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English Springer - stiffness, ageing

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by Flumpkin, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Flumpkin

    Flumpkin New Member Registered

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    Hi all,

    Posted a few days ago as we have a new pup, but the joy of having him had been saddened a little by our 12 yr old springer developing a limp last thurs. Not sure what he has done as he was fine the day before but he did have the same thing happen about 6 months ago, which he recovered from. He has obviously slowed down and runs for less time but was still v active. Vet says suspects arthritis and recommends X-ray. Really stressed now as made me face him aging and knowing at some point need to do what is best for him. He is still full of fun though, good appetite and wants to play. He is on pain med at min and in the last few days has started walking around with me more up and down garden. The first day or so he struggled to sit down to lie down and circled for about 5 mins. He is getting up and down better but still a definite limp but seems to be sitting more easily.

    Just wondered if any aging dog owners on here with positive stories about arthritis management. It is breaking my heart. Not sure if I am just tired from pup and over dramatic. Just love my big beautiful boy so much.

    thanks
    Love flump xx
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I use a couple of things, my dog doesn't actually have arthritis but I was looking at prevention rather than cure. He gets a supplement called Ageility which contains glucosamine and chondroitin (spelling?). There is also Yumove which @JudyN uses, and Jointsure.

    I also have a Bioflow magnet on his collar. People who use magnets either say they have been transformational, or done nothing whatsoever. But, my thinking was that it can't do any harm, so it was worth a shot.

    And, you could use golden paste. The World Famous Recipe
     
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  3. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I'm an ageing dog owner - and my dog is getting on a bit too :D

    It's very easy to focus on the decline, remembering how your dog use to be, rather than recognising that the decline is natural. Think about older people you know, though - my mum is troubled with an arthritic hip (though refuses to take painkillers unless it's reeeally bad), but though of course it's a not nice, she still has lots of zest for life and doesn't dwell on what she can't do. And Jasper doesn't seem to spend time dwelling on what he used to be able to do, either - he decides when to turn back on a walk, whether to chase a ball, and so on, and seems happy with that.

    As for treatment - he's been on anti-inflammatories for some time, and they've certainly helped with his discomfort, though don't help with the weakness in his rear end, and he still struggles at times to get up or settle down (having the build of a baby giraffe doesn't help).

    It's heartbreaking - and you know pretty much how it will end, even if you don't know when. My advice is for you to make every day as positive as it can be, relish every minute of joy you can give your lad. Let him manipulate you all he wants to get extra (healthy) treats, the best seat in the house, as many tummy rubs as he wants (if you're really lucky, he'll keep going for ages and you'll regret having created a spoilt monster but hey, he's happy!!).
     
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  4. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    I had a young BC 2yrs old who after injuring herself when working which I couldn't 'fix' with rest myself I had her xrayed and found she had been born without formed hip joints, because she swam/worked her muscles had protected and supported her joints, injuring herself meant her muscles affectiveness and reduced which was why the injury showed more .... so I knew she would get arthritus and knew if I wanted to 'save' her ( vet recommended I PTS said she would be off her legs within 6 months) I also knew I could not have her on pain meds/inflammatory med long term as she was only two and they cause organ problems, so I needed her painfree and as she lived to work I also needed to get her fit, muscles built up to protect her joints, so she could work even limited work...used meds to stablise her for a few days then tried lots of alternatives I found Bioflow who did/do collars purchased one 'hoping' it would work for her, it did. She was able to do the work she loved which kept her fit, swimming ( none weight bearing exercise) and yes I did have to have her PTS a couple of weeks before her 21st birthday but she lived, worked, walked and was painfree for all her life..... and I knew it worked as one morning when she was about 12yrs old she couldn't get up easily, it broke my heart and as I lay and loved her I realised she was not wearing her bioflow ( found it caught up on the farm gate) within an hour of putting it on her she was back to her normal self AND I bought a Bioflow braclet for myself as I injured my back several years ago, no pain I only ache if I forget to put it back on after a bath, once on there is no pain, no inflammation.
     
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  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Sorry - just seen JoanneF's post. My vet recommended giving a double dose of YuMove Senior, which I do. Jasper also has Golden Paste though I suspect it does nothing. I've also seen boswellia suggested, though don't think there's much evidence to back it up.

    We also had to try 3 different anti-inflamatories to find one that suited J's digestion.
     
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  6. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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  7. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Different things work for different dogs. Over the years I've used a Bioflow collar, Yumove, homeopathic mix of Rhus tox., Ruta graveolens and Arnica (I'm on this at the moment for a knackered knee) one of my fellow lurcher owners has seen dramatic improvement on Boswellia but I haven't used it myself (no reason, just that other stuff was working) glucosamine and chondroitin - probably others I can't remember at the moment. It's a matter of trying and finding out, but give each remedy/supplement about six weeks before you decide if it's doing something useful (unless tummy upsets of course).

    Old dogs have their pleasantnesses, so enjoy the good bits. My old lurcher and I have just been for a leisurely sniffing walk in the woods. She sniffs and reads the weemails and I enjoy the birdsong.
     
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  8. Flumpkin

    Flumpkin New Member Registered

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    Thanks everyone. I struggle with health anxiety myself and I think the mention of X-ray has jumped in my head to them doing it and saying that he will need to be PTS or that I have x months left with him. Not sure if that is what they might say?

    Although he has slowed down in the last year or so it is only in the last week that this limp has appeared. Apart from when something similar happened 6 months ago and resolved in a week. I am going to stop him coming upstairs - he does this of his own accord and trying to keep him off the settee unless we lift him up although I left the room earlier and he had jumped up. I am trying to keep him moving gently as think that is better than just sitting. In the last day or so he is getting up every time I stand up anyway. Very motivated by treats I may have for pup I think. He could do with losing a few pounds, not hugely overweight but top end of scale for his breed, and with less exercise I think I need to watch this.

    We do give him a joint supplement - Jointsure (have for last year or so). I have increased this from 1 tablet to 2 in the last few days. I hadn’t heard of the collars so will look at that, although I am usually a bit sceptical of things like this but the reviews and your experience Inka sound so positive.

    Fully agree Judy and Hemlock about how wonderful old dogs are. He is so gentle and loving and I intend to enjoy every moment with him. We have years of wonderful memories and I plan on making as many more as I can. May I ask how old your dogs are and how long you have been managing them with slowing down / arthritis/joint issues?

    Thanks again everyone for taking the time to reply. It really does help

    love flump xx
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
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  9. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    I think you have possibly noticed it more with having a pup.... soft ground walking( grass) helps rather than hard pavements, I always kept my BC slightly underweight as weight is a big factor with arthritus, brewers yeast tablets are a great they are cheaper than the 'specialist' dog conditioning tablets, great as 'treats' and contain all the vitmains. minerals and trace elements that an older dog may need as many older dogs don't retain some of these in their body or for a younger pup for strong growth, swimming is great as it is non weight bearing...
    I would suspect your older dog has played with the pup with it possibly bumping and mouthing your springer or he has jumped up too quickly, pushed itself a little more than normal.... don't worry and get anxious there are many things you can do to help your springer be painfree and live out its normal life, ttouch or gentle massage is also a great thing to do for both of them, it encourages blood to limbs and that encourages healing, it also helps you and both dogs as you can check everywhere on the dogs and gets the pup used to standing/layin still ( for a little time) and being 'examined' without anything 'nasty' happening...so makes nail clipping or ear cleaning very easy
    I automatically put a bioflow on any dogs i have once they hit their 8th birthday....and I agree with you I didn't beleive it either but it works and I am not someone who likes to take medication myself or for my pets...as there can be too many negative side affects.
     
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  10. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Jasper is 11.5, which isn't old, but he has deerhound in him and is larger than a greyhound - I'm not sure how the combination of large breed and mixed breed affects longevity. I think his primary issue is muscle loss/weakness in his hind end, which then affects how his whole body moves - the first signs we saw were occasional stumbling on a back leg, which must have been around a year ago.

    Do question what you stand to gain by having an X ray - if it's arthritis, or if it's something more sinister, you may only be treating symptomatically anyway so you have little to gain by knowing the underlying cause. Of course, if your vet thinks there migh be something that would benefit from a more specific treatment rather than just the standard NSAIDs/painkillers, the X ray would be worth it. But my vet has advised not getting Jasper X rayed because there is little to gain, and he doesn't tolerate sedatives well.
     
  11. Flumpkin

    Flumpkin New Member Registered

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    Sounds like you are managing his condition well. That is a really good point. I am worried about putting under an anaesthetic for the X-ray due to risks and how icky it will make him feel. I also (probably selfishly) don’t want to know any indication of time left. I want to just treat whatever he has though and do the best for him. I am going to see how he is by the end of the week and then go back and will ask as you suggest. Thanks xx
     
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  12. Flumpkin

    Flumpkin New Member Registered

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    Thanks Inka that all makes sense too. I am pleased to say that although he is still a little stiff in that leg when walking he is getting up and down much more easily again now and has been trotting happily around the garden. I reduced his pain killer over the weekend and stopped it today and he seems fine. As is he is at the min I would not think of taking him to the vet, as apart from a slight stiffness in that leg when you look closely and compare to the other nothing looks wrong at all. I think I will monitor and work on getting his weight down (no titbits) and keeping him moving gently in grass. Massage is a good idea too. Fingers crossed he stays as happy as he is at the minute. Will keep using the jointsure double dose and look into the bio collar xx
     
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  13. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Re: the weight control - I'd say keep on with the treats and titbits but give much MUCH smaller ones, and give less food for his meals. Treats can make a dog feel so good, and suddenly stopping them when he is used to them will confuse him. Might be useful to check what you give too, because some are much more fattening than others.
     
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  14. Flumpkin

    Flumpkin New Member Registered

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    Very good point. At the min his treats are puppy kibble as using that training pup and he wants to join in! We do have some separate sessions too. He does have odd bits of sausage, cheese etc from us too. Although just started giving him some carrot. I have never fed healthy treats (only just really become aware, I think he can have blueberries too, any other good suggestions? I worry about giving him the wrong thing).

    He has 2 wet trays of food at the moment. Not sure what calories/nutrition is like. Is replacing one meal with some cooked chicken maybe likely to be lower? Or should I just split one into 2 half meals? Any advice welcome! Thanks flump x
     
  15. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    What brand and size are the trays? I'm not sure I'd replace a whole meal with chicken, it wouldn't be very well balanced.

    I make liver cake which you can cut into pea sized pieces for treats, because the flavour rather than the quantity is what makes it appealing.

    A pack of liver (supermarket packs are usually about 500 grams)
    About 250 grams of flour - I use gluten free as some dogs are gluten intolerant
    1 egg
    A slosh of olive oil or salmon oil for a glossy coat (optional)

    Cut the liver into pieces and use a hand blender to blitz it with the egg until it's a sloppy mess. Stir in the oil if using and the flour. It still should be a sloppy mess.

    Turn into a parchment lined baking tray measuring about 6"x9". It shold be about an inch deep.

    Bake at 170 degrees for about 15 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

    When it's cold, cut into kit kat finger sized pieces - half them again for a smaller dog - and freeze them in a freezer bag. They freeze in separate pieces so you can take out one at a time and break into smaller pieces for training.

    Dogs love it, it has no sugar, salt or other nasties and lasts for weeks. It also is cheap to make - a recent survey showed some dog treats to be more epensive, ounce for ounce, than fillet steak.
     
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  16. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'd say cut the tray meals down to one and a half and make up the shortfall with green vegetables. Your dog might be happy to eat these raw, or might prefer them lightly cooked. Raw is slightly better, but if he prefers lightly cooked, it's fine. Please note that microwaved veg taste different from simmered veg - I can't stand microwaved veg and I'm not a fussy eater. I used to shred raw veg in the food processor for my dogs, but the current one prefers them raw and sliced.
     
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  17. Flumpkin

    Flumpkin New Member Registered

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    Thank you. He has wainwright’s which is from pets at home. I have tried him with celery, carrot and blueberries as treats this week (only small quantities) but these have gone down very well. I don’t like a lot of shop treats or rather they don’t like him - cause terrible smelly flatulence, so I limit those and tend to give bits of puppy kibble at mo X
     
  18. Flumpkin

    Flumpkin New Member Registered

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    Wil try this and put the open tray in fridge for next meal. I am using some fruit/veg as treats - carrot, celery and blueberry so far. Presume I could give him a small quantity of broccoli or peas with the tray? What other green veg is safe for them and what kind of quantity? Thanks x
     
  19. Inka

    Inka Active Member Registered

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    Thought this might be interesting for you https://www.stemcellvet.co.uk/feeding-arthritic-dog-inflammatory-anti-inflammatory-foods/

    My own dogs 'help themselves' to strawberries, raspberries and blackberries growing in the garden and love blackberry picking in the hedgerows in autumn. I have a pot of wild strawberries( which fruit for a longer time than cultivated ones) next to the door and they stop each morning when let outside and sniff out if any have ripened, I can't eat a banana pear or apple without them wanting some ( no pips as they contain contain amygdalin, an organic cyanide)
     
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  20. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    True, but the amount in an apple is tiny - a 10 kilo dog would have to eat over 100 apples.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
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