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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10528
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have just posed a question dog Ayesha and paid for

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I have just posed a question for my dog Ayesha and paid for it, but the final confirmation of email won't go thru. Vikki Pitcher
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.

Vikki:
I just answered the other question you posted about Ayesha although my apologies if you're having difficulty with the site.
I'll include my response to you below; if you're able to read at least one of my responses, let me know and I'll contact the site so that you don't get charged for both questions.

Deb

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

It sounds as if Ayesha is doing pretty well all things considered although I understand you'd like to keep her as comfortable as possible.

Her shaky back leg issues after a walk or even at rest when at home may be nothing more than old age tremors which is a commonly seen problem as dogs age. I don't treat these dogs since there's not much which will be helpful for this particular problem.

Her panting could be secondary to several different things:
1. pain/discomfort (from arthritis)
2. old age changes (since older dogs don't oxygenate as well--their lungs become more fibrotic)
3. Cushing's Disease which is a condition that affects the adrenal glands. Routine bloodwork might be suggestive of this condition but usually additional testing needst to be done to confirm it.

In addition to the supplements she's taking (which, by the way, I always recommend for my clients), I do have a few additional suggestions for you.

1. I'm certain that she has some arthritis in her knees since she had bilateral cruciate injuries to them; even dogs with surgical repair of this condition are likely to develop some degenerative changes as they age.
As result, she may now benefit from medication aimed at reducing inflammation and pain associated with this problem (very similar to humans).
If she's not vomiting and isnt' currently taking any steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (nsaid) medication, then Aspirin can be given at a dose of 10 mg per pound of body weight twice a day, with food to avoid stomach upset.
Many of my patients will respond to this over the counter drug at least initially but many will eventually require stronger nsaid drugs which will have to be dispensed by your vet.
Since osteoarthritis is progressive, I'll often add Tramadol or Gabapentin which are stronger human anti-pain drugs if an nsaid alone is no longer effective.

2. Another supplement to consider would be Zeel which is a human combination homeopathic that can be used in conjunction with other NSAID medications and has a very low incidence of adverse effects Dose would be one tablet two to three times a day....I'd go with three times a day for the first 2 weeks, then drop back to twice a day for maintenance.

3. Cod liver oil is fine to give her but there may be better choices of fish oil supplements since the amount needed for dogs is much higher than humans would take. Welactin and 3V Derm Caps are two good veterinary products because they're concentrated and formulated for dogs; they may not be available at local pet/grain stores where you live but they can be purchased on the internet.

4.
Passive exercise such as swimming is excellent for dogs with arthritis/joint issues but you might also consider other alternative therapies such as laser therapy, massage therapy and even acupuncture which have been shown to be very useful for joint and spine problems.

4. Even though her mind/head may tell her she's still a youngster, obviously her body can't do what she used to be able to do; therefore, I would only exercise her for shorter periods of time (perhaps 20-30 minutes rather than 50) but with increased frequency (three times a day instead of two).
Perhaps also limit the amount of time she spends chasing a ball, too.

I hope this helps. Deb