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Thread: Arthritis and joint problems in older dogs

  1. #1

    Default Arthritis and joint problems in older dogs

    Hi Everyone,

    DOGFORUM is my new favourite website! Everyone is so helpful and I am so glad I have found this forum!!!

    I have a black lab who is about 12-13 years old, I would know exact age if I checked his papers but I am not at home. The weather is starting to get very cool and he is starting to have problems with his hips and legs which is common in labradors. He is also about 5-10 kilos overweight which definately does NOT help!

    He was fine all summer, but as I mentioned now it is starting to become cold he is struggling. Yesterday he walked very slowly around and would cry every now and then as he must of been in pain. This morning we woke up to find him laying on the cold wet grass and he couldn't move, I rang mum when i was at work (about 2 hours later) and he was still in the same place. He wants to get up so bad but just cant as it hurts too much.

    She called the local vet and he said he would like to startt him on injections which will happen weekly for the next 4 weeks (he will come to our house as its too much for Beau to get in the car). The vet discussed this with us a few months ago, as he had similar problems but not as bad.

    So what I am hoping to get is a bit of advice or people who have the same situation. Apart from the Injections what else can help older dogs who have these problems, obviously the weight needs to go but that is a work in progress and he has lost a little bit.

    I think we might keep him inside during the nights when it is cold.

    Thanks in Advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    I'm in the exact same situation as you are peppersmummy.
    My old girl is 13 and a half and has arthritis in her back legs as well as one of her front. She had surgery to both the back legs for torn cruciate ligaments nearly ten years ago so arthritis was inevitable.

    I'm assuming the injections you are talking about are cartrophen injections?
    I just started my girl on them last week and she had her second one today. With the first one she also got a dose of anti-inflammatories and i was told by the vet that this only lasts 24 hours or so in the system so to watch and see if she picked up a bit and then dropped back down. I didn't notice any difference so she just got the cartrophen injection today.

    I did however notice that about 4 days after the first injection she picked up a bit and was trying to play games with my other dog.
    I'm assuming the cartrophen has had some effect so she will get at least another two injections,possibly four.

    It might be worth you giving him anti-inflammatories as well to see if they work on him.Different dogs seem to respond to different things.
    I tried all the different glucosamine supplements but none of them seemed to do anything for my girl.
    I would recommend either keeping him inside at night when it's cold or at the very least having a bed that is up off the cold ground.
    If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    This morning we woke up to find him laying on the cold wet grass and he couldn't move, I rang mum when i was at work (about 2 hours later) and he was still in the same place.
    That's so sad. I'd definitely be letting him inside or at least organising a heated dog bed - a bit off the ground so it's easier for him to get in and out of than on the ground. And I wouldn't let him lie on the wet grass either. With our previous family dog, when she started "sunbaking" on hot paving in summer on 40'C days - that's when we decided she couldn't be left to make her own choices about this. Couldn't think of anything worse than coming home and finding an old dog dead of heat or cold in the middle of the yard.

    Hopefully the injections will help. There are loads of other things you can spend your money on too, but like the glucosamine - I don't know how effective they are. Glucosamine and some of the other supplements - you have to feed a fairly big dose (at the high end of the recommended dose) for about 3 to 6 months before you can decide if it is effective or not. And that can be expensive.

  4. #4


    Maybe as well as a heated bed off the ground you could get a dog coat for the colder nights?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Toowoomba, QLD


    I can not talk highly enough about something called "Rapigel", it's like dencorub for horses and dogs and works AMAZINGLY! It's an anti-inflammatory and works on joints, muscles and tendons, you can buy it in at pet stores or produce stores (or online), it's in a white and green tub with red writing and is relatively cheap ($20 for a tub that lasts me, the dogs and my horse a few months)

    Meika gets very bad hips in winter too, I put some on her daily (only a tiny bit) and she is able to walk and run properly. My horse has arthritis in his back and is very stiff, when I put it on him, he's running around like a yearling

    Plus it's great on humans.. my father-in-law had a really bad shoulder, they were talking about a shoulder reconstruction etc and he put some of this on his shoulder one day, his physio was amazed by the results and now surgery isn't needed at the moment.
    My partner's grandmother also called us on the weekend and said she had been bedridden for a week due to a sore back, we went down to visit and she was in so much pain she couldn't even roll over without somebody helping her. I rubbed some rapigel into the sore area (VERY VERY lower back/not back at all - I earned some major brownie points rubbing gel into his grandma's a*se crack) and within 20 minutes she was able to stand and walk around by herself and we even had to convince her that it wasn't a good idea to go outside and do gardening..

    It really works excellent, and is worth a try Somebody should rebottle it and and sell it as a 'miracle gel' Hope your pup starts feeling better soon! I also agree that a heated pet bed might help too, deals direct have pretty cheap ones and they're quite good quality (I got one for the dogs and cat a few weeks ago) Pet Beds - Heated | Shop Online at Deals Direct

  6. #6


    thank you everyone! you are all so helpful!

    i have thought about the heated dog bed, however every bed we buy for our pooches they like to chew and spread across the lawn lol, more so our 13 year old lab over the puppy!!! which is bizarre! is there any type of bed that is much harder to chew?

    I have also wanted to get him a dog coat, however he is a very very very big dog and everywhere we have been has not stocked his size.. any suggestions there? i know horseland have some, ill go in there and have a look over the weekend! i need to buy him some socks or something haha! how cute.

    He is such a beautiful dog with such a placid and loyal personality, i want to get this right and get him to his best, i know he is getting on but he deserves to spend the rest of his life having fun and not in pain!!! It's quite hard as well because our lab pup pepper loves being with him wherever he is, if he is away or if we have him inside she cries for him, but then when we put them together she just wants to play and with him in pain it's not such a good idea!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    The hammock beds are harder to chew. Some have metal frames. I recently recovered mine - hessian doesn't last for ever against my dog "making her bed" by digging it. And I put foam over the poles before stitching the hessian on. She hasn't chewed it. I usually put old sweaters and other things for her to chew instead.

    I also got her a plastic backet bed
    like one of these - note I haven't used this website.
    Prestige Perla 2 (45) Plastic Pet Bed (57cmx40cmx24cm) | OZDogBeds

    It is slightly raised off the ground, and has holes for ventilation? in the bottom, I put several old pillows or some foam in the bottom and cover that up with pillow slips or old doona covers and those fleecy blankies you can get two single bed size from woollies and elsewhere for $6 (eek - slave labor somewhere). Don't get the black fleecy tho they stink of some unpleasant chemical.

    All my old jumpers and sweatshirts and tracky dacks become dog blankets. One looks particularily lacy at the moment - my dog chews that not the bed or pillows. And you might - if you don't have enough of your own old clothes, persuade your neighbours or a church op shop (not one of the big chains), to give you their old jumpers that they can't use because the elastic is gone or they have holes.

    I've been thinking about making a bed igloo out of the plastic bed and some fibre glass or bamboo (tent) poles, and a cheap singe bed doona and cover. Or old sleeping bag. Haven't done it yet.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by peppersmummy View Post

    I have also wanted to get him a dog coat, however he is a very very very big dog and everywhere we have been has not stocked his size.. any suggestions there? i know horseland have some, ill go in there and have a look over the weekend! i need to buy him some socks or something haha! how cute.
    Exactly how big is he? My year old Rottweiler is lean at 42 kilo and around 66cm at the shoulder (hard to measure a dog who is turning in circles.) I bought him a beautiful red coat at City Farmers, looks like a horse blanket. There was even a larger size than the one we purchased. Easy to put on with Velcro fastening and he loves wearing it.

    He sounds like a lovely old man, I'm so glad you are getting him a nice soft bed, hope he doesn't chew it up, can't guarantee the socks though. Lol

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    5-10 kg overweight is an awfull lot of extra weight to carry. The loss of weight will be a tremendous help. My dog is 13 and she has had 2 cruciate repairs but I keep her lean and she has no joint problems and still comes on long walks. The cartrophen injections can be very helpful.
    In summer if you have a pool or water swimming will give him exercise, build muscle mass, help his joints remain supple and burn some weight off. With my old girl I always use a flotation jacket so she doesnt have to work to keep afloat.

    I am not sure why you left him lying on the cold grass for so long, couldnt you put a sling under hinm and help him up? Definitely try not to let him get into such a situation again. Dont leave the poor old fellow outside in the cold. A thick supportive bed is a must for old dogs. I have found that inserting a piece of foam into a thick hessian cover that they use on stretcher beds and sowing up the end is quite good for dogs that chew, and reletively cheap to replace.

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