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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4943
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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We have a 14 year old small XXXXX XXXXX who seems to be suffering

with arithritis. She was diagnosed... Show More
with arithritis. She was diagnosed about 4 years ago with a heart murmur & is on vetmedin. We have been on rimadyl for 2 weeks to help aid with her arithritis but have seen not much change so vet has now suggested switching to previcox. Obviously we have no experience & have to trust vet input & suggestions but would like a second opinion really - is this what you would recommend? On web there are horror stories about both drugs so I'm unsure what is best to do for our dog. Any advice would be greatly appreciated please.
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Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

What kind of symptoms does Gabby have to make you and your vet suspect she has arthritis. At her age, certainly she must have some level of arthritis. I want to ensure we are seeing stiff gait, trouble jumping, slow to rise/sit and perhaps lameness. But if all she has is weakness in hind end or lamenss, this may not be simple arthritis. There are other concerns to think about such as a back issue. Has she had radiographs (xrays) to confirm she has arthritis?

Dr. Joey :

IF she showed absolutely no improvement with Rimadyl, I am not certain you will see much different with PRevicox. They are both great drugs, but in the same category of pain relief products (nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medication similar to aspirin). If you feel that she is truly painful with documented arthritis (via xrays), and there was no improvement with these medications, I might be inclined to recommend try a different category of medication such as gabapentin or tramadol. Or even turn to alternative therapies like acupuncture.

The lack of response to rimadyl may suggest this is not pain related to arthritis, and in my opinion, makes taking xrays even more important. We need to be certain there is not another issue such as a bone tumor or infection, or a back problem that would be so painful that even Rimadyl (or others in this category of drugs) may not work well.

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Customer reply replied 3 years ago.
We are reluctant to have X-rays done as she is 14 with this Heart condition & the vet said she would have to be sedated & I'm unsure the dog could cope with that stress not really wanting to risk it. She used to suffer with hind legs slow to rise & a bit stiff. But now it is her front legs causing the problem very slow to rise & sometimes struggles to get moving & limps badly. Sometimes she even sits down as I think she must be in pain putting weight on her front paws., although she has never yelped in pain, but I can tell she's in some discomfort. She is such an active dog as well but this seems to have come on gradually & we are just struggling to know what best treatment to give her.
You should really ask if your vet can (please) try to take xrays without sedation. Most of the time we can get decent films in this manner. If not, then I agree that I am worried about taking xrays with sedation unless done very carefully.

If she is this painful, then I do highly advocate try her on a different drug (in addition to Rimadyl) such as gabapentin (probably will need to be professionally compounded) or tramadol +/- acupuncture.