I have a border collie
called Merrie, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylosis in
1999 when she was just over 5. At the time the disease was pretty
well advanced and the vets said because of how it had developed
we would be lucky if she saw her 10th birthday.
Merrie was prescribed
Rimadyl and for the first few weeks it made a dramatic difference
to her life, instead of not being able to walk more than 10 paces,
she was back to playing with our other dog and hunting rabbits.
Then the diarrhoea and vomiting started and it was very obvious
that she couldn't tolerate Rimadyl. We were referred for acupuncture
and we started her on Vitamin E and large doses of Ester C. The
acupuncture worked brilliantly and we were able to just keep her
on using a half dose Rimadyl every few weeks when she had a flare
up in her back.
Last August (2004), after
more flare ups than usual, Merrie went downhill fast ... not walking
well, being very lame and wobbly in her back end and she was diagnosed
with the spondylosis now affecting inside her spine as well as outside.
We decided we would try a different NSAID, as quality of life was
everything at this stage.
We put her on Metacam
- she improved dramatically and no side effects. We ran complete
blood tests before we put her on it and everything was normal, she
will be blood tested again shortly to make
sure all is well.
Merrie will be 11 in April
2005, we have no idea how much longer she has with us but at least
the Metacam is making sure that whatever time we do have with her
will be comfortable and pain free.
This is how in my opinion
these drugs should be used. I would never give an NSAID for a minor
sprain or strain or as a routine "precaution" as many
vets do now.