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Hi,

My Golden, Gerry, just turned 9 yrs old. We got him at a year old from the shelter where I worked. Long story short, we wound up having his hips x-rayed at about 2 years old due to some weird gait issues he was having during agility classes. We discovered that he had a healed compound fracture in his left rear femur. The vet said it looked like he had sustained it as a puppy and that it went untreated when it should have had surgery to pin the ends back together. What Gerry was left with was a femur that bowed out, making his left leg shorter than his right, as well as a few bone spurs and a lot of scarring. This was probably more than I needed to tell, but writing about still makes me furious at whoever ignored his medical problems, then dumped him. :( :mad:

The vet said there was nothing we could do except build up his rear muscles and supplement him with glucosamine. He did say Gerry would develop arthritis at some point & need pain meds. We started supplementing him, stopped the agility, and worked on stairs/swimming for conditioning. It seemed to work, and I still get complements from the vet and what great shape he's in.

We moved last year from a warm climate (northern CA) to a cold one (WI). For the past week or so, Gerry has been limping off and on when we go for our evening walk. Last night he actually laid down on the sidewalk and refused to get up. My DH had to carry him home. :( Once inside he seemed fine, no limping at all.

He wears boots to protect his feet, we give him a good, grain-free food, and he's on glucosamine/chondroiten/MSM supplements, so I'm thinking we need to start pain meds. What meds should I ask my vet about? Is there anything else we can do? We live in an apartment and he's still a high-energy dog, so we can't really cut back on that.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Meghan and Gerry
 

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I used Duralactin first with my senior, then rimadyl.
Gentle massage and heat helped a lot too.

I finally ended up taking him to a holistic vet who did acupuncture and laser light therapy. that helped a whole lot.
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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Meghan, I would highly recommend some acupuncture first, even before any meds. I know several dogs with joint issue arthritis, one of whom could no longer walk, who were running again pain free after a few weeks of acupuncture.
 

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When we were treating my Charlie for arthritis, the med that seemed to help the most was Deramaxx. It's expensive, but it really made a difference for him.

Injections of Adequan also helped. I understand it actually helps to heal the arthritis, not just treat the pain.

Here's a thread that has a lot of assistive devices for dogs, including some for orthopedic issues: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...y-breed-standard/92648-assistive-devices.html. For example, this company has braces for dogs with ACL injuries: Dog Knee Braces | Prosthetics for Dogs | Stifle Brace for Dogs. I don't know if any of these would help, but maybe it's something to discuss with your vet.

Hugs and prayers,
Lucy
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Old arthritic joints hurt more when it's cold out. (don't I know it)

Pain meds will help, as will keeping him warm. While I don't usually advocate coats for retrievers, it would help him retain more heat helping him move more easily.
 

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Summer has bilateral hip dysplasia and used to limp/not be able to get up and walk. What helps was rest, supplements (which you are already doing!) and rehab. We live in Singapore and there are no therapists here, so I do long-distance consults with Dr Deb Saunders at Wizard of Paws Physical Rehabilitation for Animals, Deborah Gross Saunders, Canine Physical Therapy, Get On The Ball, Back On Track, Back on Track Dog Jacket Summer has improved LOTS and she can get up easily and walk, even run. I'm sure any therapy would help :) You mentioned you already do conditioning..

She also strongly recommended this blanket. You can read about it online as well as the reviews people give it. She swears by it! We will be getting Summer one soon :) Therapeutic Dog Blankets, Covers
 

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Caesar was my running buddy for years. Then he got arthritis and all the running stopped. He got to where he could not walk any more. I was heartbroken... But, the vet (and my breeder) suggested Duramaxx. I have to say that it was wonderful. Caesar got two more years of great quality life with me. He could not run any more, and his running and jumping days were gone, but we could go for nice walks and he could swim in the lake and river.

I would do it again in a heart beat, even though it was expensive. Pat
 
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Discussion Starter #9
We're going to start applying a heating pad to his leg at night, and we have an appointment with the vet next week to discuss medication options. Thanks again to everyone!

-Meghan
 
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