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Joint Pain
tangbessette posted:
I have a lab that is 8 years old. She has been diagnosed with arthritis in several of her joints. My vet has put her on Rimadyl (50mg 2x day) and Prednisone 1 every other day. I have noticed that the joints in her legs have become extremely swollen and she has started licking them constantly. In your experience, what would be the next medication considered for her pain. I have heard that ultram has been used for severe pain. It is just breaking my heart to see her suffer the way she is. thanks
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Hi Tangbessette,

Great question. I am concerned that the joints have become extremely swollen, as they usually aren't so large with degenerative joint disease from arthritis. Joints can also be swollen due to infection, tick borne disease, and immune-mediated disease (where they body makes antibodies against the joints). We can sample a little of the joint fluid and make sure it is truly old age arthritis, and not something else.
Tramadol or Ultram is a very safe alternative that may be helpful. I encourage your to contact your veterinarian with this turn of events. I agree that her quality of life is very important and we need to adjust medications.
I am also a little concerned about using steroids (prednisone) and nonsteroidals (rimadyl) together, as some dogs can be extra sensitive to the combination, in terms of their kidneys and intestines. It does sound like the dose of prednisone may be too.
Please check with your veterinarian as I am sure they will want to know that she is not doing as well as hoped.
Thanks for writing in.
Dr. Sandy Willis
tangbessette replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Thank you so much for the information. I will take her back to the veterinarian and let him check her out again. I will also see if he would be willing to put her on the Ultram. Again thank you so much for responding to my question.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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