Nick’s Hindquarters Weakness update

The past several months have been up and down and up again as we learned more about Nick’s late in life care. This article is a catch up to November. I never thought he’d make it that far.

References

  1. https://store.greyhoundhalloffame.com/product_p/9060.htm Care of the Racing/Retired Greyhound, National Greyhound Association and American Greyhound Council, 2007.
  2. Twitter @nickgreyhound1 has a daily vignette and tracks how he’s doing that day.

Current Summary

Nick is doing reasonably well at the moment. He’s eating, he’s taking his medicine and supplements, and gait and standing posture are good for short periods. Nick remains mostly continent but mobility impairment and a somewhat passive personality are affecting Nick’s house manners.

Nick apparently is feeling better as he’s appointed himself Dismal Manor Executive Chef. He was underfoot while making morning coffee and pancakes. Yes, they share a pancake, about 33 grams of mix for their third of a 100 gram batch or Kodiac complete buttermilk mix. He was also under foot making dirty rice with tomatoes last night.

Most recently, Nick is coming to find me to be taken out. If I’m asleep or busy, Nick being Nick won’t disturb me, walks to the galley and does what is needed. Fortunately the galley floor is easy to mop and the grout joints limit spread of urine.

Gabapentin Dosage too High

Nick would become sedated on 2 Gabapentin per day. He’d improve randomly. One improved day, I noticed I’d missed his evening meds. This suggested to me that he was over-dosed on one of his medications or supplements. So we trialed a HQW reduction first followed by a gabapentin reduction. The gabapentin reduction worked so resumed full HQW dosage and increased to 5//day per vet’s recommendation.

Gabapentin comes in 100 mg capsules. Smaller dogs will need lower doses so medication will have to be “compounded” for them. A compounding pharmacy will put the product in custom dosage capsules for the cost of material plus pharmacist time.

Food, Medications, and Supplements

We’re really facing 2 challenges here, maintaining Nick’s weight and managing his hip and back discomfort. Nick is now eating about a normal adult daily ration of 1.5 cup Canidae Pure Duck with about 100 grams added cooked meat or fish. He’s currently eating regularly and maintaining weight. Since adding the tuna to his 2nd evening ration, his alertness, posture, and gait have improved. He’s probably receiving and additional 500 mg of EPA per day in the added fish. But the important thing is he’s eating two full rations and most of a third of plain kibble.

Current Medications and Supplements

  • Carprofen 75 mg/day given in morning and evening splits
  • Gabapentin 100 mg in the evening
  • Hindquarters Weakness TCVM 3 in morning, 2 in evening
  • 2 tsp Sea Pet fish oil (high test with vitamin E) served in a monkey dish with breakfast
  • PhyCox 2 per day in supper ration
  • GlycoFlex 2 per day 1 morning and 1 evening as treats

Medication changes this period

  • Reduced Gabapentin from 2 per day morning and evening to 1 per day
  • Increased hindquarters weakness from 2/2 per day to 3 and 2 per day.
  • Discontinued Niacinamide (SLO medication) Continue Fish Oil and vitamin E.
  • Resumed GlycoFlex. Had stopped it for no good reason while Nick was overly sedated.

While getting Nick’s medications sorted, I discontinued his GlycoFlex. Manufacturer saying it had low toxicity and Nick taking it from hand, I was giving him one as a back from the loo treat. He was getting a random amount that was off-label so I stopped that practice. Once we had the gabapentin sorted, I resumed GlycoFlex this week and saw an improved stand and gait. The featured image was taken after this change.

Diet changes this period

In this period Nick continues to eat pot roast with supper. I began adding packet tuna with evening snack and later changed to Lidl canned yellow fin tuna ($0.66 per tin). They love the cheap stuff with its strong taste. Nick gets 3 oz and Missy gets the other 3. I had to put Missy on the same feeding schedule as Nick as she was beginning to get vocal about Nick receiving special treatment. UNFAIR!

Physiotherapy

Nick’s recent monthly therapy included acupuncture with electrical stimulation and B12 injections. The B12 was new this period. Normally, Nick would be lay-about for the remainder of the therapy day and sometimes the next. This particular day, he was lay-about until lunch then was alert and active for the remainder of the day and activity remains elevated one week post treatment.

Canned food mix-ins

Nick will eat about 1/2 c of kibble per seating plus what ever meat/fish is mixed in. We feed cooked meats as they keep longer in the fridge and handling precautions are less restrictive than raw. Also, cooked pot roast is easier to mince and for Nick to chew.

Dietary Guidance

Every few weeks, one of our greyhound Twitter buddies will ask about diet and feeding home made rations. Fortunately, much is known about greyhound diets and that experience is recorded and accessible in Care of the Racing/Retired Greyhound. Written for professional greyhound trainers, it has evidence based information about greyhound health and kennel care including a good section on diet .

Racing kennels feed a mix of kibble, cooked greens (cabbage, collards, kale, spinach), meats, and carbohydrates from biscuits, fruits, pasta, and rice. The article contains lists of recommended foods, foods to avoid, and recommended ratios or amounts. This dietary guidance is the best we have for feeding home-made diets to other companion breeds.

Adjust the amounts for size and activity level. Greyhound ration size may be low for active terriers and field breeds. So measure by weight and track your dog’s ration and weight keeping records. Most greyhounds have a ration card giving the amount they are being fed and listing daily weight. Greyhounds are maintained within 1/2 Kilo (1 pound) of their racing weight and rations are weighed to the ounce (well the high calorie parts).