Denna's got a limp...

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by DennasMom, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Back in November, Denna and I went on a long hike with a group in the woods... nothing really strenuous, lots of slow walking - but some good hills. She ended the hike going really slow down the hills, and limped a bit for a few days, but then it went away, as long as we didn't over-do a walk (i.e. more than 2.5 miles at a time on flats).

    She made one attempt to keep up with my sister's boarder collie over Christmas, but I put a pretty quick stop to it - and nothing seemed to be any worse for wear. But... she still would limp after a long nap or first thing in the morning for a bit... never enough NOT to go for a walk, though, of course.

    Post-holidays, we worked on getting her rested up, in case it was a CCL injury... but if we rested too many days in a row without a walk, it got worse. So.... lots of short walks seemed to work best, but the limp never went away. It's in her left-hind leg.

    So, today, we talked to the vet and got some x-rays (took 3 of us to lift her up to the table, but she held still for the pictures, like a good girl!). Vet says it feels like a small CCL tear, leading to the start of arthritis in the left knee (low-levels of arthritis verified by x-ray).

    We're going to put her on a week of meloxicam and then re-evaluate the long-term plan. If we can get her to use the leg fully (with lots of short, low-intensity walks) to build muscle tone and keep the knee stable, we'll lower the NSAID to the minimum maintenance dose (or see if we can go without). If it doesn't help, TPLO surgery is on the table.

    I asked about a knee brace. The vet said in her experience, customized ones can cost as much as surgery, with much lower rates of success (she had not personally seen a brace do any good).

    Any suggestions/concerns with meloxicam? I was planning on giving it to her with breakfast.

    Her current supplements (also given with breakfast) include turmeric, coconut oil, GLM and a probiotics/ enzyme blend.

    I think I'll cook up the turmeric and coconut oil with some pepper, bone broth (instead of water) and cinnamon into golden paste - how much should I give her a day as a "therapeutic" amount? I've been giving her 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric powder a day without any GI issues.

    Oh... and her weight was UP 10lbs since her last visit! I guess all this extra rest has not been good for her waistline. Oops. So, we'll be working on that, too.

    I'm thinking about taking her in for some water therapy - there are a number of groups here with therapy pools for dogs.

    Any other recommendations??

    The picture is back on Monday... the snow is all gone now... 50F and 2" of rain does a number on snow!

  2. scorning

    scorning Active Member

    Sorry to hear that she is limping. I might consider seeing a holistic vet or a rehab vet to see if they have any non-surgical recommendations. I did a lot of acupuncture and herbs with my arthritis dog and it helped a lot, I didn't need to have her on any prescription meds. I also used acupuncture for a dog that had continued inflammation issues after Wobblers surgery, and that was enough to keep him of steroids.

    I have used the following places:
    Dr. Rewers from Ancient Arts Vet in Seattle - used for acupuncture and herbs -
    Sunset Vet - helped with rehab on Dane after Wobblers surgery, had exercises to practice at home and underwater treadmill -
    Animal Wellness Center in Bellevue - used for vet provided swim therapy, both underwater treadmill and pool -

    I liked the places above because they are all supervised by a veterinarian, as opposed to most swim places, so my pet insurance covered all of them.
  3. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the great local options!!
  4. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    Definitely cutting down on the weight will help immensely. She can lose 20 lbs. Just feed less. When Hector was injured and 136 lbs. I cut his food to 1 cup a day since he was eating 2. I also put him on weight management food for a month. Basically I kept the walks to a minimum and sometimes go without walking for days. Even now I just make it a habit not to walk everyday and it's not on purpose - life is busy, but it also works out great for his sake. We'll do indoor activities, go for rides, visit pet stores, etc. I used to give all these joint supplements and honestly I don't know if it helped or not. Turmeric paste, tried that , but eventually at 1/2 teaspoon, he started to have upset stomach. I think it might have been the coconut oil that makes upset because I did experiment with just coconut oil recently and it did cause him upset stomach and in the recipe it calls for a pretty large amount.

    Nowadays he gets 2-3 cups of food and maintains his weight at 105 lbs and 3 glycoflex chews a day and a scoop of probiotics and 3x a week spirulina powder for extra nutrients.

    She will get better, but either way the recovery period is going to be long and tiresome but worth it!
  5. scorning

    scorning Active Member

    Yes, between my arthritic dog and my Wobbler I've tried most of everything. Laser therapy didn't seem to do anything for my Wobbler, but it might be worth a try. I haven't tried the assissi loop but I heard that it worked well for some dogs in our Wobblers group.

    We also did a variety of joint supplements, MSM, adequan shots, gabapentin and tramadol for pain.

    I also gave my Wobbler tendon soup, its pretty similar to bone broth I think. We had a recipe that was shared frequently among our Wobbler group, here it is:

    Tendon Soup Recipe

    This recipe makes a rich soup that nourishes the sinews, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Tendon soup is an excellent natural support or treatment of ACL tears, Achilles tendon rupture, cartilage damage, arthritis, etc.

    Basic Tendon Soup Recipe:

    1. Use 2 to 4 lbs of beef, goat, lamb, or pork feet.

    2. Add root vegetables (turnip, parsnips, or rutabaga) to the pot.

    3. Cover the feet and root vegetables with water, bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer.

    4. Add about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.

    5. Simmer 6 to 8 hours. (A crock pot or pressure cooker may also be used).

    6. Cool, remove bones, skin, and fat and discard. DO NOT FEED COOKED BONES. Chop tendons and meat, and return to the soup pot. Add spices below (three or four) and simmer for about 2 more hours.

    7. Allow the soup to cool, and then let gel in the refrigerator. The gel is nutrient rich and full of glucosamine/chondroitin.

    8. Feed the gel as a top dressing on the food or as a small meal.


    Small dogs and cats

    ¾ tablespoon

    20 grams

    Medium dogs

    1 to 2 tablespoons

    30-60 grams

    Large dogs

    3 to 4 tabelspoons

    90 to 120 grams

    At the end of cooking one may add: Spinach, kale, chard, greens, green beans, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, or pumpkin (all are cooked with no sodium).

    Spices to consider (as needed for specific conditions) are: Tumeric, cooked garlic, coriander, fennel seeds, chili powder, cardamom, cumin, ginger, or parsley. (A pinch is the measurement used.)

    I use beef tendons instead of feet because it reduces the cook time. Beef tendons can be found ordered at butchers, slaughter houses, and at many Asian grocery markets.

    I cook mine in a pressure cooker and it cuts the time down drastically. I normally use turnips as the root veggie (1.5-2 for every 2.5-3 pounds of tendons), and 3 of the listed herbs. I put the tendons, cut up turnip, and herbs in the pressure cooker. I then fill it with water until the water is just barely covering the tendons. I cook at 15 psi for an hour. I then do a natural release, take the tendons out, and cut them up in to small pieces. I return the tendons to the pressure cooker, mix everything up, and cook again at 15 psi for 30-45 min. Do another natural release, and then transfer the contents to a BIG tuperware container.
  6. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    DennasMom, so sorry to hear about the limp and's a hard road to go down. My grand-puppy blew out both legs, though at different times. But I was surprised each time that she came back fast from surgery. The Meloxicam was of great help, and didn't bother her stomach, and she took it without too much fuss. The problem is the continuing arthritis, and, my daughter who still suffers from a devastating car accident, has to fight for control of her extra large heating pad. A midnight trip to the bathroom can leave her position taken in the bed. And it's hard to kick a heat-seeking Rotti off the pad...she can be bitchy.
    I don't know what your financial circumstances are like, but Bridget was able to get help from the Farley Foundation for the second surgery. Her insurance company wouldn't cover the operation as it was a pre-existing condition. I helped pay for the first one. I don't know if the Farley Foundation is just in Canada or in USA, too.
    Best of wishes to you and yours.
  7. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Thanks Hector - I've noticed when we don't take a walk that Denna's knee gets stiff, so we've actually be trying to get out MORE often... just going for shorter, slower walks overall. The vet agreed with that approach - and absolutely NO playing ball! I need to go put her jolly balls up for a while. she won't like that. :p

    Thanks scorning for the soup recipe - I'll have to give that a go. I just made up a big batch of bone broth, but us humans consume a lot of that, too. :) I have an "Instant Pot" electric pressure cooker, which is fun to use... I normally do my broths in the crock pot, though. I think it does a better job with cooking the bones down to pulp - I leave it in the garage and let it cook for a few days.

    Thanks Bailey's Mom - good to hear surgery recovery stories! I think we're going to try and avoid surgery. So far, the limp isn't a quality of life issue, but who knows when that might change. I'm glad we know what it is now, so we can deal with it properly. We do have insurance (VPI, now a Nationwide product). It's not pre-existing (she's been on the plan since day 1) or genetic, so it should be covered at a higher level. Based on what I see in our plan, I'd expect insurance to cover 85+%, with an expected cost around $5k, so pretty good if we need to go that route.
  8. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    Glad to know that you are covered for the takes the pressure off. I hope and pray that your girl heals without the need for surgery.:)
  9. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    I don't have any advice, I just wanted to wish you the best of luck.
  10. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Thanks BoxerGirl! At this point, it's kinda a wait & see game... get the meloxicam in the system, see if that helps (first dose didn't... we went for a walk a few hours later, which started off good, but ended the same as earlier this week). Vet said to keep up with the walking - good lubrication... I just need to shorten the duration even more than I did today. Denna will get a 'rest' day tomorrow - home alone most of the day while DH and I go to an RV show. :)
  11. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    I've been told meloxicam takes awhile to work , I apparently don't have the patience , I think rimadyl is a much better drug .......
  12. Rugers-Kris

    Rugers-Kris Active Member

    I am sorry to hear this! I have been gone awhile but I wanted to comment and tell you that Denna is absolutely beautiful. She sure has grown up! :) I don't have anything to offer in the way of limp and arthritis but I sure hope she heals fast.
  13. scorning

    scorning Active Member

  14. Elana P

    Elana P Active Member

    Sorry to hear about Denna sore leg, poor baby.
    I hope she'll feel better soon .
  15. Elana P

    Elana P Active Member

    Thank you for the recipe, I'll have to give it a try.

    I have an almost twelve and a half year old pup, who is very arthritic, and I'm willing to try anything if it will offer relief.
  16. Elana P

    Elana P Active Member

    I have used both Metacam and Rimadyl, for pain relief and as anti- inflammatories.
    I find that both work in a similar manner more or less, although I've found that Metacam tends to get my older pup quite peppy (not quite sure why).

    Sadly both medications can cause kidney and liver damage if used over the long term, so I use them sparingly.
  17. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Yesterday (Day 3 on meloxicam) we went for a very short, 15min walk... with no visible limp that I could tell... so much better. And we quit before I wore her out. HA. She's been more active in the yard - which I'm trying not to let her do much of - so I think the meloxicam is now working. She's only getting a 7.5 mg dose once a day (half a human tablet).

    I've been doing a more structured massage, with pressure points (based on this video: ). Denna looks at me funny, but I'm hoping it sends some healing fluids and energy into the CCL and knee joint.
    MastiffMillie likes this.
  18. Elana P

    Elana P Active Member

    I just love the way that dog in the video just lays there.

    I do massage Danny's back and shoulders, head, and ears, but when I tried the video massage (pressure point thingie) he looked at me as if I were crazy, jumped up and walked away, shaking his head o_O.

    I hope it helps Denna.
  19. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Yeah, his dog is special.. I saw he just passed away a few weeks ago. :(

    Funny your dog didn't appreciate the massage! HA! Us crazy humans... Denna at least humors me - so far, anyway. LOL!
  20. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    How is Denna?

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