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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33332
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have an 8 year old GRX. About 18 mos ago he started struggling

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I have an 8 year old GRX. About 18 mos ago he started struggling to get up from a sitting or lying position. X-rays showed no arthritis in his hips and his back legs were fine when the vet "rotated" them. Since then, he has been on 75mg Rimadyl daily and he has improved. However, I have been told by several people that long term use of Rimadyl is not good. OK if my dog was 10 or 11 but not an 8 yr old. For about 3 mos I have been giving him GCM first in tablet form but now in liquid. At the same time I've gradually cut the Rimadyl to 50mg and now just 25mg daily. I am about to stop the Rimadyl. My question is, what is the max daily dose of liquid GCM you would recommend for a dog weighing 31 kilos? Thank you.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin

There are no recommended doses as pharmaceuticals. GCM is considered a supplement and no standards have been accepted for potency, purity, safety, or efficacy by regulatory bodies. Anecdotal dosing at 15-30 mg/kg daily of the chondroiton component has been recommended and after 4-6 weeks if a positive response is seen the dose can be halved or given every other day. Label recommendations are prudent but empirical. Oral overdosage is unlikely to cause significant problems although manganese can become toxic at very high dosages.

If he has responded to a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Rimadyl, it's reasonable to assume that arthritis is present although osteoarthritis hasn't been detected. We use a multimodal approach in these dogs - dietary management, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory pain relief, neutraceuticals, life-style changes and stem cell therapy. When used concomitantly these approaches should synergize and provide the best control of symptoms. For example, he might show considerable improvement if you add fish oil to his diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are anti-inflammatory. I use the cost-effective generic human fish oils and dose them at 40 mg/lkg daily of the EPA in the fish oil. You'll find the amount of EPA on the label of the fish oil product.

Avoid flax oil because it is poorly bioavailable to dogs. They can't metabolize it properly.

If you prefer, there are diets that are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids. Hill's Prescription Diet j/d is one such diet.

Many vets feel that injections of Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) work better than oral neutraceuticals such as glucosamine/chondroiton sulfate. Adequan is injected into him weekly for a number of weeks at his vet's discretion. You can read more about Adequan here:

Regenerative stem cell therapy has come into its own and is now available for addressing osteoarthritis in dogs . Please see Vet-Stem's website here for more information:***@******.*** The regenerative stem cells are created from his fat cells and are capable of differentiating into a variety of tissue types including tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, and muscle and have been proven to reduce pain and inflammation.

We have to suspect that just as in people, geriatric (osteo)arthritis in dogs is painful. If you find that he relapses when carprofen (Rimadyl) is eliminated from his therapy, please consider adding a well-tolerated narcotic such as tramadol to the therapies mentioned above.

Weight reduction is essential. The less weight his joints need to carry, the better.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.