Click Here to return to the Vets Advice search page.
Arthritic Greyhound x GSD
Q: Arthritic Greyhound x GSD PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin firstname.lastname@example.org
My GreyhoundXGSD will be 11 next month.
He injured his back when he was 18 months old, and we discovered when he was about 7 that since then he had been walking badly because of constant discomfort and had more or less worn away the hip joint on the left hand side, with lesser damage on the right. The injured vertebrae was also becoming arthritic. He has been coping with these problems quite adequately with the help of a booster anti-inflammatory injection every four months or so in the early days and for the last year on daily anti-inflammatories. The real problem now is that he has developed arthritis in his right front shoulder, and this seems to have more or less stopped him dead in his tracks. He hadn't been able to run for a couple of years but still trotted along quite happily. Now he is reduced to a walking pace and is worn out very quickly. The dose of anti-inflammatories has been increased but of course we have to be careful about this as too many can cause damage to the stomach, with the added problem in his case that he has never been food-orientated and they should be given with food (he will often go a day or more without eating, and I should add that keeping his weight down is not a problem - he is actually underweight). Is there anything more I can do for him. I realise his back end is a lost cause, but it is the shoulder problem that is causing me most concern. I have heard some people who swear by magnotherapy but as the collars can be quite expensive I am a little wary of investing in something that might not work! I have been advise to take him swimming, but he has never liked to do anything more than paddle, and anyway, shaking himself after immersion in water throws his back out and then we have a few days when he can hardly move at all, so this is not a viable proposition. Please help! My own vets seem to have run out of ideas. Genny Stallabrass
A:Arthritic Greyhound x GSD PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin email@example.com
Dear Genny, I'm going to run through some suggestions as regards some complementary
therapies you could try. The anti-inflammatories don't repair the damage,
just hide it, and over time don't prevent deterioration. 1/Neutraceuticals. This involves using normal food substance at higher than normal levels to become therapeutic rather than just supplements. A good quality basic diet is of course essential. For degenerative joint disease:-(dosage depends on size of dog)
Glucosamine sulphate 250- 1500 mg daily
Chondroitin 500- 2000 mg daily
Vitamin C 500 - 6000 mg daily (start low and build up gradually)
Vitamin B6 5 - 60 mg
Evening Primrose oil 250 - 1000 mg
Fish oil 250 - 1000 mg
Proanthocyandin complex 10 - 200 mg
Green-Lipped mussel 300 - 1500mg
2/ Homoeopathy. Here a minute, potentized, amount of a substance, which would cause symptoms if fed in normal quantities, is used to treat ailments with similar symptoms.
The remedies are the same for animals and humans, with no change in dosage for bodyweight.Rhus tox 6c - here the arthritis is worse after rest, eases with exercise up
to a point, then stiffens up again. Worse for cold, damp conditions. Bryonia 6c - here the stiffness is worse for any movement and the animal would rather keep still. It is worse for warmth. Causticum 6c- severe pain, weakness of the muscles. Very unsteady. The joints may even be deformed. Good for hind leg weakness and spinal problems. may be
bladder weakness. Worse in dry cold conditions. Silicea 6c - weakness and loss of power in legs. Very chilly. Nails may be
cracked and feet smell. These are just examples, more can be learned by reading up on the subject or consulting a veterinary homoeopath. 3/ Herbal Remedies. Many are available, usually made up in combinations.
Dorwest Herbs 01308 897272 use western herbs mainly. Global Herbs use Ayurvedic Herbs, and their Mobifree is an excellent product,
but I think are probably only available through your vet. Again reading up on the subject or finding an holistically trained vet will help. 4/ Magnetic Products. Controversial, with many products claiming different things. Some say multiple magnets are better, some that one well-placed one
is enough. If you wanted to try them, the bigger, more reliable companies will normally do money back if not satisfied. They do seem to help some animals. You could always try a collar rather than an expensive coat or bed. 5/ Acupuncture There are now many veterinary acupuncturists about, this
works best with repeated treatments so would need to be someone reasonably accessible for you. Below are some contact addresses.
The British Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association The Croft, Tockwith Road, Long Marston, North Yorkshire YO26 7PQ
or The British Association of Homoeopathic Veterinary Surgeons 01367 710475
June Third-Carter B.V.M.S., M.R.C.V.S., Vet.M.F.Hom. for PetPlanet.co.uk