Hello! I am a new user here. I will try and make this post short and sweet.
I have an 8 year old, male, neutered, beagle. He was adopted as an 8 week old puppy from a 501(c)3 rescue in 2009 by my boyfriend. I have been one of his caretakers for the past 2 years. When we met he had been to the vet on two occasions for mobility issues related to back pain. He never had an acute injury (i.e. jumping too hard, dog fight, hit by car etc. nothing like that) it just kind of happened one day. At the time we was about 5-7 lbs overweight.
What his flare-ups consist of/look like:
- it will come on all of a sudden, he will turn wrong or just wake up and be stiff and painful.
- usually his back legs are most affected
- he does feel deep pain and will right his paws when they are knuckled over, the vet has determined it is not a neurological issue
- he is usually a very active, happy, food-obsessed, beagle. When he is in this sort of pain he will still eat.. but that is about it. He won't beg or wait for his dinner to be made, he just stays on his bed and doesn't want to do much.
- we do have deramax for him when this happens, he does not respond to tramadol really, so we stopped using that (and we run blood work on him 3-4 times a year to monitor his liver values, etc.)
- he never had incontinence issues due to his back pain
Changes we have already made:
-put him on a diet, he is now slightly underweight (per vet recommendation) to keep extra weight off joints
-switched him from front attaching easy walk harness to puppia harness soft vest (back-attaching) harness to keep him from having to turn side-to-side unexpectedly.
-put him on glucosamine/controitin supplement with MSM (dasuquin sm/med w/MSM)
-put him on fish oil supplement (welactin)
-increased his lateral exercise,no jumping or hardcore running like our other dog, but he gets a lot of walks in the woods and can even go off-leash (unlike most beagles he doesn't follow a scent, just wants to be with us!)
-purchased an orthopedic dog bed from k9 ballistics (hasn't arrived yet so not sure how much that will help)
-we don't allow him to jump on and off of furniture or in and out of car, and when he has a flare up we carry him up and down stairs
- he gets cold laser therapy whenever he does have a flare up
- we have an appointment with a veterinary acupuncturist for a consult to discuss if acupuncture could help
- we also use a heating pad for him when he is in pain
Feedback I am looking for:
- Am I missing something?
- Could I be doing more? If so what?
- has anyone had the same type of issue and found any specific remedies or treatments to be helpful and reducing how frequently the pain occurs.
He is absolutely terrified of water so hydrotherapy is not an option. And quite honestly we cannot afford to do MRI's or the like so more in depth diagnostic tools are likely out of the picture for us right now. We just had a mass removed and complete dental x-rays and cleaning with extractions done for him so our veterinary budget is pretty low at the moment. But I am happy to have any input as to what we might save up for next. Like I said he is only 8 and I absolutely couldn't stand having to say good bye to him in the next few years if this starts to progress and he become immobile. Any input welcome! Thank you!!!