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Dudley is just around the corner from his 13 birthday and the vet is very happy with his condition, even says his teeth are better than our Humphrey,6 years old. When we went for his boosters the vet did mention that we may soon have to look at giving him a "little something" to help him along. I am not a great one for adding "a little something" to anyone, human, dogs or otherwise but a few months later we did notice that he was not jumping in to the car as well as he used to and now we give him a boost. He has lost a bit of muscle tone at the top of his back legs and does tend to screw one of them a little but runs like the wind....ok breeze.....when he is in the fields.

The vet mentioned a steroid of some description but to me that is a last resort. Has anyone any ideas as to what we could give him just as an aid. He is not in any pain as far as we can asses. I do know he is getting, like me, older by the minute but hey like me he still thinks he is about 5 (35 for me).  If steroids are the answer then we will happily go down that route but I would prefer a better alternative. I do hope I have not waffled too much and thanks in advance. Phil

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I don't like using steroids and if he is a little arthritic try Glucosomine Sulphate.I give Fred 1000mg a day and it has helped his stiffish joints.I buy mine from a health food shop which is a lot cheaper than the vet's prices.

Phil, I would like to share with you our experience. At the age of 12 our MC was suffering from arthritis mainly at hips level and like Dudley he couldn't jump into the car, but could run like the breeze too once warmed up. At that time, we also discovered that MC had a small heart murmur. Supervised by the vet, we opted for natural treatment first. For two years we went to hydrotherapy to reverse the lost of muscle tone and decrease the progression of the arthritis. MC was swimming in warm water, then bubble bath (spa) with massage that he adored. Although MC loved to swim, one day he decided by himself - no more swimming in cold water. In parallel, with the ok from the vet, MC and I have shared a natural arthritis treatment glucosamine with condroitine. This greatly helped MC, and I used to park the car in a way that reduce by half the hight he has to jump.  However, his last year I started the cure of Glucosamine too late (end of September and August would have been more appropriated with the weather condition). To reduce the pain, the vet decided to give him a medicament, Previcox. No doubt that it works well for some dogs but it was a total disaster for MC. One of Previcox side effects is anxiety. After 3 months of Previcox, MC had horrible anxiety crisis and it had seriously damaged his heart, we lost him 3 months later. It is only my opinion Phil, but I think we should try everything possible with natural methods, and depending the case of Dudley, I would speak to the vet and see if the hydrotherapy and natural medicine could be considered. You said that Dudley could run like the breeze, so it seems to me that there is some good hopes. There will come a time when medicaments would be the only option to prevent them suffering, but no drug is benign, so the later the better.

I used Flexicose to treat a couple of my girls who had stiff joints and mobility issues and I also saw very good results.

Glucosamine is graded, the higher the grade the better the quality.  Many companies use the low grade to keep the costs down which is great for them but a waste of money to the consumer as the lower grade product has been proven to have less effect.

Peter ( 13 and 4 months) started limping 2 years ago. I took him for hydrotherapy sessions( see photos on my page) and put him on glucosamine for dogs. He stopped limping very soon after and is now at his age still cantering round the woods every day. I would not use any steroids.

Flexicose web site states:

Flexicose combines high-quality liquid glucosamine with a unique blend of 14 synergistic ingredients that is quite simply not found in any other product on the market today.

 

I am not quite sure what a synergistic ingredient is!

Likewise Howard, Synergistic ingredients, in some cases seem to come from; Green tea extract, Wild blueberry, Blueberry extract, Vitamin D and many many other things. They seem to be very good anti-oxidants, help with free radicals, help with the growth of stem cells and also help with cholesterol.

By the time I had finished reading the reports, I decided I could build a bionic dog.

I think my answer is going to be....Starting at 600mls per day glucosamine, plenty of splashing around in the sea or river (warm hydrotherapy as we go along) and the loan of a collapsible ramp from a friend as he gets older.

With all the chats I have had over the past few days, Glucosamine does seem to be well regarded.

Just to finish the day, this afternoon he was running around like a nut case and jumped into the back of the car like a pup (well close) He knew I was taking about him and decided to show how good an actor he could be to gain a little sympathy and a few treats. Don't you just love Setters :-)

What about Lintbells - Yumove! Have a look at the link, it may help too. It says it gives a new lease of life to older dogs.

 

www.lintbells.com

Hi Phil, my elder gent made it to a little over 14 years before I had to make that decision. Arthritis was the main problem we had to deal with for roughly the last five years of his life (the price of a very happy & active youth). He had daily doses of glucosomine, joint aid chewies etc. and went on a 100% natural aid recommended by my vet called 'Sasha's Blend' rich in marine concentrates containing glycosaminoglycans. He did do very well on these for a while but eventually we had to turn to 'stronger stuff' as his conditioned worsened...he then went on regular courses of cartrofen injections and they did help him alot. It wasn't an ideal solution, but it did give him relief until sadly even those became redundant. The car ramp also helped alot to avoid jolts on his old joints :)

I hope you can find someting to help your lovely Dudley continue enjoying life :)

Hi Michelle, OHH he does enjoy life , it's his owner that doesn't want to see the changes. Think I'll take the Glucosimine as well, then a least I might stand a chance of keeping up with HIM.

 

Hi Phil ! I know exactly what you mean :) my own knees could benefit from a daily dose of it. Forgot to mention Con was also on Metacam every day & it did him a lot of good until his condition got too bad. Glad to hear Dudley remains young at heart :)

My irish girl, Eja, is turning 13 in august 2012. She is fit and OK, but has the same small "problems" as Dudley. We asked our vet, he is a legend here in Denmark, what we could do to improve her condition. His advice: " No medication, give her a spoon of cod liver oil three times a week and a little bit  of good strong beer (not more than a tea cup) from time to time...". And it is pure magic! She is behaving as if she is only 5 years old... By the way, the oldest male irish setter i ever met was 18 years old!

Kind regards from Peter in Denmark

I might try that for myself Peter!!!

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