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Old 07-07-2004, 09:09 AM
ratatoskK ratatoskK is offline
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Dog arthritis (spondylosis) -- experience with treatments?

I just found out that my 8-year-old greyhound has spondylosis, which the vet explained to me is arthritis in the spine. He has it between L7 and S1 (i.e. between the last vertebra and the start of his tail). He was very lethargic on Sunday, in pain on Monday and Monday night, and I brought him to the vet on Tuesday, where they took X-rays.

He seems to be feeling pretty good today, they gave some Rimadyl pills which he will take temporarily. They also gave us a dietary supplement called Vetri-Disc, which is made of bovine tracheal cartilage, manganese sulfate, etc.

Anyhow, I am just starting to try to learn about this. A lot of the info on the web seems to be commercially sponsored, so in addition to trying to weed through all of that, I thought I'd ask if any of you have direct experience with this, and what worked best for your pet.

The vet offers acupuncture, chiropractic, etc., but this sounds like it might become a very involved, time-consuming and expensive thing to do.

Natural-sounding medications mentioned on the web include Syn-flex, Flexicose (glucosamine), Kaprex (hops, oleanolic acid and rosemary)... Do these things really work, are they overpriced, etc.???

At this point in my dog's life I think he's going to get over this particular episode, but it's a degenerative disease, so it's going to be something he'll have for the rest of his life and which will probably flare up from time to time. I just want him to be relatively healthy and free of pain.
Old 07-07-2004, 09:31 AM
Testy Testy is offline
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Location: Saudi Arabia
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This condition sucks. I just had a 9 year-old Husky-St Bernard cross put down for this condition and I hated it. The vet can usually tell as soon as he sees the dog walk and does the other tests just for confirmation.
The reason I had my dog killed is that it is extremely painful. Tylenol and anti-inflamatories will work for a while (maybe a week or so) but regardless of what you do, the dog is going to quickly become incontinent and unable to walk. The rest of that stuff you mention, acupuncture and chiropractic and the magic herbs and stuff are all crap. They just suck the money out of you while your dog is suffering and never fix anything at all. I hate people that are heartless enough to make a buck out of you while your animal is suffering.


Old 07-07-2004, 10:10 AM
Scarlett67 Scarlett67 is offline
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My 10-year-old shepherd/lab mix, Scout, has been diagnosed with arthritis in her lower back. The vet had her on Rimadyl for about 2 weeks, IIRC, and recommended that we put her on glucosamine.

I've had her on Syn-Flex for about three months now and she is much improved:

Before: moseying along on walks, very difficult time climbing stairs, slow to get up after lying down

After: back to her old galumphy self, pulling my leash arm out of the socket, almost beat me up the stairs last night

Scout is about 60 pounds and takes 1/8 oz. of Syn-Flex daily. A $30 bottle lasts her two months. Fifty cents a day to have her not in pain is money well spent to me.

Perhaps her condition is not as severe as others, such as Testy's poor dog, but she is clearly happy and more mobile after being on the Syn-Flex. YMMV, etc.
Old 07-07-2004, 12:29 PM
romansperson romansperson is offline
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First, here’s some references for you:

Spondylosis Deformans, from the Textbook of Small Animal Orthopaedics:

Common Conditions of Old Greyhounds, by Julia Carter, DVM. From Celebrating Greyhounds Magazine:

Lumbosacral Stenosis, by Suzanne Stack, DVM (Excerpt from Spring 2003 issue of GCNM News):

This last one is in there because it is a very common condition in older greyhounds, especially the larger males, and while your dog may or may not have it (it is often present in conjunction with spondylosis), the treatment outlined in that URL is both effective and not very well-known, so I wanted to put it out there.

I’m very sorry that your pup is having problems. I lost two of my older greyhounds to degenerative spinal issues, and it sucks. Pain relievers do help and I do think a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement can be of use, too (the National Institutes of Health have done studies on glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and have found benefit in humans, particularly those with arthritis in their knees, so giving it a try is certainly worth it). As interest in pain relief for animals has grown, so have the number of available NSAID-type pain relievers, so be sure to check out what is available. Some may work better than others for your pup, and some will be better tolerated than others. Deramaxx, Zubrin, and Metacam are all newer pain relievers that can be considered.

My old Roman, who had stenosis and spondylosis, benefited from chiropractic for awhile too – he was able to go up and down a few steps after the treatments, whereas before my husband would have to lift him. Of course, like any degenerative disease, though, things slowly get worse over time and some things that helped at one time can stop helping.

That said, do not give your dog any supplements that contain hops! They’ve been shown to be toxic in some dogs, particularly greyhounds, so any ‘natural’ remedy with hops in it should be avoided.

There are places that you can get things like Glyco-Flex for less money than at the vet. and are two sources I like. Revival carries Arthri-Soothe, which I used for while on Rob, my pup with the cervical spinal issues. Choose your supplement carefully, not all of them are created equal. Nutraceuticals are not as tightly regulated as drugs, so you want to make sure you are getting what you are paying for. does testing on these kinds of things, and does offer a short list of brands that actually have in them what they say they do (for a more detailed list you have to subscribe). Gluco and Chondro are listed in the Other Supplements section.

Another thing that can help is just gentle massage or acupressure, which you can learn to do yourself. It’s relaxing and comforting and can make a dog just feel better all over, the way it does with people.

I've had more experience with this than I care to think about, so if you have any questions, just ask away.
Old 07-07-2004, 12:55 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is offline
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Posts: 8,223
Some dogs do very well indeed on the glucosamine-type therapies. Other dogs...well, let's just say they don't do so well. It's like trying to control arthritis pain in humans; some cases respond to certain therapies better than others, and some cases progress much more quickly than others. I've seen some dogs, like Testy's, who we never could get it under control and the dog just went down like a shot. I've seen other dogs who have lived happily with spondylosis for years. Some of these are just on glucosamine, some are on NSAID therapy, some are on both. And yes, some animals do well on acupuncture therapy, although I've never worked at a clinic that offered it. As the disease progresses, most animals have to step up to more aggressive therapies, and that can happen in anything from weeks to years.

Yes, acupuncture and chiropractic therapy can be both costly and time-consuming. For some dogs, the possible pain relief isn't worth the stress of dragging them to the vet that frequently. That's part of the reason we chose not to pursue chemotherapy for Thumper's cancer; she's such a nervous dog that the stress of going to the vet every week would have destroyed her quality of life, and we just weren't going to do that to her. Other dogs take it completely in their stride. It's just one of those situations where only you can decide if it's worthwhile for your particular situation.

Since he seems to be perking up considerably after a single day of carprofen, I think odds are pretty good that you'll be able to control this for a long time. Try to keep in mind, though, that no therapy works on every patient. If something doesn't work, it doesn't mean the therapy is crap and the vet was trying to rip you off. It means that no therapy works on every patient.
Old 07-07-2004, 02:46 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Location: Florida
Posts: 11,853
Since the previous posts covered a lot, I will just reiterate that there are many new pain relieving drugs on the market specifically for animals. Please do not medicate your pet with "human" drugs such as Tylenol or Advil which can be toxic and should not be used for any long term therapy in dogs (and will kill a cat).
Old 07-07-2004, 03:51 PM
Testy Testy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Saudi Arabia
Posts: 2,021

Well, here's hoping you can find something that will help your pup. In the case of my own dog, he went downhill in a matter of 3 weeks or so. It was amazingly fast and the case wasn't helped by my initial choice of vets. I picked an idiot to start with.

All the best to you and your pup.

Old 07-08-2004, 11:35 AM
ratatoskK ratatoskK is offline
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Thanks everybody for the information and your caring thoughts. You are the best!
Old 04-18-2014, 04:19 AM
greenjavlin greenjavlin is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1
Dog arthritis (spondylosis

My dogs symptoms were when she would try to get up after sleeping she would yelp and limp as she went outside. I took her to the vet thinking she had hip displasia. After X rays and exam $200+ the vet told me she had spondylosis. He recomended Rimodyl and charged me $20 for four tablets and said give 1 tab 3 times a day. After reading about Rimodyl on the internet I said no way. so I began my own research.
Here is what I now do.
1. I give her one cosequin DS ground up in a mortar once a day with her first meal.
2. I give Ultimate H.A. formula manufactured by or at least supplied by Purity Products. I give her 1 with her first meal and then another sometime during the day. I break open the gelatin capsule and mix the contents with her food. The recommended dose is 3 per day for humans. I decided 2 would probably be appropriate for a 60 pound dog. If you decide to try this Google can tell you where to find it. I have no personal interest in the manufacturer of any supplier.
Here are my results. Within about 48 hours she stopped yelping but still limped a bit at first until she went outside and limbered up. Within a week she stopped limping on rising in the morning. She still is a bit lazy and does not seem to want to rise in the morning but her symptoms seem to have disappeared as of now.

I hope this information might be helpful to you. I do cook for my dog and her other foods might make a difference I do not know.


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