Ask-a-Vet: Question and Answer
Breed: Scottish Terrier
Age: 9.0 years
Weight: 22.0 pounds
8/31/2012 11:10:42 AM
Our dog has liver disease and takes Flagyl for suppressive therapy. Her Alkaline phosphatase is elevated somewhat. What therapy other than moist heat can we use for arthritis as we can’t use anti-inflammatories or chondroitin. Thanks.
9/4/2012 6:38:23 PM
Sorry to hear about your Scotty’s problems. I can’t answer as thoroughly as I might like without knowing what type of liver disease she has, but there are a number of things out there that might be safe for her. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting anything new.
Topical laser therapy is a relatively new treatment that really seems to help a lot of dogs and should be completely safe. Many areas now have rehabilitation clinics that offer laser therapy if your vet doesn’t have the equipment. Tramadol is a pain medication that is safe for many dogs that can’t tolerate Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDS), but it is metabolized in the liver and dosage adjustments may be necessary. Many of the nutraceuticals such as glucosamine are safe for most dogs with liver disease, but many of the glucosamine combinations contain other compounds (mostly anti-oxidants) that are used in Liver Support combinations, usually with MSM and Silibyn (milkthistle), so you would want to carefully compare with any supplements that she may be taking for her liver disease so as to avoid doubling up on any of the ingredients. Omega 3 Fatty acid supplementation at high levels, using a good quality product, can really help arthritic joints as well. The last thing to remember is that as much exercise as her creaky joints will allow is helpful to build muscle to support those aging joint.
Lastly remember that supplements and nutraceuticals are not regulated by the FDA and only somewhat policed within the industry, so it’s always wise to stick with the better, well-known brands. Be sure to go over everything with your veterinarian so that it will be clear to everyone how much she is getting of each drug, herb or supplement.
I hope that helps!
Daniel Horton, DVM