Giving Metacam to an older dog with arthritis

Jingleballs

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I'd posted in another thread about this and it seems that Metacam is a good option for treating an older dog with arthritis/back pain.

My cross breed will be 12 on the 1st January.

He's still very active, loves his walks but he struggles with the stairs now and suffers the next day after he's had a good run about.

His back is also a bit tender and he doesn't really like it being touched.

I've mentioned it to the vets before and they have never suggested any treatment other than accupuncture which I know for a fact he'd hate.

He gets physio over 3 months which he just about tolerates.

I'm wondering if it's time to accept that the supplements (glucosamine and green lipped muscle extract) aren't enought any more and ask the vet for something like metacam but I also have read stories of the damage it can do to liver and kidneys - I know once they get to a certain age it's not such a big deal but I wonder if putting him on something like this is just the start down a slippery slope.

I'd appreciated any thoughts/experiences/other suggestions.
 

JeanetteM

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My old girl was the same, got stiff, struggled with the stairs etc, she couldn't have metacam (made her sick) but she could have rimadyl, my vet said try it, and omg we could see the difference in her straight away, you could tell she was feeling soo much happier in herself, for 3 years we kept her on it, each year we had her bloods tested and her liver coped, but tbh seeing the difference in her, there was no way we could of stopped giving them to her, she might not of lived longer for taking them but she sure lived happier

if I was put in the same situation again I'd do it all over again

speak to your vet again, see what he/she says and maybe try it, good luck!
 

stargirl88

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My older got was given metacam for it, he had been on it for a long time (cant remember how long but over a year) he does now have kidney disease - wether it is directly linked with the metacam however I can't say! If my other dog gets it, then I will probably look into using something else though
 

Maesfen

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Please don't dismiss acupuncture just on the basis he won't like it.
I thought exactly the same about my lurcher who is the biggest wimp you could imagine but when she damaged her back trying to get up when Legend, the basset sat on her she couldn't move without yelling the house down' I really thought that was it. She had two days of Metacam which didn't really help that much, she still struggled to move and had lost most of her balance which led me to thinking she had had a bit of a stroke at the same time then vet arrived to try acupuncture. I was prepared for it being a no go area but from the minute she put the first needle in, in a line of two from top neck down to well past shoulders, ten needles in all, there was only one murmur from her with the needle just behind her shoulder; needles stayed in for just under five minutes and she was perfectly quiet and happy standing there with them in; really surprised me but she was almost in a trance, then were taken out in the same sequence they went in, top of neck first. They all came out completely straight except for the one when she had yelped, that was almost bent in a corkscrew.
She shook herself (which she couldn't do at all after the injury) and then put her legs forward to bow down into a long stretch and then the same with her back end without a problem at all; she had also stopped over balancing. Really, it was amazing the difference it made to her straight away and she's never had a problem since. I'd definitely try it again, after all, she didn't know they were meant to help her did she?
 

Jingleballs

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Please don't dismiss acupuncture just on the basis he won't like it.
I thought exactly the same about my lurcher who is the biggest wimp you could imagine but when she damaged her back trying to get up when Legend, the basset sat on her she couldn't move without yelling the house down' I really thought that was it. She had two days of Metacam which didn't really help that much, she still struggled to move and had lost most of her balance which led me to thinking she had had a bit of a stroke at the same time then vet arrived to try acupuncture. I was prepared for it being a no go area but from the minute she put the first needle in, in a line of two from top neck down to well past shoulders, ten needles in all, there was only one murmur from her with the needle just behind her shoulder; needles stayed in for just under five minutes and she was perfectly quiet and happy standing there with them in; really surprised me but she was almost in a trance, then were taken out in the same sequence they went in, top of neck first. They all came out completely straight except for the one when she had yelped, that was almost bent in a corkscrew.
She shook herself (which she couldn't do at all after the injury) and then put her legs forward to bow down into a long stretch and then the same with her back end without a problem at all; she had also stopped over balancing. Really, it was amazing the difference it made to her straight away and she's never had a problem since. I'd definitely try it again, after all, she didn't know they were meant to help her did she?
hmmm - that's worth considering then. The thing with my boys is, as well as being a wuss he doesn't like human contact very much - he barely lets any of us pat him other than to scratch his back for a minute and strangers are generally a no go - he has a melt down when you try to groom him so although I think the needles themselves aren't an issue, having to stand and be handled by a stranger would set him off.
 

ladyearl

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I am a fan of the acupuncture and also recently attended a lecture on arthritis and there are now a much bigger and safer range of NSAIDs (which metacam is) so it's worth investigating with your vet what the best and safest course may be for your dog.

Although your dog would have to tolerate a wee bit of handling to get the needles in - once they are in they stay in and the vet stands back for the rest of the time (although sometimes may give them a wee twist but that wouldn't involve a lot of touchy feely stuff). I am a fan because my old dog was so responsive and it made a huge difference to her.
 

stoneybroke

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Metacam gave my 11yr old GSP two additional years with excellent quality of life......1ml per kg of bodyweight per day....2 yrs no issues...talk to you vet. Our old Weimar had it too
 

Adopter

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I have been prescribed metacam for several of my old dogs, I know it can affect kidneys etc, but I have always thought that it is the quality of a pain free life which is important, not the quantity. Having said that dogs were on the metacam for a number of years and lived to be 15 and 16, and able to enjoy life going for walks etc.

Why not go and talk it over with your vet and see what is advised.
 

Maesfen

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hmmm - that's worth considering then. The thing with my boys is, as well as being a wuss he doesn't like human contact very much - he barely lets any of us pat him other than to scratch his back for a minute and strangers are generally a no go - he has a melt down when you try to groom him so although I think the needles themselves aren't an issue, having to stand and be handled by a stranger would set him off.
Yes, can see your point if he's so anti people.

Have you thought of trying something non invasive like a Bioflow collar too? I know a collie who was transformed by one of those; from not being able to cross the yard without limping to being able to go back to fetching up the cows for milking twice a day. As I said before about the acupuncture, she didn't know the collar was meant to help her so it must have done to have improved her so much.
 

Jingleballs

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Yes, can see your point if he's so anti people.

Have you thought of trying something non invasive like a Bioflow collar too? I know a collie who was transformed by one of those; from not being able to cross the yard without limping to being able to go back to fetching up the cows for milking twice a day. As I said before about the acupuncture, she didn't know the collar was meant to help her so it must have done to have improved her so much.
I ordered one of these the other day for him as his Christmas present (although he'll get it as soon as it arrives).

He's going to the vet on Wednesday to discuss our options :)
 

moppett

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OP you sound like a fab owner - too often stiffness and difficulty getting up stairs/out of bed is put down and accepted as a symptom of old age. Humans can take a painkiller when they are in pain but our dogs rely on us and our vets to know and treat. I know for certain, that my elderly parents couldn't go a day without a painkiller for their stiff joints!

Saying that I don't believe metacam is the best thing to give, our old lab is on onsoir (thats the brand name) and according to the vet it is a relatively new NSAID on the market and has had few side effects and good results. For the past year Molly has been made alot more comfortable - though with this weather she is still a bit hobbley and stiff - but at least not in pain!
 
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Hello everyone,

Our springer is 13, has been on metacam for 3 years, and is still going strong! No one believes he's as old as he is, he is still as mad as he was when he was younger.

I'd trust your instincts on acupuncture. Personally, something like that isn't a quick injection that will make him uncomfortable for a short time. If he's already in pain with the arthritis, it could likely put him under prolonged, unnecessary stress.

Metacam has proven results, and I'd do it all over again for the quality of life my springer now has. Kidney problems are always a worry, but he's a small/medium sized dog on it for 3 years now and showing no symptoms.

That's my own experience with it, hope it helps :)
 

Jools1234

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metacam is the ai and painkiller used as first choice for the majority of animals at the vets i work at, we have dozens and dozens of animals on it and all have bloods test 6monthly/yearly to check on liver/kidney function, lots of animals will suffer liver/kidney probs as they get older with or without metacam. for me the quality of life it gives animals especially older ones outweighs the risks, there is no point saving the liver/kidneys so the animal lives for an extra 6months if it is 6months of pain.
 

Willeeckers

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Our 16yro lab has been on metacam for a number of years on and off with no adverse side affects. I think she has now been swaped to a newer drug, can't remember what mum said it was thou :eek:

She has also had acupuncture in the past, she seemed to enjoy the sessions, would bound in and get straight on the bed and lie there quite happily falling asleep but I'm not sure it helped her joints much so we didn't continue with it after her initial course.
 

Jingleballs

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Just a wee update on this.

Pooch went to the vet yesterday and they confirmed that he was very stiff and sore in his back legs and hips.

They took bloods but also gave us 2 weeks worth of meloxidyl to tide him over until the bloods came back when we could decide if it was a long term solution.

He's had 2 doses of it now and is already much more mobile - he's very bright and keen to run about more and hasn't struggled up the stairs.

He was a little bit sick tonight but OH had just walked him and he stopped and ate something off the ground while they were out so I'm hoping it was this that caused the sickness and not the meloxidyl.

Going to keep an eye on him tomorrow and if he's sick again he'll come off this pain killer and go back to the vet but he's not off his food and seems very happy.

You don't half read some horror stories about reactions to these painkillers though but I have some faith that if these extreme side effects were common, that vet's wouldn't be so quick to prescribe these things!
 
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