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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am absolutely thrilled with how Mia's responding to Gabapentin! She's acting 2 years younger: she's racing around the trails again, chasing everything that moves (sigh), and smiling with delight. Our mileage is back up to 6+ miles per day (we had been down to 3-4 miles/day), and she seems happier and more relaxed at home and in the woods.

The vet noticed crepitus in her rear left knee, which come to think of it, he had commented on this before. So she has some OA. She turns 10 in a few weeks, and I'm just astounded at what a difference this is making.

She's on a low dose, 100 mgs, and while the prescription is as needed, I'm beginning to think she may need it every day (since we are in the woods every day or nearly so). I'll keep experimenting, but I just wanted to share in case it's helpful to others with senior dogs.
 

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Wonderful news! :) My poodle mix was on gabapentin when recovering from a ligament injury last year, and it made a difference for him.
 

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I take Gabapentin myself. Neat to hear that it works well in dogs too.
 
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Very good news - I hope she has many more happy years chasing things along the trails!
 
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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks to everyone for understanding the joy of seeing your 10 year old ever-puppy reinvigorated. It's so hard to tell as they age what is normal slowing, what is a symptom, and what, if anything, can be done. It's a relief to have gotten one right.
 

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Thanks to everyone for understanding the joy of seeing your 10 year old ever-puppy reinvigorated. It's so hard to tell as they age what is normal slowing, what is a symptom, and what, if anything, can be done. It's a relief to have gotten one right.
I usually peruse the forums every so often and I read through this again. It made me smile because you have been very helpful and caring with my questions And my girls are the better for it. So it’s so good to see you having success with Mia
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, jcris, that's so sweet of you to say. I'm so grateful to this community and all the help it's given me, and I'm chuffed to bits that I have contributed something useful in return. Mia's still doing very well on the Gaba. The temps have cooled off significantly here, and she bebops down the trails as if powered by her wagging tail. Today on our drive home, I caught a glimpse of her lying in the backseat, gazing at me with a relaxed smile spread across her face. Oh, how I adore her!
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
An update... We're on to our next phase in pain management. Mia is now taking Rimadyl/Carprofen as needed. She had several overuse injuries in the past few months that resulted in sore days spent on the dog bed, so at her annual appointment this week, I asked for a prescription. Our vet is wonderful. He is a little older than me, still trail and ultrarunning, and has a bevy of animals at home to illustrate his points. He gave us a bottle of 100 mgs tabs with instructions to give small doses as needed before more strenuous exercise, and most importantly, to keep my 10 year old girl moving!

We put it to the test today. We met up with our friends Steve (human) and Eddie (2.5 year old spoo) for a moderate 2.75 mile hike, a little farther and a little more challenging than our usual trail. Mia took it carefully for the first half mile or so, and then something seemed to kick in for her - and off she went! Up and down the trail, sprinting, jumping, climbing, rough-housing with Eddie. Eddie still ran circles around her, but she ran circles around us, which she hasn't done for a while.

I often talk about a distance multiplier when walking dogs off leash, meaning if the humans (who pretty much stick to the trail) covered 2.75 miles, then Eddie - with all his whirling dervish energy - probably covered around 2.5-3 times that distance, and Mia probably covered about 1.5-2 times that distance. There is also an exertion multiplier: the humans took it pretty slow, Eddie traveled in sprints and stops (forward, backward, left and right), and Mia did a fair bit of sprinting and waiting for us to catch up before taking off again, too. Mia's napping at the moment, but I didn't see signs of pain or stiffness when she was searching for hidden treats a few minutes ago.

At our appointment, the vet also noted that Mia's knees haven't changed from last year, but she has lost range of motion in her hips. I don't know if exercise will help her get that back, but it will at least preserve what she has. I also made an appointment with her chiropractor, who has been booked 2 months in advance. I guess everyone decided that the pandemic was a good time to get their dogs ship-shape? We're long time clients, so she's going to see us at her house (outdoors, masked, etc.). Hopefully there's nothing more serious.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She's a lovely person, PTP, taking after her father who was also a veterinarian chiropractor. Also, it's quite a bit warmer down here than where you are, so if we're lucky, temps will be in the 60s (unlucky, 40s), plenty warm for a quick check up.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Another update. (Refresh: Mia has confirmed OA in her left knee and suspected OA in her hip(s).) About a month ago, Mia had a rough week - she just seemed grouchy and irritable. I adjusted a few variables including diet and exercise to no avail, before increasing her carprofen and adding glucosamine and green lipped mussels. Within a few days she was a new dog, back to being a 10 year old puppy. (She even body slammed me the other day.) We just had a visit with her chiropractor who said she looks great, and put us back on a 12 week (normal, healthy) schedule. I've also noticed her stretching her back legs and hips more often.

Here's her current regimen:
  • 50 mg Carprofen AM; 25 mg Carprofen PM.
  • 100 mg Gabapentin AM and PM.
  • 1 Tblsp Nordic Naturals fish oil AM and PM.
  • 1500 mg Glucosamine. GlycoFlex 3, 3 treats per day.
  • 1200 mg Green Lipped Mussels. Super Snouts, 2 rounded spoonfuls AM and PM. (She's getting an additional 900 mg from the GlycoFlex (total = 2100 mg), so I may try eliminating this source since it's redundant.)
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I noticed Mia holding her left leg at an odd angle after a particularly active day and realized that she was compensating for discomfort. My vet assured me that this is all normal osteoarthritis progression and gave permission to add another 25 mg Carprofen as needed for pain relief (I haven't asked about other NSAIDs like Galliprant, yet).

She also continues to lose weight slowly; her active adult weight was 52.x lbs (range: 50-55 lbs), and she weighed 56.6 lbs on Friday. However, summer is usually the time Mia puts on a few pounds, so the scale may move in the wrong direction before heading in the right direction again. As I write this, I realize that adding another day of daycare may help combat her summertime lethargy.

The highlight of Mia's week is our outing to the lake with another dog friend, where they water retrieve, dig in the sand, scavenge fish, and sniff all the other animals who have strolled through the area. I suspect the cold water helps her arthritis, too. That said, I'm looking forward to the water warming up so that the humans can join in the fun, too.

Current regimen:
  • Carprofen: 50 mg AM; 50 mg PM; 25 mg as needed
  • Gabapentin: 100 mg AM and PM
  • Fish oil: 1 generous tblsp Nordic Naturals AM and PM
  • Green Lipped Mussels: Super Snouts, 2 generous spoonfuls AM and PM (approximately 1200 mg)
  • Glucosamine: GlycoFlex 3, 1-2 treats per day (500 mg/treat) (Mia is getting bored with these "treats")
 

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This must be difficult for you I’m sure. You are doing more for her than most pups. Such wonderful, loving creatures. They give and we get so much. My thoughts and heart goes out to you both
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My adjustment seems to mirror her own, in that we have a stable routine that bulks up our confidence until boom she fails to jump over a ditch and lands with a crash, or plays too hard with a friend and suddenly stands up tall, stiff and still, staring at me with wide eyes. Those are the times when I wonder about the future. The rest of the time is pretty grand, really.
 

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I am glad you are still able to control her discomfort so that she is able to enjoy all the things she loves most. Pippin-cat tells me Seraquin glucosamine etc tablets are delicious, and cats are notoriously picky - might be worth trying those as an alternative "treat". Poppy just reckons all pills are scrummy as hers come wrapped in chicken!
 
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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, everyone. As always your gentle kindness is supportive and reassuring. It was time to reorder supplements, so I substituted Cosequin for GlycoFlex, as I couldn't find Seraquin in the US. Mia always appreciates variety, so it should do the trick.
 
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