Dogs with hip/elbow dysplasia on Catrofen and/or gebapentin?


Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
Sorry not horse related but I know we do have a lot of dog people on here and feeling desperate frankly! Picture purely for attention ;) Does anyone have any experience with a relatively young dog ( just turned 7 lab) on Catrofen for hip and elbow dysplasia, beyond operating and would not be attempted anyway due to all joints being affected.

My gorgeous choccy lab was diagnosed with a very poor prognosis a few months back and put on the maximum dosage of Rymadyl for her weight plus a new diet high in glucosamine and also glucosamine tablets added to her diet.. For a good while the change was remarkable within just a few days, no laying around moaning and groaning, really bouncy and happy. Unfortunately this past month the improvement seems to have diminished despite the vet adding in gebapentin for a week to see how she went. slight improvement but nothing really hopeful.

Question is please - have you experience of a dog with similar issues and similar meds - is this the horrible end of the line we were warned could happen sooner rather than later or have you moved your dogs on to other meds that then worked, even for a short while ? Clutching at straws I think and we are taking her to another trip to the vets next week but would like to go armed with any advice or experience some of you might have? 101093


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
I've no experience whatsoever Cortrasna, but I didn't want to read without saying I'm sorry you're having to deal with this and I really hope you can find a combination that helps xx
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Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
Sorry, to hear this - and she is so beautiful. I don't know if it's in any way useful, but would CBD oil be relevant in these circumstances? I met a lady walking her old dog (I know yours is young) and when I commented on his bouncy demeanour, she handed me a card about CBD for animals. Lost the damn thing, but there's all sorts online about it. Hope you can find something to help.
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Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Like Carthrose I am so sorry to read this and hope you find a solution. I have no experience with Cartrophen other than Storm being given it over ten years ago. Lots of vibes xx
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Remember me?
Dec 21, 2011
Shetland, UK
Gabapentin is for nerve pain. It also gave me anaphylactic shock. You could look at Tramadol but ALL These things should be veterinary prescribed rather than the "what have I got in my cupboard" approach (not that I am implying you wouldn't take your dog to the vet and discuss other analgesic options).
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Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
100 per cent agree Frances 144, certainly won't be lobbing useful sounding drugs and supplements at her without chatting with vet first - I am trying to gather as much information on alternatives before we see the vet again next week. a) so I might have some understanding of what she suggests next and b) if i can come up with some ideas myself to see what she thinks.

Most hopeful suggestion so far is from a vet in Aus to try 4cyte instead of her Nutrafin+ supplement. Also might look into CBD Oil that seems to get some good reviews.
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Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
My friends have a choccy dog of similar age with terrible conformation and various problems, he is on metacam and tramadol (I think, unsure if they added tramadol or switched to it, will double check tomorrow) the tramadol made a huge difference to him, he's much more comfortable now.
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Well-Known Member
Jul 1, 2010
Yorkshire Dales
Another one who's collie did very well on Metecam and Tramadol for a good few years. She kept relatively stable on that combo with dose adjusted for increasing joint and arthritis issues.
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Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
Thanks for asking Carthorse - not a lot of change really. She saw vets this morning and they want to leave off adding anything else into the mix as they are quite keen to see how the new supplement I have coming from Australia works out - they suggest 3 to 4 weeks try that and then re assess.

She did look pretty good earlier today but one of my sons came home for a couple of days (her absolute most favourite person in the world damn it lol!) he always walks her as carefully and controlled as he can but he said she kept exploding with joy and flying back to him with her Frisbee (she always carrys it on a walk even though nobody will risk throwing it for her anymore :( ) trying to tempt him to throw it for her - he didnt but I think the joie de vivre and excitement at having him with her took its toll.:)

We cant deny her ever little pleasure in life to keep her with us for longer that would be too selfish, but hopefully tomorrow she won' be too bad when she has calmed down.


Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
can't comment on the drugs issue but Kimme our poodle has had 14 joints done with stemcell therapy and she is bouncing around like a 2 year old, she is 10 years old. Her son is 6 and has hip displacia on both and problems in sacroiliac so he had 4 joints done. It cost an arm and leg but have to say it has hugely improved them and they are off all pain relief now. Their treatment was essentially to try to fix it before it went completely surgical so it may not be appropriate but our local vet is the European specialist in stemcell and other regenerative therapies, Greenside Vets, St Boswells, the only other place that is more advanced is in Australia. We are so lucky to have them half an hour away. No blooming horse vets despite horses everywhere.
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