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.
- Little Jo Wheek
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.
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...
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
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.
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.