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garyRI

Aspirin or Rimadyl

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garyRI

Anyone keep an old dog on daily aspirin for an extended period?

 

Last Saturday a switch flipped with my 13 year old Boykin and she became an old dog. Last year I hunted her maybe three days a week for a couple hours. The year before it was still all out. 

 

While she accompanied me working around the yard on Saturday she sat down and acted like her right shoulder had a problem. It was so bad I would have suspected she had been hit by a car. I immediately put her on 150mg aspirin twice a day and contacted my vet for an appointment on Monday. On Sunday she woke up near normal and stayed that way through the day. Big improvement! Same Monday morning. That afternoon the vet x-rayed her. She said it is not the shoulder but a neck problem that small dogs can have. A disc/vertebrae issue that won't go away. The vet prescribed Rimadyl and Gabapentin. Tues thru today she is better than the worst on Saturday, but not as good as on aspirin.

 

I have another appointment next Tuesday, will email my vet with an interim report, and will probably stay with vet's routine. She advised against aspirin because it can cause stomach issues. This is a cast iron stomach dog that has never had problems shifting dog foods or whatever.

 

 

 

 

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Dogwood

I would heed her advice.  Rimadyl/Gabapentin much more effective and way safer than aspirin, which I only use if I'm desperate, which is very rarely.  Most dogs tolerate aspirin reasonably well but when they don't you are really up sh*t's creek.  

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OutlawTorn

Do a search on Rimadyl and you'll find all kinds of horror stories about the damage long term use can cause.

 

However, it was simply the most effective treatment for the severe arthritis my 13 year old Chessie had the last couple years of her life.  My thinking was that at her age, either the progressive arthritis or some other "old dog problem" would get her long before Rimadyl side effects would.  And that's just what happened - while making her last couple years on earth more comfortable.

 

If that's the course of treatment recommended by a vet you trust, that's what I would do.  Just not worth it to try a more non-conventional aspirin treatment IMO.

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GLS

Rimadyl.  It kept my late, great Roscoe comfortable until the cancer got him at about 12 years.  He had been showing the effects of a spinal injury that he incurred as a 4 year old.   It's been awhile but I may have gotten the generic equivalent for him from my vet.  Gil

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aje4

There is a Malox coated aspirin (I forget the name).  Suppose to be easier on the stomach.....may want to look into Glucosmean as well.....

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garyRI
13 minutes ago, aje4 said:

look into Glucosmean as well.

Has been on a supplement for years. Maybe why she has held up for so long. I initially sent my son to CVS for a buffered aspirin and he was told it is no longer available.

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Dogwood
18 hours ago, OutlawTorn said:

Do a search on Rimadyl and you'll find all kinds of horror stories about the damage long term use can cause.

 

 

 

Real world RELATIVE comparison to other COX-2  nsaids (meloxicam, etc.) in dogs with no known kidney or liver issues this is simply not true.  More hogwash.  Balderdash I say.

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OutlawTorn
18 minutes ago, Dogwood said:

 

Real world relative comparison to other COX-2  nsaids (meloxicam, etc.) in dogs with no known kidney or liver issues this is simply not true.  More hogwash.  Balderdash I say.

 

Yes, I hope it was clear I was trying to refute those claims with (admittedly) anecdotal evidence.

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shoot-straight

My vet always prescribed derramaxx- I know It's an anti-inflammatory. Worked so well you had to be careful, the dog no longer knew it was injured. 

 

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UplandHntr
27 minutes ago, shoot-straight said:

My vet always prescribed derramaxx- I know It's an anti-inflammatory. Worked so well you had to be careful, the dog no longer knew it was injured. 

 

Same here. Thats what we had when my Golden was given titanium knees. Worked well

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Grey Dog

Sorry to hear about your Boykin.  We all dread our gundogs getting old and have the same hopes for them as we do ourselves; that being our last years come with a minimum of pain and that when the end does come, it does so quickly. During my long gundog history, I've been in your situation too many times and am about to start down that path again with my current Chessie.  I'm not an expert in attempting to make our senior dogs more comfortable; instead I'll just relay my experience and hope it helps in some way.  

With all my dogs (Brits and Chessies), for the last 30 or so years, I have kept them on a daily supplement regimen of Glucosamine, Vitamin C, and Fish Oil.  This was done on the basis of some studies done at Kansas State University Veterinary School and a couple other academic settings.   What I have realized is that I've had a minimum of arthritis problems and only one dog with dysplasia. One could say I've simply been lucky or the genetics played a role and I won't disagree.  But I have a new Brit pup that I've started on these supplements out of the fact that I've had pretty good luck doing so.  Granted this supplemental business doesn't help you with the immediate problem, but it may be of some aid and is something to consider with any future dogs.

As for the Rimadyl, I too have considered using it with my older dogs that displayed arthritis symptoms.  But after consulting two veterinarians and doing some library and internet research, I decided I did not want to risk the possible side effects especially when I wanted to try to make the dog more comfortable not be stricken with some added problem.  As for the Gabapentin, I'm not surprised it didn't do much to help the Boykin.  My own docs tried to make me more comfortable with it when I was dealing with knee and back problems.  It didn't do a damn thing; worthless at least for me.

What has been working with my senior dogs is a daily dose of Enteric Coated Aspirin, 325 mg.  This dosage level was for the Chessies; with the Brits, a lesser amount if they even needed it at all. Someone earlier mentioned that aspirin can be hard on the intestinal tract and that is true.  That's why I have been using the coated tablet and I have not had any problems arise from it.

Again, I'm only a layman and no expert on that with which you are trying to deal.  I encourage you to continue to consult with your vet seeking out an answer and if my experiences can help with that, great!  The bottom line for all of us around here is that Dogs Are Special and deserve the best we can give them. 

 

   

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aje4

It’s called Ecotrin....still available....

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Dogwood

I'll limit my comments to those dogs with chronic arthritis pain as opposed to acute or short-term.

 

Here's my basic approach.  When I initially suspect a dog is suffering from arthritic pain and it is otherwise healthy and has no known kidney, liver, or intestinal disease, I'll do a trial dosing for a few days with  a non-aspirin Cox-2  NSAID (more refined in that these nsaids target arthritic pain more specifically with lower risk of side effects that can damage the stomach and intestines, and don't effect blood clotting ).  After even a dose or 2 or 3 one should notice substantial improvement quickly, which confirms that arthritic pain is in play, otherwise the medication would generally be ineffective.  If we note a positive response I'll have the owner use it off and on for a couple weeks, add a high quality glucosamine supplement, and if it becomes apparent that the dog needs it on a steady basis (ie 4-5 days out of 7 or more all the time) then I'll recommend some blood work to check kidney and liver values for safety sake, and repeat in 3-4 weeks to look for trends.  If any are noted the drug is stopped/reduced/changed etc.  If not carry on and check values every 6 months or so.  All nsaids should be monitored in this regard and scenario, none are inherently more dangerous than another, and all seem equally effective in my experience.  I find long term use toxicity problems to be very infrequent; still, you gotta pay attention. 

 

Aspirin is a Cox-1 NSAID and although it is less likely to damage the kidneys and liver it's overall risk for serious problems is higher given it's tendency to trigger nasty intestinal ulcerations and blood clotting problems.  It is generally not as effective as an analgesic either.  No surprise there; seems most of us lean on Advil or Aleve (Cox-2's) for joint pain and sore muscles rather than aspirin.  Enteric coated aspirin ala Ecotrin helps a bit but not completely by any stretch.  Another significant risk with aspirin is due to it's strong tendency to inhibit platelet function, and thus cause clotting suppression.  So any dog that needs surgery must be off aspirin for at least one week; this could obviously pose a serious bleeding problem for dogs who need surgery sooner or it gets overlooked.  Aspirin is inexpensive and readily available but as you might guess it is never my first choice; maybe a distant fifth or sixth.  And if cost is the sole issue, there are many generics available.  Meloxicam in tablet form is very cheap.

 

Supplemental analgesics can be added; tramadol, gabapentin, etc.  I've not found these to be particularly useful and tend to have sometimes profound sedative effects.  But they are safe and many vets feel they are well worth trying piggy backed to an nsaid. YMMV

 

That's all I got.

 

 

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DAP
4 hours ago, Dogwood said:

I'll limit my comments to those dogs with chronic arthritis pain as opposed to acute or short-term.

 

Here's my basic approach.  When I initially suspect a dog is suffering from arthritic pain and it is otherwise healthy and has no known kidney, liver, or intestinal disease, I'll do a trial dosing for a few days with  a non-aspirin Cox-2  NSAID (more refined in that these nsaids target arthritic pain more specifically with lower risk of side effects that can damage the stomach and intestines, and don't effect blood clotting ).  After even a dose or 2 or 3 one should notice substantial improvement quickly, which confirms that arthritic pain is in play, otherwise the medication would generally be ineffective.  If we note a positive response I'll have the owner use it off and on for a couple weeks, add a high quality glucosamine supplement, and if it becomes apparent that the dog needs it on a steady basis (ie 4-5 days out of 7 or more all the time) then I'll recommend some blood work to check kidney and liver values for safety sake, and repeat in 3-4 weeks to look for trends.  If any are noted the drug is stopped/reduced/changed etc.  If not carry on and check values every 6 months or so.  All nsaids should be monitored in this regard and scenario, none are inherently more dangerous than another, and all seem equally effective in my experience.  I find long term use toxicity problems to be very infrequent; still, you gotta pay attention. 

 

Aspirin is a Cox-1 NSAID and although it is less likely to damage the kidneys and liver it's overall risk for serious problems is higher given it's tendency to trigger nasty intestinal ulcerations and blood clotting problems.  It is generally not as effective as an analgesic either.  No surprise there; seems most of us lean on Advil or Aleve (Cox-2's) for joint pain and sore muscles rather than aspirin.  Enteric coated aspirin ala Ecotrin helps a bit but not completely by any stretch.  Another significant risk with aspirin is due to it's strong tendency to inhibit platelet function, and thus cause clotting suppression.  So any dog that needs surgery must be off aspirin for at least one week; this could obviously pose a serious bleeding problem for dogs who need surgery sooner or it gets overlooked.  Aspirin is inexpensive and readily available but as you might guess it is never my first choice; maybe a distant fifth or sixth.  And if cost is the sole issue, there are many generics available.  Meloxicam in tablet form is very cheap.

 

Supplemental analgesics can be added; tramadol, gabapentin, etc.  I've not found these to be particularly useful and tend to have sometimes profound sedative effects.  But they are safe and many vets feel they are well worth trying piggy backed to an nsaid. YMMV

 

That's all I got.

 

 

Dogwood  -  I don't know how often you hear it, but I sincerely thank you for your contributions to this message board.   

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Dogwood

 

3 hours ago, DAP said:

Dogwood  -  I don't know how often you hear it, but I sincerely thank you for your contributions to this message board.   

 

Well there in lies the spirit of the UJ.

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