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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20548
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Irish Wolfhound with both back leg excuserated ligaments damaged.

Resolved Question:

Irish Wolfhound with both back leg excuserated ligaments damaged. Top of thigh bone broken as a puppy, tolded by vet to wait until he was 3 years old before doing anything. Been told now after tests and exrays that our vet and specialist vets that our dog should not be standing, let alone running, as his leg is so badly damaged. It is mal formed and the knee is about 180 degrees in the wrong place, also his muscles have thrombosis. He is on 60 Metacam and we have been told, because he had another accident with the other leg, as he felt so good on the medication, to give him tramadol, up to 300 x 3 a day, for long term. Is this a good idea?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Poor Ghost!

He sounds to have truly been bombarded with hind leg issues. In this case, it is a bit of a Catch-22. I can see why his vet is keen to discontinue the Metacam if Ghost has injured himself because he didn't feel sore for once. Still, one would be better to make sure he is limited in his exercise and supervise that he doesn't injure himself then decide to not allow him to feel like a normal and comfortable dog.

So, while Tramadol is fine to use (on its own or with Metacam) as a long term option, it would be a shame to take him off something that let him move and feel like a dog not in pain. So, I would say that you can trial the Tramadol to see how he does or consider speaking to his vet about lowering the Metacam dose +/- adding in a bit of Tramadol to see if you can find a happy medium. Otherwise, it'd be ideal to use whichever made me feel best (just as we would for ourselves) but be vigilant and keep exercise steady to ensure no other injuries.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is it all right to keep him on all the medication permanently? Thanks Julie.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, Julie.

Yes, we can use either for as long as we need to. We would want to periodically (perhaps when he is due for a booster or an annual check) consider testing a urine or blood sample to make sure his organs are healthy and able to process the medication. But both these medications can be used for the long term, especially if it keeps Ghost moving and comfortable.Smile

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We were told that the situation would get worse in about 2years time, if so is there any other course open to us. Or should we bit the bullet now and say enough is enough as he is not coping all the time? Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,

Ghost's long term prognosis and your treatment options will completely depend on how severe all his orthopaedic issues and malformations are. Cruciate ligaments can be repaired and specialists can do total hip replacements if the hip joint is damaged. That said, if he is as malformed as you have noted, then I suspect he is overall a poor candidate for surgical correction. So, it would be a case of seeing what the specialist can do but I would be concerned that we may not have any realistic options with the exception of keeping him as comfortable as possible.

With that all in mind, in regards ***** ***** whether to continue, you need to look at Ghost. If we just use whatever pain medication combination he does best on and he has more good days then bad; then we should take and enjoy each day as it comes. But if he is constantly in pain and struggling, then we do have to consider stopping and preventing him from suffering. It is one of those decisions that is best decided looking at how he is interacting with the world. So, if you are even considering this, then use whatever pain medication he is most comfortable on while you assess his mobility and enjoyment of his life. If he does well, then we'd keep him on the medication for as long as he does. But if he struggles, is painful, or we found pain relief was not enough; then that would be our cue to call it a day.

Please take care,
Dr. B.
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