As some of you know, Lily had been having some leg issues that warranted a vet visit. I took her to the vet yesterday, and I thought I’d give an update. We also talked a bit about flea preventatives, so I decided to start a new topic because there was so much covered.
The vet felt Lily’s legs, and couldn’t find out that much but said that her hip extension was good, and she could see that Lily was taking some pressure off of her sore leg. She thought it was probably a knee issue, either progression of the luxuating patella or a cruciate ligament issue, but probably not a torn one because she would be in more pain. She recommended x-rays, which requires sedation, but would give us a clear picture of what was going on. We’re trying to schedule the x-ray for a few weeks from now. The vet also said we could try rest and pain meds. I told her that walking actually seemed to help Lily’s leg, so she said that walking was okay but we should keep walks short and not play fetch with her or let her run around the yard. She also prescribed a non-steriod pain medicine (Medicam) and it seems to be helping a little already. I don’t want to keep her on this long-term, but it is also an anti-inflammatory so hopefully it will help her improve. I will update soon!
We talked about flea preventative too, and the vet said she didn’t have much experience with natural preventatives but she recommended Sentry Natural Defense. Has anyone ever used or heard of this before? Lily is due for her flea preventative this weekend, and we are going out of town next week. I think I’ll use the Activyl one last time, as much as I don’t want to use any chemicals on her, I also don’t want to experiment with fleas when she is about to be staying with a pet sitter and other dogs. I might also use Sentinel, though that does not kill adult fleas it prevents an infestation. If anyone has any thoughts on either of these things feel free to tell me below, and thanks for reading this long post!
You might as hounddogmom about Sentry. I thought she had used it before. I use Halo Herbal Dip or Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Oil or Mercola spray.
Yeah, Sentry Natural Defense is the one that HDM recommends.
Don’t let Lily jump either, neither up nor down.
With her condition, did you speak with your vet about laser therapy for Lily?
HI Dog Obsessed,
I’m sorry to hear about Lily’s leg issues!
For flea control I would NOT use Sentry Natural Defense. Cinnamon, Clove, and Thyme oils are phenols. Phenols are pretty irritating to the skin and Sentry natural defense contains a lot. Phenols and the peppermint oil also have a very strong odor. I suspect that this odor is a bit overwhelming to dogs and cats! A lot of people comment on how strong it smells and if it’s overwhelming to some people imagine how it smells to a dog.
Sentry Natural Defense:
Active Ingredients: Peppermint Oil 3.0%, Cinnamon Oil 4.5%, Lemon Grass Oil 4.5%, Clove Oil 5.0%, Thyme Oil 5.0%
Other Ingredients: Vanillin, Isopropyl Myristate 78.0%
The Mercola oil has much less phenols (1%). I like this oil the best of those mentioned here. It uses mostly Lemongrass oil which has a lighter smell and is less irritating to the skin.
The Halo dip uses tea tree oil which is also very irritating to the skin, but since it doesn’t list the percentages of the oils I don’t know how much tea tree is in it.
The oils I like best for flea and tick control are:
You can buy your own Lemongrass oil and put about 2oz in a 32oz bottle. Add 1 ounce of baby shampoo, fill with water, shake well and mist Lily’s coat a couple of times a week to help with fleas. If you like a woodsy smell then use Cedar oil, the texas red cedar is best. If you add 1oz of isopropyl alcohol to the spray it it will penetrate the coat better.
Ticks are harder to fight naturally, so inspections after you suspect she has been exposed are still the best way to fight them without powerful chemicals.
Thanks everyone! I thought the Mercola spay looked good, is there anywhere to get it besides the Mercola website? I know DogFoodie recently received several expired products from there.
@BCnut Unfortunately, not letting Lily jump would involve confining her to a crate, pen, or small, boring room with no jumpable furniture 22 hours per day. We basically did this for two weeks after she was spayed, (vet is a bit careful about that.) but it’s not really ideal for any length of time. We can try to limit her jumping onto high furniture though.
@DogFoodie No, but coincidentally one of the vets at Lily’s clinic, not the one we saw, just got accredited for it. We can ask about that, thanks for the suggestion!
When I contacted Mercola about the old product I received, they knew exactly the lot that was available. I would contact them and ask them the manufacture date of the lot they’re currently shipping of the Natural Flea & Tick Defense.
I personally would not spray shampoo on a dog and not wash it off. Baby or not.
Thanks DogFoodie! How long would the expiration date be after the manufacturing date?
Dog Obsesed, how is Lily walking? Bentleys got a grade one luxating patella, and he “skips” on that leg. A few normal steps, a few hopped, toe-tapping sort of steps, and start over again. Is there an orthopedic vet near you? They would be able to diagnose her leg issyes better than a traditional vet could. The vet I interned with was an orthopedic vet (though he also did all the normal vet stuff), and he could tell you exactly what was wrong with a lame dog just by how it was walking (or not walking lol). We did a lot of cruciate surgeries there lol Those giant needles they use to go through the bone with the artificial ligaments were nasty looking things! Like giant fish hooks @[email protected]
Anyways, definitely keep activity to a minimum, and try and stop her from jumping on to the furniture. Invest in a few sets of doggy stairs or teach her to stop and wait to be picked up. Even though he refuses to use the stairs and is very quick to jump on the couch and beds (what can I say? He’s a terrier. He does what he wants.), Bentley has learned to stop and ask to get up on the furniture if he’s feeling sore. It takes a while, but they do get it eventually.
I’ve been using various forms of lufenuron for fleas. If you have an active flea infestation, it’s not the best choice, but once the flea populations are taken out, it’s great for flea control. It keeps the eggs from hatching, and it’s not a pesticide. It’s even non-toxic, even at extremely high doses. It can also be used together with just about any product that kills fleas, as well, and all brands of lufenuron say to use it with Capstar or and equivalent if you need to.
Thanks Akari! Lily’s walking is basically like Bentley’s at the beginning of a walk early in the day, and usually improves to little or no limps by the end of the walk, especially if it is later in the day. (Or when she has been walked more recently.) This is why I am hesitant to limit her walking, because it actually seems to help her. I will limit her running when I can though. As for jumping, I guess doggy stairs could be a good idea. Lily isn’t a terrier but acts like one in several different ways, and so I think she would still pretty much jump up when she wanted to. I guess I could just tell her “stay” as she approaches the couch and then lift her, that might teach her to wait. The couch I usually sit on with her isn’t very high, maybe a little over a foot. There is another one she sometimes sits on that is more like two feet. Again, thanks for all the advice!
I would ask them what the specific expiration date is for the product to be sure. They typically print the manufacture date (rather than the expiration date) on the product now and the expiration date is generally 18 months or two years depending on the type of product. I would think the Natural Flea & Tick Defense might have an 18 month expiration date since it’s a liquid. But that’s just a guess. I tried to find it quickly on their website (Healthypets.Mercola.com), but couldn’t.
Edit: Here’s a link to the product page in case you haven’t seen it yet: http://products.mercola.com/healthypets/natural-flea-and-tick-control/
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by DogFoodie. Reason: Added product link
Okay, thanks. Can I just click the “contact” button at the top of the page? It is for the whole Mercola site.
Edit: There’s also a “chat now” button at the top of the page. Can I use that?
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Dog_Obsessed.
Some Mercola products are available on Amazon but typically they’re the same price or close enough that I’d rather buy straight from Mercola then trust whatever seller is selling on Mercola. I worry about whether it’s actually the Mercola supplement (not just using a Mercola bottle) and how old is the product. Some products purchased on Amazon can be difficult to deal with if there’s an issue. They’ll refer you to the seller to get satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, Amazon Prime is my home away from home. I love them. Just saying that I’m more careful with anything like food and supplements that my dogs are going to ingest. Same goes for me and hubby.
Thanks, I’ll probably just email the company and ask for the expiration date. The stuff is safe for dogs to lick off themselves right?
Update: The Medicam really seems to be helping Lily, she is just limping every once and a while like she used to. Also, I live-chatted Mercola and they said the current batch of Natural Defense Flea and Tick expires in 2016, and that it is safe for dogs and cats to lick off themselves.
How long are they suggesting that Lily stay on Medicam or is it for life? Even on Medicam I still think you should look into a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement for her. Medicam is good for pain and as an anti-inflammatory but it’s not without it’s potential side effects but I guess what isn’t.
The Medicam was basically until further notice. They want to do x-rays on her though they said if she gets better with rest and meds then we might not need them. She is on a Glucosamine/MSM supplement, but it is hard to tell if it helps or not.
My Golden had x-rays when he was a super wiggly, very high strung pup of less than one year without sedation, on two separate occasions. If you think the x-rays would be valuable, ask the very to reconsider taking them without sedation. A skilled tech can get it done.
I saw you mentioned having chatted with Mercola about the expiration date on the Natural Flea and Tick Defense. I’m glad you did. I would never order from them again without confirming the expiration date of the lots on hand first again after having not one, but two, experiences receiving old product from them. You’d think ordering from them, you’d be getting the freshest products available, but that’s obviously not always the case.
The receptionist said that if the dog is calm then they can do it without sedation, but Lily definitely doesn’t fit that description. She does kind of shut down when the vet is examine her though, so it might work. I will ask.
Dog Obsessed. Just to reiterate what Bobby dog just said. Through the years my dogs, most especially Hannah of late, have had X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s. Never has she she or any of my dogs been sedated. I guess I missed that part of your post. Jeesh! I’ve got to stop skimming through posts and threads and start reading word for word. I just want to add that very few dogs fit the description of being extraordinarily calm for any testing. They usually have the vet and a couple of techs in the room. The techs hold the dog in position as the vet takes the films or whatever. Or another tech take the film or whatever. Unless it’s a very small practice that you take her to and there aren’t enough hands on board to do the job.
It is a small clinic, but I assume they could do it without sedation if we asked.
Some clinics are very textbook and some aren’t. Textbook is to sedate for x-rays so that the people that work there don’t have repeated radiation exposure and end up with cancer. The old vet I started with used to do almost all x-rays awake(He was from very old school) and hold them himself. He ended up with cancer because of it, and eventually died from it.
DogFoodie shared her experience with X-rays, lol. Since I am here, I am going to pile on. I have never had any of my animals sedated for X-rays including my horses. I actually am one of those clients that will suit up in the radiation shields to assist when needed for my zoo. It’s easier to assist with the horses than my cats. lol I do understand the need for it if the patient is unruly. I hope they at least give it a try without sedation since she is not in excruciating pain.
That makes sense, repeated doses of radiation is never good for anyone!
You’ve gotten some good advice here. I just want to add my vote for trying some alternative treatments like laser, acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy. These things may take a bit of time but can help a lot and don’t cause the side effects that Metacam can cause, especially long-term.
Dori, seriously— your dogs have had MRI and CT without sedation? I’ve never seen any clinic that was willing to do that! You must have super well-behaved dogs :).
I prefer to avoid sedation whenever possible, too, but a lot of vets don’t see it that way.
Thanks everyone! You’ve all been super helpful!
Hater and Molly’s MomMember
Molly had to have xrays last year and she was never sedated.
Tabitha. Yep, my girls are super well behaved but I also have to say that I have fabulous vets. Both their regular vets and the specialists that I take Hannah too are fabulous and go out of their way not to sedate if not absolutely necessary and, of course, for surgery. Hannah’s even had ultrasounds without sedation. I guess we’re very fortunate with the vets I’ve chosen for them. I didn’t realize that most other vets sedate for X-rays and such. When we lived in Jersey the vet there didn’t do it either.
Ultrasound is pretty simple without sedation. MRI is nearly impossible, I assume CT is the same. I can’t imagine getting a good one without loads of training ahead of time. They spent months training a set of dogs so that they could do brain imaging. The dogs had to be taught to lie 100% completely still with all the loud noise and lights and movement going on around them.
Looong delayed update, Lily has been off the Metacam for a little over a week now, and she’s still doing pretty well. One thing we have realized for sure is that walking helps a lot. She will often limp quite a bit in the mornings at the beginning of the walk, and at the end of walks especially later in the day she barely limps at all. She will limp substantially less after being taken for a long walk, and substantially more when she hasn’t been walked that much recently. From what I understand, this is not characteristic of luxuating patellas, and much more common with arthritis. She is really young to have arthritis, but jumping too much as a puppy, which I’m sure she did, may cause that. I also have no idea if she was responsibly bread or not, so that could make a difference.
Since she is doing pretty well I’d be hesitant to do x-rays, but it is awfully mysterious. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether to go ahead with x-rays or not? Thanks!
For myself, I would want to know if it was arthritis or other, so I would know going forward if I need to supplement for arthritis or not and what types of exercise to engage in or avoid.
Her symptoms and the fact that she does better after being up and moving around would lead me to believe that it is an arthritic condition and, not a luxating patella. Having toy breeds for so many years I know the symptoms of luxating patellas. They do not do better after walking and moving around. That’s more symptomatic of arthritis. With that said, I would agree with BC. I’d like to know for sure. But, again with that said, if she has a bad enough luxating patella that needs surgery for correction you would know that. There is no confusing it with arthritis. Yes, I’d like to know if it’s arthritis because if it is, you can give supplements and possible different types of meds or herbals if you think she’s in pain to give her some relief. Pain meds don’t help with severe luxating patellas. With a luxating patella it’s similar to being double jointed where your limb snaps out at a joint. If it’s not severe enough you can snap it back in to place yourself, if you and your orthopedic can’t then you need surgery. With a luxating patella the “knee” will snap out of position. Mild cases it will just snap back into place, mild to medium you or your vet (mostly you because it happens continually) will snap it back in place. Severe means that neither the knee, your dog or you can snap it back in place. That needs surgery. Katie had surgery for a level 4 luxating patella before she was a year old. (have I mentioned often enough on all posts that she was the runt of the litter????) Luxating Patella and arthritis are not the same thing. To know how to treat or at least help either you have to know what it is.
Thanks to both of you! The vet checked Lily back in September and couldn’t detect even a stage 1 lux. patella, but that’s what she thought it was based on the symptoms. I think that was before we knew that exercise helped. I should update the vet soon, I haven’t since she came off the Medacam. I also want to ask the vet about doubling Lily’s glucosamine/MSM supplement. It is over the counter but I want to check first since it is an off-label use.
If it is a supplement that gives loading dose info, you can certainly double it safely, probably almost all, if not all, joint supplements can be doubled. Some dogs do get upset stomach from getting that high a dose long term, but not many. If Lily does, then you can start backing off to see what her comfort level is, like a double dose every other day and normal dose in between.
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