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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18773
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience
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My lab/collie cross is 12 years old. She has arthritis

Resolved Question:

Hi,
My lab/collie cross is 12 years old. She has arthritis in her back legs and is on loxicom. She was on 10ml once a day but the vet changed this to 20ml every other day.
She is perfect weight, and we walk her 5 days a week off the lead on trails for 45mins to 1 hour. One day we give her a rest day and another day we walk her on the lead. Once a month I will take her on a 2-3 hours hillwalk and rest her for two days after.
Her arthritis seems to be getting worse, ie, struggling to get up sometimes and hearing her bones creaking, the vet said if she was a human she would be heading for knee replacements. What I didn't ask when at the vets, was are we walking her too much? She absolutely loves being walked and is very fit and active. I plan to take her to the vet when her next loxicom runs out, probably in about three months, but until then I want to know we aren't over doing it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** and I've been a veterinarian for 15 years. Thank you for your question about Jen. I'm sorry to hear about her progression of her arthritis. I'm going to be very honest and say that unfortunately that is what happens with arthritis. Degenerative arthritis is a progressive situation that is managed and not reversed / cured. I and every other veterinarian wish it was something that could be cured. Those dogs with it are managed for it with oral medications, physical exercise, acupuncture, and some feel that laser therapy can also have noted benefits too. Here is a great link on the management of arthritis with the oral medications. http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=587 You question about are you walking her too much - that is a great question. Honestly, these dogs in her situation need physical activity to help their overall body health. They greatly benefit from controlled exercise that helps them to maintain muscle mass and to stay lean and in the ideal body condition. Exercise also promotes good mental health and cardiovascular health too. It is best to have controlled low impact exercise rather than extreme short bursts of hard activity that is harder on the joints. Keeping their weight in check with exercise helps to keep them from getting more weight on their frame which puts more stress and wear on the joints. If you noticed that the day after the 2-3 hour walk is the hardest on her, maybe this should be cut back. Basically she shouldn't be overdone on her activity, but I'm all for keeping her active like you are so she enjoys life!
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