What meds for 12 year old retriever

Author: VioVet
Published: Monday 4th March 2013

Our customer asked:

I have a 12 year old retriever whose back legs are sometimes stiff and struggles
getting up,other times up like a flash, have tried 3 different tablets from
yourselves currently Vetzyme High Strength
Flexible Joint ,what would be the best option?

Also tried bad breath tablets chews but think the seaweed you sell had best
effect is this about the best for that symptom. Last currently using epi
optic Ear cleaner that kind of breaks the wax and blockage down a bit would
you sell anything stronger.

In advance thanks for any advice know you have little to go on but so do I ,
tried most cheaper products and may as well burn the money really is it a
case of you get what you pay for ?

Our reply:

Certainly it is true that to some extent you get what you pay for. The more expensive joint supplements tend to be the best, though the ones where we get good discounts from the suppliers does change that somewhat. The other point to make is that a 12 year old dog will inevitably be getting weaker and stiffer on his legs, no matter what you do. He will have some good days and some less good.

We generally hear about good results from Cosequin and Yumove, so I would tend to try these. None of them are likely to be dramatic, but they should slow down the degenerative processes and relieve some of the symptoms. If he is still having trouble, then the prescription anti-inflammatory medications will probably make a much bigger difference to him, but legally you need a prescription from your vet before we can sell you those.

The other things are diet and exercise. Ideally he should go for frequent, regular, short, gentle walks. Nothing too strenuous, but he should be up and moving about. His food levels should probably be restricted to keep his weight down, or he will end up carrying too much weight for his older muscles and joints.

Bad breath tends to come from dirty teeth and sore gums. We find that dogs which will spend time chewing on a large chew for any length of time tend to have the best teeth and least smelly breath. Sometimes it is necessary to offer a large chew instead of a meal. Hunger is needed to make dogs bother with the big chews which take time to eat. The benefit comes from the length of time spent gnawing. Separately from that, the seaweed tablets can indeed help.

Mucky ears can be cleaned out with regular ear cleaners. Sancerum is one of the best. If your dog seems uncomfortable with his ears, I would have to suggest he is taken to the vet. Otherwise, regular cleaning can indeed help a great deal.