Friday, June 15

Learning to live with Canine Arthritis...

As I told you yesterday we had a veterinary appointment for Schatzie due to pain she was experiencing  in her hips. For the past 10 days if we touched her rear end she would cry out in pain and really just don't want anyone messing with her. She really didn't act a whole lot different I mean she was active, eating, pooping except for the cries when she anticipated a touch from one of us.
During her examine yesterday we were able to observe that the left leg/hip had complete range of motion, but the right did not...Dr. Julie decided to keep Schatzie over night and preform a complete blood work up (which came back fine) and she needed to take some radiographs to better diagnosis the problem. 
As you can see from this 1st radiograph, Schatzie's left hip (the one on the right) is perfect, the ball and socket look nice and healthy.  Now take a look at the other side (the one on the left) you will see severe arthritis ....degeneration of  her hip joint. In which results in cartilage damage and joint inflammation.  Now we totally understand her cries of pain.

Several things could cause this problem
1. obesity-- Schatzie is at the ideal weight
2. Lack of Exercise--not a problem for this dog, she's a go-go dog!!
3. age--Schatzie is only 5 so the disease shouldn't be this advanced
4. Injury or Trauma--we are unaware of any incident
5. Breed/Genetics--this is probably the culprit.

This next radiograph shows Schatzie's spine...a picture is worth a thousand words...a closer look at this we see that she has what they call "Spondylosis" kinda like a bone spur on the lower portion of 1st, 4th and 6th vertebra looking L to R on the x ray. I am guessing there is more further up the spine. 

Basically she's an arthritic mess...

Now there is no "cure" for arthritis we will just need to try and manage her pain and comfort levels by the following--
1. Twice a week for 1 month she will be given a Adequan injection. This med is designed to prevent further damage in the hip cartilage. After the 1 month she will be given an injection 1 time per month.
2. we will begin feeding her a diet specially for joint problems (new kibble)
3. She will also be given Previcox for pain management on days that she needs it.
4. We will continue to exercise, just being cautious not to overwork or stress her. No stairs! Dr. says swimming is the best and goodness knows Schatzie loves the pond.

She had her first injection this morning and is now resting behind the sofa...poor thing is exhausted. Her nose is a bit raw from rubbing on the kennel to get out last night, poor girl suffers from separation anxiety and being away from us last night added to her discomfort. I am glad we told them not to put a blanket in her kennel, she would have destroyed it :(
Hopefully the above plan will work. Our goal is to keep her as pain free as possible for as long as possible. 

I'm sure this will be an interesting learning experience, one I really didn't want to tackle. 
We will make the best of each and everyday--living it to the fullest with no regrets!!

Thanks to all that prayed and thought of us yesterday, it was appreciated.


  1. i'm really sorry, val. 5 is too young to be facing this! i do hope you're able to manage her pain.

  2. We swear by Adequan, it has been a life saver for our Isis. Hydrotherapy has also helped maintain weight as she has gotten less mobile.

  3. Hi Val, Poor Schatzi! I'm glad it wasn't worse than this, although this has got to be so painful for her.
    When we were into horses we gave our old guy some Yucca supplement that was supposed to help with arthritis...maybe you can find an otc powder to put on her kibble. We also used to feed Avoderm(with avocado)for joints. Sending lots of love to you and her today plus prayers that the treatment will alleviate the pain.
    Hugs and aloha.
    Noreen & Hunter

  4. Hi Val, Poor Schatzi! I'm glad it wasn't worse than this, although this has got to be so painful for her.
    When we were into horses we gave our old guy some Yucca supplement that was supposed to help with arthritis...maybe you can find an otc powder to put on her kibble. We also used to feed Avoderm(with avocado)for joints. Sending lots of love to you and her today plus prayers that the treatment will alleviate the pain.
    Hugs and aloha.
    Noreen & Hunter

  5. Poor baby, sending all the love and prayers in the world


    P.s We are SO sorry we are behind on all your posts, we have been kept really busy lately :(

  6. Maybe I should get Schatzie a noodle for the pond so she'll go swimming more, and run around less.

  7. OMD! Schatzie is so young to have this happen. Thank goodness she has you to keep her comfortable and help her deal with her arthritis. I sure hope that between the meds and your love and nurturing, it can help stop this from advancing too quickly. My thoughts are with you!

  8. Thank you for the update Val. It's sad to hear that a dog that young is having these kinds of problems.

    I read an article a few months back about the swimming and "water therapy" for dogs and it is supposed to be really really good for them. I guess it's time to dig a hole in the yard and put in a pool so you can join her for a daily swim!

  9. I am standing at the kitchen counter with my laptop, and that is because i can't sit for more than half and hour, i have the same thing Shatzie has and it hurts. i can relate to her pain and this hurts my heart to read it. I have it in my left hip and lower spine, just like hers. so sorry to hear this and i pray the meds will help with the pain. the thing is with a person we KNOW what is wrong with the dog they have no idea and all we can do is love them.

  10. Hi Val!! I'm not sure why, but how did I not know you had this blog too?? Well, I'm just glad I followed some crumbs today and found you--I've missed your posts!!

    To start, I'm sorry about Schatzie. Several of our younger and older pups have had problems with arthritis too because after all, they're goldens, and while you didn't mention giving it to her, but I'm sure you know that Omega 3 caps (Omega-3 caps have fatty acids & support healthy skin and coat, joints, heart, etc.) work really well for the joints along with Cosequin (glucosamine & chondroitin) We give it to our dogs daily, and that's helped to really make a difference in their mobility and joint/hip problems caused by arthritis.

  11. Poor sweet Schatzie, I hope the modifications to her diet combined with the other things you are doing will give her comfort. Any suggestions for glucosamine? It is such a young age to be dealing with such a horrible disease. We are sending good thoughts her/your way!

  12. I am so sorry to read about this, and I'm sorry that I was behind on my blog reading and couldn't lend support before.

    I take it that hip surgery is not an option? I've actually seen a lot of radiographs of dogs' hips/spines, and her hip looks very painful. Her spine looks like mine (I'm not kidding).

    Your plan sounds really really good. I'm guessing that you're going to feed the high omega-3 fatty acid food... It sounds like your vet is great and really on top of things.

    We all know that you will make the most of each day. I'll just add one thing from my personal experience with my spine - trying to give her little walks during the day might be a good thing (if it's possible). I find that staying still for too long makes my spine really hurt, and she might experience the same thing.

    We're thinking of you.

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