Jack's Vet Visit
Jack went in to see the vet on Thursday. This was with a friend's vet (who also happens to be the husband of a zoo vet). My regular vet was unable to get me in until next week (which I thought was too long). Jack's been whining a lot (usually after exercise) and has been looking very stiff. He's also been having trouble getting up and, while he still wants to go for his walks, he's lagging behind after we've passed only a few houses. So...off to the vet he goes.
The vet we saw was Dr Humphrey at Beechnut Animal Hospital in Houston, TX. He listened to all I had to say, did a thorough physical exam on Jack, took some blood and then discussed our options. He diagnosed Jack with arthritis - which I knew he had. I simply wanted it confirmed that that was all it was. I asked him about Metacam (we've seen such good results with it at the zoo that I was wanting to try it on Jack...I've never been fond of Rimadyl or Deramaxx. Actually, I've never been fond of Pfizer (the company that makes Rimadyl) and the Deramaxx doesn't seem to be working. And, while I know Metacam is a NSAID (just like the other two), I've heard better things about it). He said that he saw no reason to try it but to be aware of the side effects of it. He also said to give him Prilosec to help protect his stomach from the effects of the NSAID.
We did the bloodwork to get a baseline and to make sure he could handle the drug. I found out last night his bloodwork looks normal (remember, he's 9 1/2 years old!!) and we could start the Metacam when we get it. His clinic doesn't stock it so he'd have to order it. Well, Metacam costs ~$117 for a 100 ml bottle - which would last Jack about 2 months. I looked on the internet and found it at Entirely Pets for $68.99 (regular price $116.85). I left a message for Dr Humphrey about getting a prescription so that I can order it online. Normally I would have no problem purchasing it from the clinic. However, that's an almost $50 difference in price and I probably wouldn't get it any sooner. If I could pick it up today, I would gladly pay $50 more, but I can't...so I'd much rather spend that $50 on some treats or other supplements for Jack. :)
My goal is to get him as pain free as possible. And I'll do whatever I can to get him there - he's already on several supplements to help with arthritis and his joints (turmeric, bromelain, fish oil, vit c, vit e, glucosamine/msm/chondroitin - and I'm going to be starting him on Green Blend and Bertes Zyme and Young at Heart from Animal Naturals (which includes most of what he's currently taking but in one dose, instead of several)). I just think it's time to add in a NSAID. The supplements only do so much...
At some point we may have to discuss adding a pain killer into the mix...but I'll cross that road when I come to it.