I think I'm losing Lucy . . .

You can quote me

Post   » Fri May 21, 2004 2:29 pm

It also came highly recommended from the vet, who takes it himself. I'll hold my breath and give it a shot. Just need to tell the pigs to hold their breaths too!

I sincerely hope that's the only problem Lucy is facing.


Post   » Fri May 21, 2004 3:43 pm

I've had pigs on daily Rimadyl for years. We autopsy every pig and have yet to find any evidence that their livers have been affected by the Rimadyl. Not to say it isn't an issue, just that so far we haven't found it to be.

I recently switched Ferdinand from Meloxicam to Rimadyl and he is doing better on it.

I don't know that C is that much of an issue with arthritis. Apatche was born in our house and has arthritis. His sister did too - extremely severe in the shoulder. She was the fisrt pig to see the Physio for help since she was flopping like a fish due to the pain. Ultrasound therapy made a huge difference. She also was on Rimadyl for 3 or 4 years until she died. many other pigs who ended up with arthritis came to our house as babies.

Most arthritis seems to be age related. Pigs seem to come down with the same age related problems as humans. Just about all our seniors are on Fortekor for their hearts. 3 are on Lasix also. All the seniors are on arthritis meds too except for the diabetic who seems to have escaped both heart issues and arthritis. (She'll be 6 this June.)

Any pig at our house that gets daily meds also gets vitamin C.

I asked my vet why so many of our pigs had arthritis and her theory is that we don't have an unusally high incidence of arthritis. Because our pigs are free range we tend to notice changes in their behavior quickly. I always know to take pigs in for diagnosis when they have trouble jumping levels or climbing the condo stairs. I also see weird gaits(hopping motions) when they are running in the garden. Pigs that spend their lives in a cage don't move around enough for the owners to see there is a problem.

You can quote me

Post   » Fri May 21, 2004 4:25 pm

Pinta, your experience with Rimadyl is very heartening. I will speculate my vet is erring on the side of caution, which is fine but it's comforting to know it needn't necessarily cause a problem if used long-term. Thanks.

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For the love of my girls!

Post   » Fri May 21, 2004 7:12 pm

I misunderstood when you were taking Lucy in. You are taking her in on Saturday, right? I asked N about you today and he said you hadn't been in.

I hope you get good/helpful news.

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Post   » Fri May 21, 2004 9:18 pm

Yeah, I talked to him later today. I have my appt in the am, but as soon as I get back, have a very busy adoption/surrender/cage cleaning day planned. Will post the results as soon as I can.

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 12:08 am

Talishan, when Ollie had to go on Glucosamine and Chon., I had a pharmacy compound it for me since the dosage was so small. They put it in a cherry syrup and I had to fight him for the syringe.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 12:40 am

Yes, vitamin C can be an issue with arthritis and joint pain.

I went to some CE at a well-attended veterinary conference about 2 years ago on veterinary acupuncture. Naturally, the discussion turned to a group Q & A and discussion about integrating other modalities (diet, drugs, and other physical therapy/exercise). Vitamin C was brought up as a useful supplement (along with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM) with chronic bone and joint pain or acute. Daily maintenance dosages were discussed. What surprised me were the dosages for acute treatment. Like 1000-3000 mgs/day PO of the buffered stuff for an average 50-75# dog. They work to bowel tolerance and slowly ease off. I thought it was hocus pocus. No way!

It seems to work in most cases. I have tried it with my own pets (dogs) for acute on chronic arthritis (with spondylosis, too) and the results even beat the steroids and NSAIDS! I've gotten to the point that I skip the steroids and NSAIDS altogether when I have a limping/crying/screaming dog from joint issues. It's ridiculous, but I even recommended it to others who saw similar results. Crazy. Dogs manufacture vitamin C in their own bodies without supplementation. I don't know exactly the physiological workings, but everything I've learned about joints shows that vitamin C is helpful for maintaining that cartilage. The excess is excreted in the urine (mostly).

The problem, however, with LARGE doses of vitamin C over time is that bowel tolerance can be tricky (diarrhea is common with overdosing or quickly giving a large amount) and the body does tend to make urinary tract stones from that excess vitamin C.

I still recommend supplementing all arthritis pigs with 50 mgs daily. I don't think anyone has seen problems with that level. If a pig was really sore, I might even go as high as 200 mgs for a one time dose, if it was buffered. I haven't had the chance to try it in cavies. My arthritis pigs seem fairly well maintained on 50 mgs SID.


Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 1:24 am

Josephine, that is new and useful information for me. My dog has hip dysplasia and she took Rimadyl for a couple of years until liver damage occured. She now takes Deracoxib and glucosamine as well as Missing Link and cold pressed flax. She weighs 120 lbs....so I should really get her to 3,000 mg of C per day? She is 6 (a Dane).

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GL is Just Peachy

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 2:45 am

I know that glucosamine's effectiveness is increased when taken in conjunction with vitamin C, but didn't know that the vitamin alone helped.

Does it help with both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, or do dogs only get osteoarthritis?


Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 5:26 am

Interesting re the C. I haven't seen any miraculous improvements when supplementing C to our arthritis pigs(which we do). The only miraculous improvements I've seen were with ultrasound for Soot's shoulder and with Azithromycin(sp?) for Beachez which took her from a state of paralysis to total normal movement.

Otherwise the arthritis treatments we use just maintain their mobility.

The pigs born to our house have not suffered any C deficiency and two of them have had arthritis along with their mother. Coincidentally this is the same family with heart disease. I suspect some arthritis is hereditary.

The diabetic who has no arthritis does not always get a C supplement with her meds. Sometimes we run out of the plain C and she doesn't get the orange flavoured c because of the sugar. With her, a C supplement is very hit and miss yet she is our only current senior without arthritis. Maybe she's just an anomaly...

TX Rustlers

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 8:07 am


I had one of my 3 year old piggys recently holding one back leg tightly under her, she was very mobile but on three legs. The ankle rather than the elbow seemed painful in her case, she would neither stretch it or put it down.
I put her on Rimadyl and took her to the vet, the ankle was x-rayed, nothing broken.
Dr G did not find anything conclusive other than the ankle was swollen, arthritus was not ruled out, nor a sprain but then there was also a possibility that the swelling involved a bacteria causant, because we didn't have anything solid we followed a course of Rimadyl + Baytril for 2 - 3 weeks which resolved the issue.

good luck Julia

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 2:09 pm

Chary, I wouldn't use the massive doses of C for more than a week or so. The side effects are not worth it (especially the stones). I would consider getting her on a maintenance dose. It only helps, not cures the problems. I, too, don't notice a huge difference on maintenance. 50 mgs/day on a cavy doesn't usually provide enough excess to be a problem, but I'm sure you won't see any serious results if they had acute musculoskeletal pain. It's like giving 100 or 500 mgs to a large dog. No marked improvement as a one time deal. When my dogs are so painful, they don't want to move I shoot them full of C (even orally works within a few hours) instead of carprofen or deracoxib, which don't usually work that well unless you use them every day (BTW, I do prefer the deracoxib hands-down to the carprofen any day). Steroids were the next choice if the dog didn't improve within 12 hours, but the side effects and consequences of frequent usage (even hit and miss) are not good at all. I hate to see my pets in pain, though. I really am a worry wort when it comes to them. I don't want them to ever hurt or be ill. I try to use steroids for the really serious, life-threatening or severe (almost irreversible) musculoskeletal injury only. I can't believe the vitamin C worked on the dogs I tried it on. I've been using it every couple of months for two years since that conference.

It should help all kinds of arthritis. It is instrumental in all sorts of immune function. There are stress, FIP (in cats), and even dermatitis indications. It is also a urinary acidifier at certain doses.

Animals prone to urate, oxalate, or cystine stones should not be on C for the long term. It may also cause false negative in urine glucose tests (for diabetics). Diarrhea and GI problems (upset) are the number one side effects.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a canine dosage anywhere. Darn pharmacology texts. I do know that a lot of products with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM also contain vitamin C additives. I'm not sure if the Missing Link Plus does or not. Perhaps some.

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Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 9:46 pm

Okay. Here's the story. Let me just say, this was a nightmare visit for me and Lucy. It was deju vu all over again relating back to her first horrific vet experience when after she'd been in labor for 6-plus hours (I was out of town) and she had to have one pup (stillborn) manually extracted that was about 3 times the normal size. Today was just what I didn't want to happen to her. I know it was necessary but the experience was awful.

For me, this was an early morning visit and I only had coffee and OJ and no dinner with a late night of dancing the night before. So, we get there, and go back to the x-ray area after the preliminary, standard weighing and exam.

The radio tech did the best she could, but for three shots, Lucy was on her back with her legs pulled straighter for the image. Clearly major distress and pain. When she was back in my arms, she actually bite me. Not hard, but hard enough to tell me she was highly pissed and don't ever think about doing that again.

The films were done pretty quick. Before Dr. N came back, the tech, the x-ray tech and myself were looking at them on the light board or whatever you call that thing. We looked at the joints and then all kind of said, 'what's that?' hmmm.

Dr. N came in and looked at the film. Major arthritis in the knees AND a HUGE stone in her urethra. One we looked more closely at her, you could visibly see the bulge and hardness of it. She's never indicated any pain from it in crying during urination or anything. He said it might not bother her. He didn't want to do surgery and suggested we try to manually express it out with some local anesthetic.

Just prior to this, I'm starting to lose it. Feeling faint anyway. Said, I've got to sit down. There were no chairs in the vicinity, so I sat on the floor. Lucy was on the table right over my head. I could see her head, but of course chose not to watch the details of what they were doing. I think they were having some difficulty and said they wanted to take her to show her to Dr. Johnson. So, they left the room with her and I'm really losing it some more. Had to lay down on the floor and put my face on the cold tile, close my eyes and practically fall asleep to let whatever was bothering me go away.

They came back in with Lucy and said Dr. Johnson got the stone out and Lucy didn't scream or cry. Then they went and flushed her out some more.

I have the stone. Good grief! According to my measurements it's about .85 cm wide and 1.15 cm long or about 7/16 inches long and 5/16 inches wide!!

Dr. N said Meloxicam. He didn't prefer Rimadyl or Carprofen for a few reasons which I don't remember too well.

She was sacked out for hours in her cozy after we got home, but I just noticed she's up and eating hay right now. She was always an anti-people person after that first vet visit.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 9:51 pm

Can you blame her?

Dang. Poor Lucy!

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Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 9:54 pm

Wow. I'm glad they got the stone out. Is she on bactrim or an antibiotic? The meloxicam should help. I hope this was the basic problem and she can go on being herself. I hope some of the suggestions for arthritis help you too.

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Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 9:56 pm

She's not on an antibiotic. Just meloxicam.

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Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 10:04 pm

I would think manipulating the stone out would have injured her urethra.

Hope she is comfortable.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 10:07 pm

Any blood in her pee after that ordeal?

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Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 10:08 pm

They said to probably expect some blood for a little while.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Sat May 22, 2004 11:48 pm

T, I'm sure you're glad it's over, but I think that was the best news you could have heard! I'm so pleased. It sounds like she'll be fairly easy to manage from now on.

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