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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My doberman, Greta, is going to the vet tomorrow for some x-rays. While she is there I've decided I want them to take some blood and check her liver function and kidneys. I will try to get a urine sample to take, but not sure how that's going to work.

She will be 9 years old on October 24 and I want to see how she's doing and also get some baseline measurements. Any advice on what things I should have them check? My vet is pretty good, but I thought I'd ask you doberman people what you think.

The reason she is getting x-rays is that there is something wrong, apparently with her front left shoulder. It is mainly apparent when she sits, she turns her elbow out away from her body. And sometimes she wants to avoid sitting, so there must be some discomfort. She still runs like the wind, though and plays and jumps around.

Anyway, the vet put her on a light dosage of Rimadyl for 10 days to see if there was any affect on the condition. There was. She did not turn her leg out as much, did not avoid sitting, and got very, very active, running like I haven't seen her run in a while. When the rimadyl was gone, her condition reverted back somewhat, although it's never gotten as bad as it was at the start, when she wouldn't sit at all for a few days. So the vet says that he now wants to take a look via some x-rays. The fact that the rimadyl improved the condition "tells him something." He didn't want to just take x -rays before, but now he will.

Any thoughts or comments on any of this will be appreciated. There is the possibility of putting her on Rimadyl for long-term. I would really like to avoid that, but if it makes her feel better... The vet will prescribe a generic, not that expensive, but the same thing as Rimadyl. I didn't realize Rimadyl was actually a people drug, the same thing as Celebrex. So, in other words, he will prescribe the generic of Celebrex and save me a lot of money, if we go that route. He says we'll need to check her liver and kidney function twice a year if she's on that drug long-term.

Sorry, I know this is kind of a long, rambling post. I love this dog so much, I want to do the very best for her.

So to summarize, my questions are: what is involved in a good geriatric check-up? And, any thoughts on long-term use of Rimadyl? Any experience with a dog holding their leg out to the side when sitting?
 

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I get what's called a senior panel done-this is a CBC and a super chem panel. This check liver, kidneys, as well as white blood cells, etc.

I never bother to take urine samples to the vet, although checking urine is a part of a super chem panel. It's better for them to use a clean, sterile catch anyway, so I make sure the dog doesn't urinate prior to taking them in, and let them collect urine there.

Celebrex IS NOT the same thing as Rimadyl, they're two different drugs. I believe Celebrex is sulfa based, and that's a category of drug which historically has a high rate of side effects in this breed. No sulfa for a doberman!!!

In terms of Rimadyl,there are many dogs pain free and alive today who might be dead if it weren't for the fact they're given Rimadly. You need to make sure the dog has no pre existing liver problems prior to giving it, and check liver function periodically, also keep a close eye out for gastrointsinal side effects but truly..the number of cases with side effects are miniscule when compared to the number of dogs taking it.

There are also other drugs which can take the place of either rimadyl or celebrex-metacam is one that I believe is used successfully.
 

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I do the senior blood panel and UA for older dogs. I just put my 9 yr old Vizsla on Metacam (similar to Rimadyl) because she was diagnosed with slight arthritis, but enough to cause 4 limping episodes in 6 months. I have her on a very low dose right now which is one big reason my vet prefers Metacam. It's liquid and very easy to change dose. She's 37-39 lbs and I'm giving her the dose for a 13 lb dog. If she needs more, I'll up it back up to what she needs to be out of pain.

Edited to add -Metacam is more expensive than the other NSAIDs though. I have pet insurance and it helps quite a bit :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I get what's called a senior panel done-this is a CBC and a super chem panel. This check liver, kidneys, as well as white blood cells, etc.

I never bother to take urine samples to the vet, although checking urine is a part of a super chem panel. It's better for them to use a clean, sterile catch anyway, so I make sure the dog doesn't urinate prior to taking them in, and let them collect urine there.

Celebrex IS NOT the same thing as Rimadyl, they're two different drugs. I believe Celebrex is sulfa based, and that's a category of drug which historically has a high rate of side effects in this breed. No sulfa for a doberman!!!

In terms of Rimadyl,there are many dogs pain free and alive today who might be dead if it weren't for the fact they're given Rimadly. You need to make sure the dog has no pre existing liver problems prior to giving it, and check liver function periodically, also keep a close eye out for gastrointsinal side effects but truly..the number of cases with side effects are miniscule when compared to the number of dogs taking it.

There are also other drugs which can take the place of either rimadyl or celebrex-metacam is one that I believe is used successfully.
Metacam!!! That's the one my vet spoke of. So Metacam isn't sulfa-based? Because I want only the best for this dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hehe, I actually got the urine sample. It was a lot easier than I thought. : ) Just followed her around the yard with a shallow Glad container, and when she squatted I put it under her. She peed right in it. LOL

They said it would be all right to refrigerate it, but I think I'll try for a fresher sample in the morning before we take her in.

Thanks for everyone's comments, I am making note of all.
 

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Metacam!!! That's the one my vet spoke of. So Metacam isn't sulfa-based? Because I want only the best for this dog.
No, I don't believe it is.

Metacam is pretty widely used. However, when you give a dog ANY NSAID (this is the category of drug all of the ones we've been speaking about are in) you always should keep an eye out for bloody diarrhea or any other kind of gastrointestinal problem. If they're going to have this kind of problem, you'll usually see it pretty quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pet insurance! I have 11 animals, the premiums would put me in the poor house! I have five dogs (2 dobies, 2 minpins, 1 sharpei) and six cats.

The two dobies and two of the cats are "on purpose," purchased when they were puppies/kittens. The rest are all rescues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, I don't believe it is.

Metacam is pretty widely used. However, when you give a dog ANY NSAID (this is the category of drug all of the ones we've been speaking about are in) you always should keep an eye out for bloody diarrhea or any other kind of gastrointestinal problem. If they're going to have this kind of problem, you'll usually see it pretty quickly.
Well, she has taken Rimadyl in the past and never had any problems with it.

But I will watch her like a hawk. I pick up their poop in the yard every day and I know which poop belongs to which dog. So if there is a problem, I'll know it. Thanks for alerting me to this.
 

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My doberman, Greta, is going to the vet tomorrow for some x-rays. While she is there I've decided I want them to take some blood and check her liver function and kidneys. I will try to get a urine sample to take, but not sure how that's going to work.

She will be 9 years old on October 24 and I want to see how she's doing and also get some baseline measurements. Any advice on what things I should have them check? My vet is pretty good, but I thought I'd ask you doberman people what you think.

The reason she is getting x-rays is that there is something wrong, apparently with her front left shoulder. It is mainly apparent when she sits, she turns her elbow out away from her body. And sometimes she wants to avoid sitting, so there must be some discomfort. She still runs like the wind, though and plays and jumps around.

Anyway, the vet put her on a light dosage of Rimadyl for 10 days to see if there was any affect on the condition. There was. She did not turn her leg out as much, did not avoid sitting, and got very, very active, running like I haven't seen her run in a while. When the rimadyl was gone, her condition reverted back somewhat, although it's never gotten as bad as it was at the start, when she wouldn't sit at all for a few days. So the vet says that he now wants to take a look via some x-rays. The fact that the rimadyl improved the condition "tells him something." He didn't want to just take x -rays before, but now he will.

Any thoughts or comments on any of this will be appreciated. There is the possibility of putting her on Rimadyl for long-term. I would really like to avoid that, but if it makes her feel better... The vet will prescribe a generic, not that expensive, but the same thing as Rimadyl. I didn't realize Rimadyl was actually a people drug, the same thing as Celebrex. So, in other words, he will prescribe the generic of Celebrex and save me a lot of money, if we go that route. He says we'll need to check her liver and kidney function twice a year if she's on that drug long-term.

Sorry, I know this is kind of a long, rambling post. I love this dog so much, I want to do the very best for her.

So to summarize, my questions are: what is involved in a good geriatric check-up? And, any thoughts on long-term use of Rimadyl? Any experience with a dog holding their leg out to the side when sitting?
I've tried Chondropaw on my 9 yearl old dog, with amazing results in a very short time! I didn't want to give my dog any drugs, fortunately i didn't have to!. This product is natural, it won't hurt his liver, but most importantly, it works!. Another plus is that you give it to your dog only once a week, and not very expensive. Give it a try, research them online. Dog Hip Dysplasia, Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain Treatment and Natural Solution: Chondropaw.com
 

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Pet insurance! I have 11 animals, the premiums would put me in the poor house! I have five dogs (2 dobies, 2 minpins, 1 sharpei) and six cats.

The two dobies and two of the cats are "on purpose," purchased when they were puppies/kittens. The rest are all rescues.
I only have my 3 dogs on insurance and it's $110 a month. I have saved way more than I've spent, but that's not the case with everyone. And we've only had it about 3 years now.
 

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I also do a "senior panel" for my older dog (well, actually for both, even though Shanoa's not a senior).
 

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mine is 13
he is on Tramadol and glucosimine/chondroitim supplement
the glucosimine is a wonder pill...he got to where he could not
walk...Tramadol is for pain
point being I think with older dogs arthritis is an issue but easy to treat
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We use Meloxicam (mobic). It's another NSAID, but have had better results than with rimadyl.
Guess what, my vet prescribed Meloxicam! I will pick up the prescription tonight.

The x-rays showed evidence of arthritis in her ELBOW, not her shoulder. So that is what is causing her to hold her elbow out from her body when she sits. There is no sign of cancer in the long bones of her leg, so that is good. Apparently he had that in the back of his mind and was watching for it. She has an enlarged lymph node in one of her back legs...it's been like that a while, though and is not getting any bigger.

I expressed concern about putting her on a NSAID sooner than is necessary, as I am worried about that causing some damage, such as liver/kidney damage. He said we will try her on this for a couple of months, let some of that inflammation in her joint go down, then take her off it for a while, see how she does.

I always knew I would put her on something like this if she needed it, just hoped it wouldn't be for a couple years yet. But she will be 9 years old on October 24, I guess that's getting a little senior.

I want her to live forever, you know? : (
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
mine is 13
he is on Tramadol and glucosimine/chondroitim supplement
the glucosimine is a wonder pill...he got to where he could not
walk...Tramadol is for pain
point being I think with older dogs arthritis is an issue but easy to treat
Yes, I have Greta on glucosamine/chondroitin also. She started getting creaky a couple of years ago, I put her on this and it made a big difference. I was hoping it would prevent something like is going on with her elbow, but apparently now. : (
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've tried Chondropaw on my 9 yearl old dog, with amazing results in a very short time! I didn't want to give my dog any drugs, fortunately i didn't have to!. This product is natural, it won't hurt his liver, but most importantly, it works!. Another plus is that you give it to your dog only once a week, and not very expensive. Give it a try, research them online. Dog Hip Dysplasia, Dog Arthritis and Joint Pain Treatment and Natural Solution: Chondropaw.com
I will look into that, but you know I already have her on Glucosamine/Chondroitin. How long have you had your dog on this product? I ask becaues the Glucosamine/Chondroitin made a big difference in Greta in the last two years, but now she has developed this problem with her elbow. In other words, I'm not sure this Chondropaw will actually stave off arthritis-type problems forever, just like the Chondroitin product I'm using was not able to, even though it made a big difference at first.

But I definitely plan to do more research and appreciate this tip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I only have my 3 dogs on insurance and it's $110 a month. I have saved way more than I've spent, but that's not the case with everyone. And we've only had it about 3 years now.
So for my 11 animals that would be about $400! $4800 per year! And they've all been pretty healthy over the years, that would be alot of money spent that wasn't used.

When I only had two cats I had them on insurance. But they were very young and incredibly healthy and it was obvious to me at that time that I would be better off just starting a savings account for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Her urine was good, by the way, no problems were indicated there. We will have results of the blood work tomorrow.

I love this forum! You guys are a big help. :)
 
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