“I’m so happy,” said Trouble’s owner.
Could there be any better words for a veterinarian to hear about one of his patients?
Trouble, who is pictured below, and really is no trouble at all, has arthritis. It was June, 2009, when we first discovered pain and weakness secondary to arthritis. She was 12 years of age then and, as you can see, is a pretty large dog, so her human-age-equivalence was about 64.
As is routine, and recommended by the pharmaceutical companies that produce all canine antiinflammatory medications, we performed routine screening tests (CBC, Chemistry Profile and Urinalysis) prior to beginning Rimadyl for her. That way if there are subclinical metabolic problems, especially with the liver and/or kidneys, we can discover them prior to possible complications from non-steroidal antiinflammatories (NSAIDs).
Rimadyl and Metacam are our preferred NSAIDs, though there are other good ones. The job of an NSAID is to reduce the signs of inflammation, mainly pain, swelling, heat and loss of function. In doing so the canine arthritis patient obtains nearly-immediate pain relief. Improvement of joint function allows him to perform in ways he hasn’t since he was young, before he was arthritic.
However, it is important to remember that NSAIDs don’t fix an arthritic joint, they only make it feel better. For the joint components to actually heal, they need healing ingredients.
Enter Dasuquin, an agent from the Cosequin people, Nutramax Laboratories, which contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and a host of other ingredients that work together to help a rough, arthritic joint become smoother. Now, please keep in mind that even Dasuquin cannot transform a 60-grit sandpaper joint into smooth-as-baby’s-skin again, but it can help to reduce the level of roughness.
In addition, Dasuquin can improve joint mobility by increasing lubrication of joints. More joint fluid of a high quality will provide for more stamina, more comfort, and greater range of motion when compared to a dry or under-lubricated joint.
While there are many, many sources for glucosamine, it is important to recognize that Nutramax Laboratories is the only company that submits its products for independent testing to verify that both the quantity and the quality of ingredients is as stated. In government testing some products claiming to be glucosamine showed to have less than stated amounts, all the way down to zero percent glucosamine.
For Trouble, a thirteen-year old dog, to be 80% better than before treatment is extremely gratifying for her owner, for us as caregivers, and, not the least, for Trouble.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.