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Flora makes me really sad sometimes. She's had surgery on her left knee b/c of a luxating patella, and also has patellar luxation in her right knee, but it's not super bad right now and doesn't warrant surgery (and I can't afford it right now anyways.) The vet also said it looked like she may have mild HD in her left hip, but to wait until she's 2 years old for better xrays.

Anyhow, lately she's been limping, bunny hopping a lot, and getting up from a down position like she's an arthritic 12 year old dog. She's 1 year old and I would love to take her on hikes and stuff, but I can't because she shows too much trouble with her hind legs. :( I limit her walks to, at the most, 30 minutes a day, don't let her go up and down stairs unless she absolutely has to, don't let her run very much, and I keep her weight down to about 58-60lbs. I started her back on rimadyl today b/c she had been limping on and off this morning, unfortunately in her left leg (the one she had surgery on), but twice today she has also shown a weakness in her right leg, and would plop her butt down on the ground before she fell. She looks so sad when she does that.

I don't know what more I can do to help her out. I'm not going to walk her at all today because I fear the exercise might be doing more harm than it is good, but I feel so guilty about not giving a really young dog exercise. I play with her indoors and do training and stuff, but I still feel bad.

I'm going to take her to the vet probably after christmas for a whole checkup, but I don't know what good that will do. This is more of a chance for me to whine than anything else. Sometimes it just breaks my heart that my 1 year old dog can't do the normal things that 1 year old dogs can do. Should I walk her anyways? I usually take her on off-leash walks so she can go at her own pace, but even then I wonder if that's not good for her. I might look into glucosamine supplements, even though I'm not positive it's her hip that's bothering her or her knee. Any other suggestions to help out young dog with these kinds of problems? I can't afford to take her to any specialist right now, and I'm most likely moving down to Louisiana in about a month, so any kind of surgery, if it was suggested by the vet, just isn't feasible right now.

Today is so gorgeous outside (snowy, still, and not too cold), and it kills me that I can't do much with her. When I got Flora I had dreams of going on long hikes with her, doing lots of adventuresome, outdoorsy stuff, and I'm starting to realize that I probably won't be able to do that with her. Fortunately she has the sweetest personality ever, and I'll love her regardless of what she can or cannot do.

One thing I'm going to do is get her enrolled in pet insurance, lol. I should have done that at the get-go! :p:

Thanks for letting me whine and mope.
 

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I'm so sorry Flora is having these problems. I think you can let her do what she wants voluntarily, a formal walk might not be the best idea, but a nice stroll in an off leash area should be ok, and she would enjoy it.

I would go ahead and start her on supplements, they help to support joints in general not just hips. I would recommend you use GlycoFlex or Cosequin, designed for dogs, they really do help.
 

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I feel so terrible about your situation with Flora. This is one of those scenarios that is what we all fear when we bring home a pup. I've been through the crushing nature of elbow dysplasia, so I can relate a little. I know I always harp on this, but I am so mad/sad with your breeder for not helping you financially and otherwise! Will Flora eventually heal more from her surgery? Could she be enrolled in any kind of clinical study where they might help her for free?
 

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This was just posted last night on my raw feeding co-op email list.. the dog he's talking about is a 190lb Leonberger:

Hi all,

The product is LubriSyn CA. Its active ingredient is hyaluronan. It works a bit differently than glucosamine but is the same general idea—it is supposed to improve the lubricating fluid in the joints. So far my experience is far from a scientific test, but my initial observations are very encouraging. Drago has only been on it for 3 days, and Marilyn’s description was not an exaggeration—he was running and playing like I haven’t seen him for a long time. It was of course warmer today, which may have helped some, but not this much. I have had him on Previcox for some time (NSAID similar to Rimadyl but newer, and fewer side-effects). His improvement today was not because of the Previcox—in fact I had given him his dose of that just minutes before he was running around, so it would not have had time to take effect—and yesterday’s dose (it is given once/day) would have been worn off.

They also have a human (LubriSyn HU) and equine version. From what I can tell the canine and equine versions are identical (probably just a marketing gimmick of different labeling, but maybe there is a difference I don’t know about) and the human version is the same but with raspberry flavor and artificial sweetener. It is a thick, clear liquid. It is nearly odorless, and the dogs don’t seem to mind it—I use a syringe to put it in their mouth (a dog Drago’s size—190#--gets 15 ml once a day) but they will lick some spillage off my hands, so must be fairly palatable.

It is quite expensive, although less than Previcox or Rimadyl, and so far may be looking like it works better. I’ll let you all know after I’ve been using it a while. A gallon just (which does last a long time) is about $320-$350. That will be good for about 250 days for Drago, obviously more for a smaller dog. As a comparison, a 250 day supply of Previcox (which, BTW, is a very good drug if needed) would be about $875. So I hope LubriSyn does work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I feel so terrible about your situation with Flora. This is one of those scenarios that is what we all fear when we bring home a pup. I've been through the crushing nature of elbow dysplasia, so I can relate a little. I know I always harp on this, but I am so mad/sad with your breeder for not helping you financially and otherwise! Will Flora eventually heal more from her surgery? Could she be enrolled in any kind of clinical study where they might help her for free?
Sometimes I do get a little angry with her breeder, but it's moreso because I feel like they don't really care about the dogs they've sold. I know they're busy and whatever, but when we met the breeder he stressed about how all of his puppies were his "babies" etc. etc., yet they never checked to see if I had Flora spayed (I did), and they have never contacted me asking how Flora's doing since her surgery. Oh well. This very well could be all my fault anyways (well, not the luxating patella, but the HD); I wonder if maybe I exercised her too much as a pup and stressed out her joints.

Wow! $320 for a gallon? That's about half a paycheck for me, although the product does look interesting. I checked out the website. I'm a little hesitant to buy something that's still relatively new though, especially since I'm so strapped for cash.

Are there any cheaper options for glucosamine supplements? Can I use human supplements or is there something different about the dog ones?

Thank goodness Flora is a laid back dog... she hasn't done anything today, and yet she's just snoozing at my feet being a big golden angel. :)
 

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I feel so terrible about your situation with Flora. This is one of those scenarios that is what we all fear when we bring home a pup. I've been through the crushing nature of elbow dysplasia, so I can relate a little. I know I always harp on this, but I am so mad/sad with your breeder for not helping you financially and otherwise! Will Flora eventually heal more from her surgery? Could she be enrolled in any kind of clinical study where they might help her for free?
Oh, I was going to suggest seeing if her breeder could help out in any way. I guess that's not an option.

Maybe that new medication mentioned above is worth looking into. And winter could be making it worse-maybe the move south will help a little.

Where are you getting her glucosomine products? You can get the human ones at WalMart. etc. Same thing.
 

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Ah, that answers my question! I might run to the drugstore after work tonight and pick up some human drugs for her. ;) I haven't bought her any gluc. supps. yet, so this will be the first time we try them.

I do hope moving south will help a little. Plus she'll be able to swim more (if we can find water down there that's not part of a swamp :p:), which should be good for her too.
 

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I was able to stave off giving my old boy arthritis meds for about a year or two by giving him hyaflex, which has Hyaluronic acid and helps with the lubrication of joints and support. It is on sale at KV Pet Supply, $24.95 for a 30 ML bottle. He was given a dropper full in his morning kibble. You can also shop around and see if there are better prices--or see if your vet even carries it more cheaply.

This was as per the recommendation of my vet, who is a holistic vet. Sorry to hear about your girl--she is so young to be having these problems. I also think that if you have a safe place to walk her off lead at her own pace, that she can exercise and slow down when she feels pain.

Watch out about the pet insurance--ask plenty of questions before you buy because it's my understanding that they will not cover a pre-existing condition either. I'd hate to have you buy the pet insurance, thinking she would be covered, and have the claim be denied and then have the money that you spent be wasted.
 

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I'm so sorry this is happening to Flora and you. My 7yo golden has mild hip dysplasia and has done well with just Cosaquin DS and Metacam. I have not had to use the Metacam in about 2 years. The makers of Cosaquin now makes Dasuquin which is supposed to be better. I found it at Allivets web site for 69.99 for 150 tablets and at least for today, no shipping fees. There is a 2.00 off coupon code PET02 that I found, that worked.
 

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One of the best things you can do for her is probably to keep her on the thin side of healthy. Any excess weight will only exacerbate her problems.
 

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I'm so sorry you are going through this. It is hard enough with an older dog. I can't even imagine it with a young dog like Flora. I have heard that swimming can do wonders for dogs with joint problems. I was talking to someone at the dog park the other day who said his vet told him his golden had the worst hips he had ever seen. This dog was running around looking great. He said it from swimming. He's not the first person to tell me how much swimming has helped a dog with joint problems. A lot of places have therapy pools for dogs. I'm not sure if you could find a place close to you or what it would be like price-wise. I know there was a place close to where I used to live and it was something like $20/session. So that may not be doable for now except occasionally, but in Louisiana I would really try to find a place she could swim, and take her swimming as often as you possibly can.
 

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Yes, as Maya said I wonder if you could take her swimming. I know maybe not so much in winter, but maybe when it warms up?

My parents have tried multiple things with their sheltie because she has horrible arthritis. Rimdayl, Duralctin, etc. Right now my vet-school sis. has them using Cosequin and it seems to be helping a lot.
 

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Thank you everyone for all the helpful information!

I would like to take her swimming, but it's all frozen water out here, and while there is a therapy pool for dogs around here it is $50 for 30 minutes and I just cannot afford that. I'm hoping once I go to Louisiana I can get her swimming for free, but she's not much of a swimmer - she just likes to go in the water and walk around for a little bit and get back out.

Hopefully the glucosamine or the other supplements that rappwizard and missmarstar suggested will help her out. And hopefully I'm blowing things out of proportion. Some days she seems almost perfect; it just seems like lately she's been limping more and whatnot.
 

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FWIW, Bennett did not do well on human versions of glucosamine/chondroitin. There is some conflicting information out there about the gel caspules not being properly digested by dogs, which if true, could affect the absorption.
We use Osteo-3, which we are getting from Amazon. You start out at a double dose for the first month and then drop to a maintenence dose. The dogs consider them their morning cookie. I can tell when my husband forgets to give it to them.
 

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FWIW, Bennett did not do well on human versions of glucosamine/chondroitin. There is some conflicting information out there about the gel caspules not being properly digested by dogs, which if true, could affect the absorption.
We use Osteo-3, which we are getting from Amazon. You start out at a double dose for the first month and then drop to a maintenence dose. The dogs consider them their morning cookie. I can tell when my husband forgets to give it to them.
Well, I think before I put her on glucosamine I'll talk to her vet and see what she thinks. I'll probably order some glucosamine off Amazon or something like that, since I'm sure the vet sells it for a lot higher.

Flora's still being sort of lame; today she didn't want to walk more than 5 minutes, which was a bummer for me. Ah well. I can't push her.
 
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Her breeder really should be stepping up here! That is a horrible thing for a one year old dog (and you!) to be going through. I will be thinking of you.
Liz
 

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Her breeder really should be stepping up here! That is a horrible thing for a one year old dog (and you!) to be going through. I will be thinking of you.
Liz
I think it's just a matter of Flora being sort of a "freak" accident or something, because I know for a fact that many, many dogs from the same breeder are in fantastic health.

Thank you for your thoughts, I appreciate them. I just got my acceptance letter from LSU so hopefully the warm weather will help Flora out! :)
 
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