Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions to which aging pooches succumb, and while it is not life threatening, it can be quite inhibiting and often painful.
Zahra is the 8-year-old white German Shepherd of PetPlus community member Jennifer Tillary, and she is a quintessential German Shepherd. Zahra is very close to her family and loves nothing more that a vigorous game of ball. However, to those she is unfamiliar with, she cannot be bothered.
For example, when Jennifer’s close friends bring over their dogs, Zahra barely gives them a sniff before walking out of the room. “I think it kind of hurts their feelings!” Jennifer jests, aware of the fact that her Zahra, like many goal oriented Shepherds, has little patience for dealing with other dogs’ kind of relentless exuberance.
Zahra is, in a word, aloof.
She also, like many German Shepherds, deals with hip dysplasia, a condition that often results in arthritis.
When Arthritis in Dogs Strikes
It is true that many German Shepherds end up with hip dysplasia, but even for a German Shepherd, Zahra was diagnosed young -- before her second birthday, in fact.
It started with Jennifer noticing that Zahra would limp or favor one leg over the other. No stranger to the effects of hip dysplasia (having had German Shepherds before), Jennifer decided to have Zahra’s hips looked at by a vet.
Already sedated during an unrelated vet visit, Jennifer requested that the vet take a quick x-ray of her dog’s hips. The results showed that Jennifer’s intuition was dead on. Zahra was experiencing the onset of hip dysplasia.
Still young, the vet and Jennifer agreed that starting Zahra on medication might be a bit premature, but they did recommend taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplement.
The Progression of Hip Dysplasia
By the time Zahra was 6, her need for pharmaceutical treatment was unavoidable. She was put on Metacam to help manage the pain and inflammation, and it worked like a charm. Now that Zahra is on anti-inflammatories (both metacam and adequan), she has an easier time playing ball, although Jennifer still monitors how long she plays. She is basically back to her old self again!
However, Zahra’s success it isn't just a result of medication. For all those out there dealing with arthritis in dogs and hip dysplasia, here is what Jennifer has to say:
"There is nothing to worry about. Just like with humans, there are so many medications out there to help our pet. Also, as with people, keeping moving with arthritis is critical. The more muscle they have and can keep built up, the better off they will be! Walking is a great way to achieve this!"
How PetPlus Made Treatment Simple
While Jennifer is right about the importance of routine exercise as a way to combat the effects of hip dysplasia, the importance of proper medication should never be understated. Metacam and Adequan have been crucial to helping Zahra overcome her chronic pain.
However, everything comes at a price -- even relief. The retail price of Zahra’s Metacam is roughly $130 a month, meaning that a year's worth of relief would cost Jennifer $1560.
With the PetPlus Complete Care Plan, Jennifer is able to save 42% right off the top, making for a yearly savings of over $500 -- and that is after the cost of a PetPlus membership.
Add to that an additional 50% off savings on flea and tick meds, and a 32% off savings on heartworm, and Jennifer is saving over $800 a year thanks to PetPlus.
“PetPlus is really saving me a lot of money and I am very happy!”
Do you have a dog or cat like Zahra that you would like us to write about? Leave a comment and tell us about them. And sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.