Conservative Management after 1 Month
It has now been one month since we visited the veterinarian regarding Tucker’s CCL tear in the opposite leg. Within a few days of beginning the Novox he showed dramatic improvement in the range of motion in the affected knee joint, and decreased stiffness. For a few weeks leading up to the surgery he had been very reluctant to go on walks because of the discomfort in his newly injured knee, but with the Novox (also known as Carprofen and Rimadyl) he was comfortable to take long walks again. The stifle area is no longer hot to the touch, and he is not guarding the knee the way he was before beginning the anti inflammatory medication. We have gradually been increasing his daily walks by a minute each day since beginning the Novox, and he is now up to a few 10 minute walks per day, which really seems to help keep him comfortable (and happy). We would love to be able to do water therapy with him and go swimming, but the weather is just too cold right now for that to be an option.
In addition to the Novox, Tucker is also taking 600 mg of Omega 3 Fish Oil in the morning and evening with meals, as well as a Glucosamine/Chondrointin supplement. We have found that the brand of Glucosamine and Chondrointin makes a difference, and prefer to use the human formula called Cosamin DS. The manufacturers of Cosamin – Nutramax Labs, also make the canine product, Cosequin. While we did not see any negative affects from the Cosequin, it just seems as though the Cosamin is perhaps a little stronger and stays active in the body a bit longer; just a personal observation.
All of the exercise is helping Tucker to build back some of the muscle mass he lost when he first injured the knee, and he is making great progress. The exercise is also helping to get his weight down, which is one of the best things you can do to help a dog manage a ccl stifle injury without surgical intervention. We are hopeful that this time we can avoid surgery altogether, and we continue to see improvement each day with conservative management.
The longer Tucker stays on the Novox, the more I am concerned that the extended use of NSAID’s (non steroidal anti inflammatory products like Rimadyl, Carprofen and Novox) will negatively impact his health. We were told by the veterinarian that he would need to be monitored regularly to check his liver and kidney functions if he was to take Novox for an extended period of time. I am looking into alternatives to managing the arthritis and inflammation in his knee without prescription arthritis medication, and I will keep the site updated on our progress.