Tabasco has been through a lot in his (almost) 10 years. In addition to beating cancer three times and surgery to repair torn ACL’s on both knees and a luxating patella he recently had major back surgery to repair a few ruptured disks that were causing him a good deal of pain and threatened his control of both bladder and bowels.
He came through the surgery better than expected (except for the Houdini breakout escapes out of the kitchen to be near his sister) and had returned back to normal activity – nightly walks, romps on the beach and even some hikes. Not bad for a basset.
Then winter came. Now, I know those of you in other parts of the country are scoffing at our So Cal idea of winter but the chilly temperatures and damp conditions took a toll on Tabasco. He started showing signs of stiffness and reluctance to go on his beloved nightly walks. When we did convince him to go he was slower than normal and clearly uncomfortable. Throughout his life we had made the decision to perform the surgeries in order to keep him feeling good without resorting to lifelong medication. I didn’t want to start now. After talking with our vet and weighing the options we decided to put him on Metacam (a traditional but typically safer non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) for one week to see taking away the pain changed his behavior. We wanted to confirm that he was actually in pain and not just chilly or bored with our nightly route.
Within two days it was pretty clear. Tabasco started asking for his walks again and held head and tail high while he led the pack around the neighborhood. Knowing lifelong Metacam was not what we wanted for him because of the potential side effects (vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and liver and kidney damage) we decided to give a natural pain med a try.
Our holistic vet highly recommends Dog Gone Pain, a natural supplement made up of ingredients known for their pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties such as Marine Collagen extract, Boswellia, Tumeric, Wheatgrass and Fever Few. In addition to be incredibly safe the DGP costs about $30 per month for a dog Tabasco’s size. Quite the steal compared to the $190 bottle of Metacam that he would need to last a few months.
We ordered a bottle and gave it to him daily, waiting the week it usually requires to take effect before making a call. The results surprised us. He showed no signs of pain or discomfort and continued to enjoy his walks. I expected it to have an effect but wasn’t planning on it being just as effective as the Metacam. Even weeks after the Metacam was stopped (it usually leaves the body in a few days tops) there was no change in his behavior despite the cold, rainy weather.
Health concerned pet owners now have a safe and effective alternative for older pooches starting to show signs of difficulty getting up, using the stairs or just slowing down.