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Health of an older Boxer female

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

We have an older Boxer female that is approximately 11 years old and is having a lot of trouble with her hips. Our vet diagnosed her with hip dysplasia. My concern for her is she rapidly began to loose weight, without loosing much of her appetite, excessive water consumption with more frequent urination. After the vet prescribed Previcox for symptom.

We have discontinued usage of the prescription about 3 days ago. My question is, is this drug classified with Rimadyl or is this typical for the Boxer breed. I know that tests can only truly determine diagnosis, but very concerned for any toxicity causing death from years with slow hip deterioration. Any advice or home remedies you can suggest?

With much Thanks,

Dani


Answer

Hi Dani– thanks for your email. You emailed that your 11-year-old boxer was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and was treated with Previcox. I have an article on my PetPlace.com site that might be very helpful called "Hip Dysplasia in Dogs".

A common method to diagnosis this disease is based on the physical examination finding and radiographs (x-rays). It is commonly treated with recommendations for weight loss in addition to pain medications, such as Previcox or Rimadyl. Both of these drugs are non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). These are both very good drugs and can give dogs a lot of pain relief.

However, there are side effects with these medications. Generally, I look at the medications and the risk of side effects as a balance. It is a balance between the benefits and potential risk. I always try to use the lowest effective dosage. Then I consider the quality of life and the potential benefit of the drugs versus the quality of life without the drugs. It truly is a balance. I never recommend using more than one NSAID at one time and NEVER use a NASID with a steroid. An article that might be useful that talks about general side effects from this class of drugs is "Ibuprofen Toxicity".

I'm concerned about your boxer based on the fact you say she is now loosing weight and has excessive water consumption with more frequent urinations. I'd worry about two things – is her kidney function okay or does she have diabetes?

I think taking her off the meds is reasonable but I'd also recommend that you have her revaluated by your veterinarian. He may want to do some blood tests that will evaluate her blood glucose level (tell if she is a diabetic) and evaluate her kidney function.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you on Petplace.com are "Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs" and "Kidney Failure in Dogs".

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra



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