View Full Version : Herbal remedy for spondylosis?

19th November 2006, 04:06 PM
Hi there,

I've just joined this forum - came across it while searching for information on information about herbal remedies for Cavaliers. I have a beautiful 14 year old Cav called Charlie (I didn't name him!). He's generally doing OK, although will most of the usual health problems you would expect from a Cav of that age (e.g. MVD, mostly deaf).

I'm posting here because he's been diagnosed with Spondylosis, and I wondered whether anyone has any idea whether herbal remedies might help? A few weeks ago we found him completely unable to stand because one of his back legs had seized up. He improved quite quickly however, and has been on Rimadyl since. He did seem to be coping OK on this medication (he's on 40mg a day), but there have been a few more incidents of his back legs seizing up (though these incidents have been less severe than the first one). He went for a walk earlier and ended up hopping along because his back legs were so stiff :(

I was just wondering whether if anyone thinks that herbal remedies might help? I was thinking of perhaps trying 'devil's claw'. I've not really got much idea of what dosage I would give him, and whether it would be safe given the other medication he's on (he's on frusemide, fortekor, and rimadyl daily).

Any help would be really appreciated. I want to make my little boy as happy as possible.

Thanks in advance,
Pepsi x

19th November 2006, 05:40 PM
Welcome to the forum, it's great to hear of another Oldie, we really treasure the Oldies here, I have a 10 year old, Rupert.

I haven't really tried the herbal remedies, there are some things like "Runaround" from www.doghealth.co.uk available, which I believe include Devils Claw and would give you a recommended dosage.

I have Rupert on Flexi joints from www.healthspan.co.uk which is a Glucosamine and Chondriotin supplement which really helps him.

Norma has an older dog with Spondylosis too, I know he has benefitted from acupuncture, is that available in your area?

We'd love to see some photos of Charlie

19th November 2006, 07:23 PM
Hiya. Thanks very much for your reply. I'll have a look into the treatments that you mentioned. Do you know if they're both safe and without side effects? I'll have a think about acupuncture too.

He seems to be really stiff at the moment. My partner just took him out for a tiny walk and he went all stiff again :( Will probably do another visit to the vet too. Poor boy spends a fair bit of time there lately!

Managed to add a pic of my boy as my avatar :)

Thanks again,
Pepsi x

19th November 2006, 07:37 PM
Oh he's lovely, what a darling :lotsaluv: :lotsaluv:

To my knowledge these are all safe...worth mentioning to your vet as Charlie is on conventional drugs though.

Does he have a coat for when he goes out? Getting cold and wet won't help him...Rupert puts a coat on just to go out in the garden if it's very cold or wet...

Maybe if you have a garden he might be better just pottering about there for the time being...it sounds like he's not coping with a walk.

Otherwise just basic management advice - keep his weight down {he looks fine in the photo anyway}, try not to let him jump on and off chairs etc, and avoid stairs if possible.

Really hope he will be better soon, please give him a gentle cuddle from me xxx

19th November 2006, 07:47 PM
Is it spondylitis or spondylosis that you dog has? My Arne has spondylitis. The accupuncture only helped a little bit as he is so tense along his spine. He is on diazapam, and seraquin and has had a course of injections which helped his stiffness. I cant remember the name of them

19th November 2006, 08:11 PM
Sorry Norma...I get confused :(

20th November 2006, 02:46 AM
I bet light massage would make your dog feel better even if it didn't help his condition. Would definitely help loosen older joints and increase bloodflow prior to exercise.

20th November 2006, 09:58 AM
Dont worry Nicki. it toojk me ages to be sure I had was telling people the right thing.
The injections were cartofen (I am not sure of the spelling but they were not expensive) and it was a 4 week course.

20th November 2006, 11:00 AM
Hi Pepsi and welcome to the board

What a gorgeous boy your baby is, we love oldies on here :lotsaluv:

I give Maxx Joint Formula from Healthy Direct


It has Glucosamin, Chondroitin and MSM so it will help with pain as well as encouraging new cartilage growth and making the joints more flexible.

Have you also thought about a magnetic collar? I believe Nicki uses magnet therapy (is that right Nicki?)

Hope your little one is soon pain free :flwr:

20th November 2006, 12:44 PM
Yes we use both a collar and patches which contain 9 magnets...

Magnotherapy has been proven to increase blood flow which helps with healing...and removing toxins.

Ours have a patch under the water bowl - which is supposed to help liver and kidney function as well as general healing - and 5 on each arm chair where they sit, as well as a large mat of magnets which Rupert sleeps on. He is full of beans, just has the very occasional flare up of arthritis, when he gets wet or cold, hence now wearing his coat!

I also have some health problems and it greatly reduced my stiffness - I used to be a creaky door in the mornings!!

I bought the patches on E-bay through this seller - this is the cheapest way of buying them, you need to make sure they are good quality magnets, as low rated ones won't help at all :shock:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Magnetic-Therapy-Rug-Kit-with-pair-free-equibands_W0QQitemZ330050616628QQihZ014QQcategoryZ 16239QQcmdZViewItem

They also have a website http://www.equimagnets.co.uk/

There is also something called Sasha's blend, which is supposed to be brilliant for mobility problems...I haven't tried it yet, just looking into it.
This is their web site...I have contacted them about availability in the uk

Donna the only thing that worries me about Healthy Direct is that they don't tell you where the Chondriotin is sourced from, that can make quite a difference...

Thanks Norma, Cartofen is the doggie equivalent of Ibuprofen, so that would make sense...

20th November 2006, 01:01 PM
Hi all,

Thanks so much for all of your replies. Certainly lots of things to think about trying! I've just nipped to Holland & Barrett and bought a Glucosamine complex for pets (more expensive than the online versions a couple of you have mentioned, but I'm very impatient!). Also planning to nip out this eve to buy him a coat. Sure he'll look very cute in it, although he might feel a little foolish :)

On the plus side, he managed a 5 min walk this morning without too much stiffness. It's a bit warmer today, which has probably got something to do with it.

Thanks again,
Pepsi x

BTW, this is a very nice messageboard. It's nice to see pics of all your gorgeous little boys & girls :)

1st December 2006, 05:34 PM
Hi there,

It's been a couple of weeks now, and my boy still isn't doing very well with his spondylosis. The vet has changed his medication because his back legs were still seizing up now and then. She said I should 'prepare myself' for the day his legs completely seize up, and for him being unable to move one day :( It's just such a horrible thought.

He's 14 years old now, and he does have several other health problems. His MVD is pretty bad and he does cough horribly now and then (the vets always say his heart sounds 'terrible', but they do also say his pulse is strong). He also has a ridiculously huge tumour on one of his testicles. Thankfully it doesn't seem to bother him.

Just a bit sad :( He might not be with us for much longer, which is a horrible thought....

On the plus side, he is still a very happy boy, and doesn't let all his problems get him down. The vet said I might have to stop walking him, which will be hard because he goes mad for his walks in the morning! I'm only taking him out for about 5 mins at the moment, which seems mean :(

How am I supposed to prepare myself for losing my little boy? I'm guessing it's not possible. Just trying to put the inevitable to the back of my mind and make him as happy as I can.

Anyway, sorry to go on.
Take care,
Pepsi x

1st December 2006, 09:59 PM
HI Pepsi

I'm sorry about all the problems your darling boy is battling...it's so hard to see them like this, but they are very brave and seem to pull you along too.

I know what you mean about walks...Rupert hates not being able to go out.

If it is the highlight of Charlie's day, my view would be that I would rather still take him - for just a very short walk, and have a happy dog, even if that meant maybe having a shorter time left with him - quality is more important than quantity...{ I knew of one very special Cavalier who also had MVD, who just used to do 10 steps out of the door to the lamp post and back every day, but it was the highlight of her day}

I don't think we can ever really prepare ourselves for the day when they are no longer here...all you can do is make the most of each day you have left, I always tell mine how much I love them EVERY day.

Maybe you can make a list of the things that Charlie values most highly in his life - I think his walk is perhaps 1?

We did this for Rupert when he was really bad with Syringomyelia 2 1/2 years ago...my husband and I made a list of things that made Rupert's quality of life worthwhile, with the understanding that if he was no longer able to do these things on a permanent basis, that we would let him go.

Rupert's favourite things are his walks, eating, being out in the garden...when he can no longer manage these with dignity, we will give him his wings.

I'm so sorry, just sending you very big hugs, I think this really is the Cavaliers' only fault, we become so attached to them as they are so very special and they break your heart when they leave...

Some things you can do to make it easier at the time, are to think about whether you wish to opt for an individual cremation - where you will have the ashes returned to you; or maybe you can plant something in the garden in memory, or even create a memory garden. Some people make scrapbooks of their dog's life. Special photos can be helpful too.

These things are hard to think about now but it makes it easier at the time rather than having to make a quick decision - ie you can find out if your vet will come out to the house for euthanasia, or would you have to go in to the surgery; the vet should be able to recommend a crematorium etc.

Sorry I know this will be upsetting you, but honestly it does help at the time...I have been there, lost one of our girlies very suddenly at 5 1/2 and we were totally unprepared - then had to give another girlie her wings earlier this year. I was prepared this time and her passing was very peaceful at home, we were feeding her prawns, her favourite. we had already decided to have an individual cremation, and they were lovely.

This website is lovely, they have a candle ceremony for those at the Bridge but also thougthts for animals who are poorly http://www.petloss.com/needs/fneedlst.htm

We are all here for you, this is a wonderful community and we try to support each other through the tough times....feel free to share and if we can help please ask...

Thinking of you and darling Charlie xxx :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

2nd December 2006, 10:53 AM
Hi Nicki,

Thanks so much for all your support. My partner and I have already agreed that he should be the one to take him to the vet and stay with him when the time comes... Not sure I could handle it. I'll check whether the vet can come out though :(

One other thing that's worrying me is that we've booked to go away to a cottage over Christmas, with our boy of course. It'll be about a 4 hour drive though, which will be a lot for him. Considering pulling out. Don't know. Charlie might enjoy a change of scene - different smells! But it the drive will be hard on him. :? Don't know what to do. I guess I should find a vet beforehand if we do decide to go?

Pepsi x

Claire L
2nd December 2006, 11:20 AM
Hi Pepsi,
I'm so sorry your beautiful Charlie is going through such a difficult time - my heart breaks for you.... I've been there ... my Rudee was diagnosed with Spondylosis earlier this year she was nearly thirteen years old.

Don't cancel your trip. When we took Rudee on long journeys in the car, I bought a single duvet and cut it into three sections and just sewed up the edges. These are great for putting on the back seat and so comfy for the dog. Just massage Charlie's legs before you lift him out of the car for a toilet break.

If you can bring some ice-cubes with you in a freezer/ cool bag, these are great because Charlie can lick them without having to get out of the car.

My Rudee was happiest when she was with us so take your boy off with you and enjoy your time with him... you'll be glad you did.

I'll be thinking of you and Charlie and hope that you all get to spend a wonderful Holiday. Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts...

:lotsaluv: :hug: :hug: :hug:

2nd December 2006, 12:27 PM
Duvet in the back of the car sounds like a great idea :) I can sit in the back with him and get under it too :lol:

2nd December 2006, 01:59 PM
Hi Although my Arne is not as old as your dog, we were away for a weekend in September and even though he didnt enjoy the travelling he cheered up a lot and seemed a lot happier when he came home. He walked better when we were away whereas at home he tends to plod along.

2nd December 2006, 05:06 PM
Pepsi, I think you should still go - it will be good for you all to have a break., and will be a lovely memory for you too.

Claire's suggestions are brilliant - and I think it would be sensible to find a vet before you go, not sure where the cottage is but if you have a look on this site you should be able to find the nearest vet.


It would be worth contacting them before you go to check the emergency arrangements over Christmas...sometimes it's another practice that is on duty.

Also make a list of Charlie's problems, and the medication he is on, so that you are prepared...hopefully he won't need to see the vet whilst you are away but when you are in a panic it's easy to forget things...

I'm sure you don't need reminding to order any prescriptions well in advance... {that's just prompted me to remember to do ours!!}

I think Norma is right, although the journey might be difficult, Charlie will prob really benefit from a change of scenery...it is stimulating for them.

I hope you do manage to get away...don't forget your camera, we need photos of Charlie on his holidays :D

Thinking of you
VB ((((Hugs))))

2nd December 2006, 08:35 PM
Excellent. Glad you all think it's a good idea. Have been worrying about what to do. Hopefully a change of scene will be good for him.

Will contact a nearby vet before we go. We're going back to our vet next week, so will get him well stocked up on drugs.

Thanks for all your good suggestions.

Better go, he's barking at neighbours :)

Pepsi x

3rd December 2006, 02:18 PM

I think that everything that needed to be said already has by Nicki and Claire so I'll just send you and your baby very big hugs and hope he's with you for some time yet :flwr:

Have a lovely holiday and don't forget the camera, he's such a gorgeous boy. I hope I'm lucky enough to have my boys still here at his age, he's obviously got a Mamma and Daddy who dote on him too. It's always hard when we have to say goodbye to them but at least you will know that he's had a wonderful life with you - not all are so lucky :(

:lotsaluv: :hug: :lotsaluv: for you all xxxxx