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D'Elle

Update on my Kit: 16 years and 7 months

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Just three weeks ago I was afraid that the time to let go of my beautiful Kit dog was very near. Just watching her get around was painful. 

But between one day and the next, and not due to any change I made, she rallied and is now doing much better again. Eating, playful and engaged in the early morning, coming to me for attention during the day if I am home. Her  loss of hind leg function is not, of course, coming back. But I am continuing to give her tramadol, and it seems to help her somewhat. She stands up a little straighter on those hind legs than she does if I don't give it to her.

Last year at this time I wondered if she would make it to her 16th birthday. Now, I am thinking she might make it to her 17th. Of course, she could go down hill any time, I know that. But, considering that she has done this decline/rallying thing at least three times now, I have decided not worry, and not to be sad until it seems as though the day really is today. I am even considering going on a week holiday in November if I have a good enough house sitter for the animals and she is still doing well then. 

Everyone here perks up a bit when fall comes and the weather cools off a bit. Unfortunately, fall doesn't come until November.^_^

 

IMG_0451.JPG

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Is that a current pic? She looks pretty determined to hold on to that tug!

Glad she's happy & moving around more easily.

Ruth & Gibbs

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I don't know if this will help  but I am taking care of a dog with aggressive bone cancer in his hip.   He was completely down.  Was eating and drinking very little.  When he did manage to get up his back leg was useless.   It just hung there.  I thought we were going to lose him that weekend.

His vet put him on a combination of gabapentin and Tramadol. Ge also gas Rimadyl if he needs it.   I guess the gabapentin does take a little while to kick in.  But the results have been amazing.  He is now back on all 4 feet.  He is eating really well.  He goes down the front 4 stairs by himself and comes back up himself.   And he is back to enjoying wandering around the yard.   

We know it won't last forever but it is so nice to have him for a little while longer.

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Ruth, that photo was taken a few months ago but could have been taken yesterday. She has always been the most determined tugger I've ever known, and she is still amazingly strong considering her age and infirmity. :)

Tommy Coyote, thanks for that advice! I actually have some gabapentin, because I take it myself, and so I will try that with her. I also have some Rimadyl left over from Jester's time. What dose of the gabapentin do you give your dog? And, do you only give one of those three at a time, or are combinations OK to give?  I don't want to give her too much, but if more medication will help her, I want to do it.  While most of the time I am one to use only the minimum of meds, at this point in her life I only want her to be comfortable in the time she has left.

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She's so sweet. And in this pic at least doesn't look nearly that old!

I love that you're doing everything you can to make her remaining time with you as wonderful as it can be.

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I think it is the combination of the gabapentin and the NSAID that does the trick.   That is what I read anyway .  The 2 together provide excellent pain control.

I will have to ck Henry's meds tomorrow to see what his dosage is.  He is one of the dogs I pet sit.  He is about BC size. 

His vet said they could control the cancer pain up to a point and then it gets too bad and nothing works. 

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Something else you might want to consider is CBD oil. Some people report great results from it and I'm seriously considering starting my 12 1/2+ (could be up to 15 but seriously doubt he's ore than about 13) y.o. on it soon.

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Thanks, terrecar. :-) 

I definitely would appreciate getting the dosage information, Tommy Coyote, and thanks for that. Since I have the meds in the house anyway, if I have the correct dosage I can save a trip to the vet, which is traumatizing for Kit.

She weighs about 38 pounds these days, much too thin.

Thanks for the CBD oil recommendation, Gentle Lake. I guess I will try what I have first, then move on to that if it doesn't seem to be doing the job. 

 

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Henry is getting 400 mg once a day along with 50mg of Tramadol  every 8 hours.  She can give him 400 twice a day if she needs to.  

That gabapentin is high because the cancer pain is bad.  I looked it up and the normal dose is 1.4 mg per pound.  They use it for chronic pain and cancer pain.  Comes in 100mg and 300mg.  

I don't know what the safe dosage for Rimadyl would be if you mixed it with other meds.

Can you just call and talk to the vet just to be sure the dosages are right for arthritis.  When you start mixing them it can get tricky.  Don't want to over do it.  I know I would feel comfortable talking to my vet about it over the phone.

I think the gabapentin has to build up to a certain level before you see results.  The vet said it didn't work right away.

 

WARNING. I just read that human gabapentin can have Xylitol in it which is very toxic to dogs.  Be sure to ck on that.

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I disagree on gabapentin having to build up. I was told it works quickly and also leaves within 8-12 hours. I had been giving Seamus a dose (can’t remember the level) every 12 hours. Neurologist had me change it to every 8 hours. Also, too much can make them groggy. It was a fine line for us on enough for pain but not too much to make him out of it. 

I also liked using CBD oil. But too much made him anxious. 

I will never use Rimadyl. I think its horrible stuff

The absolute savior for Seamus was cold laser and acupuncture. 

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Thank you.  I had never even heard of this drug.  There is a lot of information out there on it.   

It was originally used for epilepsy.  It is not FDA approved for pain control but it seems to really make a difference in cancer pain and chronic pain.

Good thing to know.  I have 2 older dogs.  Tommy gets Metacam every day for arthritis.  Zeke seems ok for right now.  And Joey has epilepsy. 

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I was also told gabapentin works more specifically on nerve pain. Not necessarily the best for generalized pain. But I’ve never taken it so I can’t speak to that personally. 

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Thanks for the updates and information. I think I will avoid the gabapentin to stay on the safe side, and just stick to the tramadol which I know helps at least a little.

 

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Wow. I guess it must be because of the angle, but if not for the grey that would almost look like a puppy picture. Glad to see Kit is doing well.

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Thanks, Rush Fan.

Yes, that is an especially successful photo of her. She is hard to photograph because as soon as you point the camera at her she starts looking away. The tug toy kept her focused for that photo. :D

Of course, if you saw her in person you would know right away she is elderly. Sadly, she is skin and bones these days; you'd think I was starving her. She eats twice a day and a bedtime snack, and she consumes almost as much as she used to in quantity but it just doesn't stay on her bones. Maybe it's not a bad thing, because the less weight she has to carry around the better for her hind legs. 

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32 minutes ago, D'Elle said:

Thanks, Rush Fan.

Yes, that is an especially successful photo of her. She is hard to photograph because as soon as you point the camera at her she starts looking away. 

Mancer does this too. It can be so frustrating!  :lol:

Of course, if you saw her in person you would know right away she is elderly. Sadly, she is skin and bones these days; you'd think I was starving her. She eats twice a day and a bedtime snack, and she consumes almost as much as she used to in quantity but it just doesn't stay on her bones. Maybe it's not a bad thing, because the less weight she has to carry around the better for her hind legs. 

Very true. My friend has an elderly toy fox terrier who also eats normally but can't hold any weight on either. And I could tell by Kit's front legs and paws thst she is not a puppy as well. But her ears, eyes and just the way she is standing look very puppy like. It's just a great picture!

 

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I think the failure to maintain weight is pretty common in these very old dogs. Tilly, who was probably just shy of 18 when she died, felt absolutely skeletal under her thick border collie/spitzy-mix coat and near the end even looked it. I think I may be starting to see it a little in my 12 1/2-15 y.o. (still think he's no more than 12 1/2-13 or so) Bodhi, who's needing more food than he used to to maintain his weight.

I even see it in my parents, both now in their mid to late 80s. Both were pretty hefty when they were younger, but both, especially my dad, have lost a ton of weight.

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