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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32775
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a 7 year old Flat Coated Retriever. She is very

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Hi. I have a 7 year old Flat Coated Retriever. She is very energetic but seems to get quite stiff after a walk and occasionally limps. She was previosuly diagnosed with arthritis on one of her toes. Is there a product that I can get on line that will help with her joint pain and generally improve her joint/muscle discomfort?
***** *****ster (& Tilly)
There are numerous neutraceuticals available online and in pet/agricultural merchant stores that might be helpful to Tilly. Most contain combinations of glucosamine, chondroiton sulfate, omega-3 fatty acids, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and an amazing variety of other ingredients purported to be of value for osteoarthritic dogs. Please note that no standards have been accepted for potency, purity, safety or efficacy by regulatory bodies. I've seen more success with the omega-3 fatty acids than anything else; in particular, EPA - the most antiinflammatory of the omega-3 fatty acids - which is plentiful in fish oil. I dose EPA at 40 mg/kg daily; you should be able to find the amount of EPA on the fish oil product label. Here's my complete synopsis on how you might address Tilly:We use a multimodal approach to osteoarthritis in our 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, Tilly might show considerable improvement if you add fish oil to her 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/kg 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 or the over the counter Cosequin or prescription Dasequin (please see here: Adequan is injected into Tilly weekly for a number of weeks at his vet's discretion. You can read more about Adequan here: 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 Tilly's 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 osteoarthritis in dogs is painful. If a prescription nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam (Loxicom) isn't sufficient for controlling pain, please consider adding a well-tolerated narcotic such as tramadol to these therapies mentioned above. All of these drugs are available from Tilly's vet. Aspirin dosed at 20 mg/kg with food every 12 hours can be helpful in a pinch.Weight reduction is essential. The less weight Tilly's joints need to carry, the better.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your comprehensive response. I will print out and read later when I have a bit more time and can consider the options. Thankfully Tilly is not overweight and still has lots of energy and this problem is intermittent so I don't think we need to do anything too radical just yet. However I am sure that supplements in her diet such as the fish oil that you recommend will do the trick. Thanks again for your help.Regards***** *****ster
You're quite welcome, David. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.