Our seemingly healthy DRC Rescue, Buford, suddenly stopped eating and his rear leg 'slipping' out from behind him.  He is a 120 lb goldendoodle and 10.5 years old.  Never had any health issues. Our regular vet prescribed 300 mg Gabapentin (300 mg) every 8-12 hours.  Started him on that but it didn't seem to be working well (he is panting heavily and moaning) so we took him to the emergency vet who increased the Gabapentin to 3 x a day, added codeine (60 mg) as needed and Carprofen (100 mg) 2x a day.  We are now giving Gabapentin 3x a day and Tramadol (50 mg) up to 3 tablets, twice a day as needed for pain.  All of this within a 10 day span.  We scheduled an appointment for accupuncture but that is still another 2 weeks away.  He is in obvious discomfort and short of surgery (which may or may be successful and is expensive), does anyone have any recommendations?  

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  • Get Buford to an orthopedic specialist ASAP. Without a proper diagnosis, it is a waste of time to try all these meds based on guesswork, not to mention that it's prolonging his suffering. 
    My Jack had a herniated lumbar disc. We too tried Gabapentin prior to getting a real diagnosis, and it not only did nothing for him, it made him fall frequently. (And Carpofen will cause GI damage.) In the end, we opted not to do the surgery because of his age and size, and managed him with meds (steroids, Tramadol, Omega 3 fatty acids) and cold laser treatments. 

    • THanks, Karen.  When I searched the past posts, I did come across your post about the late, great JD.  I appreciate your input and am looking for an orthopedic specialist right now.  


      • Website is acting whacky, lol.
        You may need to look for a surgeon who specializes in orthopedic or spinal issues, rather than an orthopedic specialist. Try both descriptions.

  • Our Charlie needed a hip replacement. We went to his regular vet as a stopgap to going to an orthopedic specialist. He also took carprofin and gabapentin before seeing the specialist and while he healed from the surgery.  You really need to see a specialist for this. 
    When Ned was getting testing  for a different reason, the tests showed arthritis in his neck and hips. We did cold laser treatments specifically for the arthritis. He ended up with gabapentin, steroids etc- for his primary diagnosis but helping with the arthritis also. We found that his cold laser treatments really, really helped.  

    • I found the same, Nancy. The cold laser helped with Jack's mobility a lot. It is being used more and more now, even in GP vet offices. When Jasper was neutered, my vet even used cold laser on the incision area as a routine part of the surgical procedure. I wasn't even told about it beforehand, but I would definitely have approved.

      • We would have continued it until Ned passed if we could have. 

        • Thanks.  Looking for laser treatments now, too.  We are really struggling with how best to help him as he is seemingly in pain even with the medicines.  He can't get comfoortable.  Always heavy panting.  Sometimes moaning in there, too.  And everything is taking so long for appointments... it hurts my heart!

          • I'm sorry, Deb. I know how terrible it feels to have a dog who is feeling awful, and not be able to help him. Hang in there and keep trying, you will find a way.


            • Thanks so much - I need the encouragement!  

          • I'm so sorry. It's a horribly helpless feeling when your dog hurts. 

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