of life through weight loss if pain remains. Who wants to extend a painful life?
Allow me to take a moment to describe an “arthritis diagnostic” regimen that I am very fond of.
We take an animal in reasonable health, we put them on three medications to ameliorate arthritis in order to see how much of an impact arthritis is actually having on the dog.
Let me explain that:
If you put a dog on medicines for
- nerve pinching
- bone-on-bone grinding
…and you don’t see any difference in the dog, it suggests that these issues don’t manifest in the dog. That he doesn’t need those medicines.
However, if you use a comprehensive panel of medications for a week that address most causes of discomfort in elderly dogs and it’s “the best week of his life“ then you know you have a candidate for long-range arthritis management. You can’t tell a dog in back pain, it does NOT cause limping, right? How can you tell if they have a sore neck? They can’t tell you and it doesn’t cause a limp.
But when they respond to empirical arthritis / nerve pain medications “tried for a week” – these are exciting cases.
Quite often, it’s not necessary to use all three of those medications all the time once you know that arthritis is a factor and can be controlled, you can reduce the amounts and frequency of certain medications and still get excellent results.
The key is the initial diagnosis based on therapeutic response.
The initial cocktail does not include a painkiller. No narcotics, as I do not want to mask the pain, in this protocol I want to alleviate it.
We use Deramax, methocarbamol, and gabapentin. Depending on the pet, we may also use a stomach protectant like famotidine or omeprazole.
After the first week, if the Pet is doing very well we may continue to manage him or her using the following protocols:
Perpetual low-dose gabapentin, perpetual low dose methocarbamol, and “as needed“ Deramax. There is economy and safety in that message.
Some people are so crazy about the way their dog is feeling on the three medications given every day, that they decide to stay with that, and it is perfectly OK.
Most vets will bother you every six months for blood work to check to make sure nothing is happening with the kidneys and liver on the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory.
Joki C. Came in after a round of meds, looking terrible.
We decided he could spend a few holiday evenings at home before we let him go, or we’d do an exploratory surgery on his sinuses. The case turned out surprisingly well.
There is a period of time in the life of a dog where it has arthritis but not very severely. It just needs “a little help.
Keeping in mind that dogs are aging seven times faster than we are, you realize that the period of time where they just need a little help is kind of brief. But during that time there are two things you can do that are:
- Over the counter
- Not very expensive
For mild arthritis.
One of those is glucosamine chondroitin sulfate. There are lots of products out there including human version is that your dog could take, across the board to premium priced Cosequin and Dasequin. As well as the superior Phycox product.
Phycox is superior because it contains multivitamins and anti-inflammatories along with a hearty dose of glucosamine chondroitin.
Another thing you might consider doing is using some CBD, or cannabidiol, cannabis therapy which over the course of three or four weeks will bind up certain pain receptors and inflammatory cytokines in the body and reduce the impact of inflammation and arthritis. I have a ton of information on my website about Cannabidiol. CBD.
Finally, the intent of this article is to step you through the potentially safe use of aspirin for dogs.
First let me say that “aspirin” is inherently not safe for dogs. It will almost always burn the stomach. Therefore I strenuously recommend that if you use a SPECIFIC form of aspirin, that it would be a BUFFERED type of aspirin (Click).
And I do NOT mean enteric coated. The dog’s GI Tract is half as long as yours and by the time the ‘enteric coated’ aspirin is through the system, it’s barely dissolved.
DO NOT USE ENTERIC COATED ASPIRIN!!
Finding buffered aspirin is harder and harder all the time. You need to see THIS on the label:
Aspirin Use In Dogs – How Much?
An effective dose of aspirin for dogs is 5 mg per pound per day.
That means a 60+ pound dog would get one adult 325mg aspirin per day.
A 5 pound dog would get less than half of a baby aspirin.
A baby aspirin is 81 mg. (Not available at all, in buffered)
An adult aspirin is 325 mg. (Click)
Aspirin Use In Dogs – How Often?
It is important NOT to give aspirin more than four days a week because aspirin decreases the quantity AND quality of platelets in the dogs body which may contribute to stomach ulceration as well as easy bleeding.
When we had my dog Buster on aspirin, we used it on Friday Saturday Sunday and Monday and left him off that medicine Tuesday through Thursday. He was his most active on the weekends so that made the most sense.
It will not be long before aspirin compounds are inadequate to control arthritis. It is true for humans as well, and they eventually end up on Aleve or Celebrex or something stronger.
Dogs are no exception, usually aspirin is “enough“ for a year or less.
Then, we start some stronger medicines on an “as needed basis” and then eventually as they age we use more and more medicine of more and more kinds. Nothing particularly expensive, most things are very safe, we can get a dog walking comfortably out to 18 years old most of the time.
All of the above is predicated on the dog not being fat.
Fat dogs are simply going to suffer with arthritis whether you give them medicine or not. It is just physically and mechanically painful to carry a lot of weight when you are old.
It is rare to find an owner who will acknowledge that their pet is overweight, let alone do something about it. Therefore, medications to combat arthritis are always extremely in demand.
All dogs and cats ‘wear out’ or face ‘end of life’ and when it’s time, there’s things we do. Euthanasia is one of those things.
Georgia and a bunch of lawyers got together and made it necessary to make a “form” that gets signed to allow euthanasia. Nothing fancy, really. But it identifies someone as the legal “owner” and then provides ‘direction’ as to putting their pet to sleep, and they’re signing that they’re authoritative to make that elective*.
I had a guy drop off a pretty-healthy dog once for euthanasia. I knew the dog personally. I knew the owner I normally would see, and I didn’t think this was like, HER decision so I called her. And she broke down crying. Her soon-to-be ex-husband had picked up the dog and taken it to me to be euthanized as an act of cruelty to her. She came and got the dog. I don’t know what happened after that, between that guy and his ‘wife’.
It’s stuff like that which makes a signed euthanasia consent form such a good idea in case the Vet doesn’t know to intervene, at least it shows due diligence and identifies the person electing euthanasia.
Euthanasia Consent Form
Then, since it’s unlawful to euthanize a dog or cat that’s bitten a person recently, (10 days) in case Rabies observation or testing is necessary, the owner signs that the pet has NOT bitten anyone in the last ten days. (This has necessitated people living with a ‘doomed’ biter for several days knowing they’re going to put him down at the end of the wait. It’s hard.)
So here’s the form. You might have been sent here to download and sign it so you’re ready when you come in. Or, if more than one signature is requested. It helps to have the form to carry to the other consenting party.