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Severe arthritis.

Species: Dog
Breed: welsh pembroke corgi
Age: 11-15 years
Hi Dr. Marie,

My sweet Murphys is displaying weakness in hind legs, (they occasionally give out)(degenerative discs on x-ray), and also has elbow dysplasia. He's on rimadyl and tramadol. My question is, if it gets bad enough, because of his age I'm thinking he is not a good candidate for surgery, and because of his elbow dysplasia, not a good candidate for a cart (he does face plants sometimes when his elbow gives out). Do you agree, and/or have any suggestions for keeping him as comfortable as possible? Thank you so much! Kisses from Murphys :).


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear that Murphys is having these problems. It's so hard to see a dog have serious arthritis problems.

I would agree that a cart would not be fair for him if he has pain in his elbows as well.

There are a number of drugs that I use to treat dogs with arthritis. I usually use an anti-inflammatory such as Metacam, Rimadyl, Deramaxx or Previcox. Then, if this is not working I will add injections of a joint protectant either called Adequan or Cartrophen.

For really serious cases I will sometimes add a medication called Tramadol or possibly Gabapentin.

I have seen dogs do extremely well with chiropractic adjustments as well. If you do this, be sure you find a veterinary chiropractor and not a human one who also works on dogs. The anatomy is quite different.

I hope this helps and I hope Murphys is feeling better soon.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.