Saturday, July 7, 2018

Our Best Canine Joint Regimen, and A Neeko Update (Bad hip xray photos)

Last week, Neeko had a follow up with our primary vet, the wonderful Dr. Cindy Baker-O'Dell. Some adjustments were made to her treatment regimen. She had an x-ray of her paw, the bone lesion is unchanged. She had an ultrasound of her spleen, Dr. Baker-O'Dell said her spleen is "beautiful." She will have follow up chest x-rays in September. A couple of medication/supplement changes were made at her appointment last week.

She is not really limping on her front legs now, so our primary concern is her hips. The emergency vet described them as "horrible." Dr. Baker said she almost wishes she had never seen Neeko's hip x-rays.

advanced hip dysplasia dog, bad hip dysplasia
Neeko's hip x-ray
This is Neeko's hip x-ray. It demonstrates advanced hip dysplasia with subsequent proliferative arthritis. This is a very bad canine hip xray. Many are impressed she can even walk. (Ignore the fact that the x-ray states "unaltered." Neeko is in fact spayed, was at a young age. Which I beat myself up for.)

Short story long, my girl has bad hips. But we are doing everything we can to treat them, short of surgery at this point. I am actually interested in surgery and/or stem cell therapy for her hips, but we have to be certain there is no underlying disease process at this point.

The following is Neeko's current hip/joint regimen, which seems to be working pretty well. Dr. Baker stopped the carprofen, and her appetite almost instantly came back, which is a good thing.

Our Current Joint Regimen

Adequan - polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. It is derived from bovine (cow) trachea, and is FDA approved to prevent cartilage loss and may restore joint lubrication, relieve inflammation, and renew the building blocks of healthy cartilage. Adequan is available by prescription only from your veterinarian. It is typically injected approximately once per month after a loading period in which injections are given twice weekly for four weeks. Following is a video demonstrating how easy it is to inject adequan into your dog. 

Fish oil - fish oil dosing can be confusing. There is the mg of actual fish oil, and the mg of DHA + EPA, which is the Omega fatty acids we are most concerned with. It is the amount of DHA + EPA that is important. The general rule of thumb for raw fed dogs in 10 mg EPA + DHA per pound for maintenance dosing, and 30 mg EPA + DHA for therapeutic dosing. This is to balance out the Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratio, and to provide anti-inflammatory benefits, along with cardiovascular, joint, skin and coat health benefits.

Neeko is currently on 60 mg per pound of DHA + EPA for her fish oil dosing. This is nearly 6000 mg for her. The most convenient and cost effective way for me to dose her is with Nature's Bounty concentrated fish oil capsules. Each capsule contains 1400 mg fish oil and 980 mg EPA + DHA. So she receives 6 capsules per day. She takes them easily, because she has figured out that if she punctures them with her teeth, she gets the fish oil taste. So they are treats to her.

Glucosamine - Neeko is currently on two different joint/glucosamine supplements. I had her on GlycoFlex 3 chews, because they are in treat form, contain a high amount of glucosamine, and contain MSM and green-lipped mussel. (I love my dog so damn much I give her products that could kill me. I have an anaphylactic allergy to shellfish.) Dr. Baker suggested the addition of Arthroplex because it adds bromelain and boswellia. It also adds Vitamin C, which anecdotal literature suggests helps with joint pain and DLPA (DL-Phenylanine.) She is currently receiving 2 GlycoFlex soft chews and 4 Arthroplex caps per day.

I am also offering her raw chicken feet and dehydrated venison trachea as treats. Both are natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, and very raw friendly.

Last week Dr. Baker also sent us home with a bottle of DLPA (DL-Phenylalanine). It is an amino acid which can help canines with joint pain. We stopped the carprofen, which immediately improved her appetite, so she wanted this as a backup for pain, along with tramadol. Fortunately we haven't needed either one.

CBD Oil - I have been giving Neeko CBD oil from a few sources for the last several weeks, including Canna Pet, Good CBD, and Pet Releaf, and Bark Avenue, a pet CBD bakery in Denver. I have found that 4-8 mg 2 or 3 times per day seems to do the trick for her. Finding good literature regarding CBD dosing for dogs is difficult. When I mentioned stopping the CBD to our vet, she insisted I continue. There is not much research out there regarding it's benefits or dosing, particularly in canines, but she has seen it with her own eyes. I next plan to try KOI CBD spray, after speaking about it at length with someone today.

Turmeric - I am giving her some form of turmeric at least daily, preferably 2-3x daily. It has anti-inflammatory properties, along with a host of other benefits. Sometimes I give her a frozen liver-turmeric treat, recipe HERE.  Other times I offer her golden paste, which I also eat myself because it tastes good. And at times I give her a frozen bone broth/golden paste treat.

That is our current joint care regimen. She seems to be improving. The weather was glorious today, temps in the 70's with low humidity. She played outside with the boys for awhile, then she and I took a 25 minute walk this evening, our longest in several weeks. We are going to be continuing this regimen for the time being.

Do you have any joint care products you would recommend?


  1. Have you thought about incorporating essential oils? AnimalEO is a brand oils created by Dr. Melissa Shelton,DVM specifically for use in pets. Off the top of my head, I think Any-itis for inflammation and New Mobility for joints would be helpful. You can find more info here:

    1. Thank you for this suggestion!!

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  2. Thank you for this suggestion!

    is a website from the fda stating certain companies like canna pet got warning letters because what they stated was in their product was not or had lower concentration. I used this when I was searching for the right kind of cbd oil for our dogs. A pet trainer had recommended canna pet and I had not seen any results and later found out that they had had a warning letter. I also used springtime's boswellia extract for people for my dog when she had osteoarthritis in her front legs and not so good of hips. I also spayed her early and regret it because I think it caused a lot of her bones to grow the wrong way and a lot of suffering later in life from it. I try not to beat myself up about it and the two females(sisters) we got when she died have not been spayed. Both have awesome health and are going to be 3 years old. We are not breeding but are responsible enough to keep them away from other dogs when they are in heat.

  4. Fiona has awful hips too. We use Dasiquin (glucosamine/chronitin/MSM) I saw improvement in ONE day. Fiona has been on it now for 7 years and I swear by it. We also give her fish oil and she seems to be doing fine.

    Good luck with Neeko. Glad she is finally eating again.

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