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Old 10-20-2016, 01:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 30,715
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Default Rimadyl and senior dogs?

Anyone with experience trying to make senior dogs comfortable?

(My apologies for the length, but hoping an expert can stick with me!)

Eddie is 12 and, other than two cranial cruciate surgeries when he was younger, has been a model of good health his entire life. Other than a general slowing down, especially getting out of bed in the morning, I see very few signs that he's uncomfortable, even though I suspect arthritis is kicking in. He still runs on our walks and hops down from the couch, though not up on low steps any more.

On a recent visit to a new vet, the doctor said Eddie is probably good at masking his pain and is probably very achy most of the time. He suggested trying a twice-daily 25 mg Rimadyl supplement.

We did a baseline blood panel in advance, then tried him for a couple months of twice-a-day Rimadyl. We did a new blood test, then dropped him to twice-a-day one week, once-a-day the second week for a couple more months. Here's how his ALT numbers changed:

June 29 before going on Rimadyl:
ALT (115) (Ref. range is 12-118)

August 27 after two-a-day Rimadyl:
ALT (216)

October 12 after one-a-day for a week followed by 2-a-day for a week
ALT (173)

The doctor agreed that the level changes suggest his liver is reacting to the Rimadyl, but since I've reported that he generally seems to have more energy while he's on it he suggested that we continue at the lower level and retest in 6 months.

That feels wrong to me. I would love to keep him on it, but since his liver is definitely reacting I'm inclined to discontinue the long-term use entirely. There are horror stories on the internet about some dogs on Rimadyl, and I don't want Eddie to become one.

I do believe his aches and pains are going to continue to get worse as he reaches his teens and wish there was something else I could do. There is glucosamine in his food, and he is on a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement as well.

Anyone still reading? Thank you! Any suggestions?
Mike ~ Doting Dad to Eddie, Jillie, Lucy (RIP), Rusty (RIP) and Jack (RIP). Check us out on YouTube
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