My dog Marley is the center of my world, and like all pet parents I have strived to give her the best care I possibly can. When Marley turned 13 she began to experience severe arthritis pain, so I reached for the drugs I had been taught to use – an NSAID and the opiate Tramadol.
The NSAID eased her joint pain, but the opiate left her dazed, lethargic and confused. Her pain was better, but Marley did not seem to be Marley anymore. She was always a very sweet dog, but after only few weeks on Tramadol she began to snap at me when I tried to pet her and she started to hide from me.
Several months into therapy I rechecked her blood work as part of routine geriatric screening, and discovered that she had developed renal failure from the NSAID, I had prescribed for her. I watched helplessly as Marley went into a steep decline. I tried every pharmaceutical I could think of to treat pain, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhea. At one point Marley was on 7 pills twice daily.
She hated being medicated and began to hide from me, because she associated me with medication being forced on her. I began to consider euthanizing Marley because she had to be hand fed with a spoon and was so depressed she would not move off of her dog bed. She was reluctant to walk, move, eat or interact with the family.
In desperation I gave her a dose of hemp oil and 45 minutes later, she suddenly jumped up and barked. I realized I had not heard Marley bark in over a year. She raided the trash can, stole some cat food, shredded some toilet paper and wanted to go for a walk. The change in her mental attitude was striking. She went from depressed, anorexic and in pain to hungry, happy, playful and wanting to go for walks.
I took Marley off of all prescription drugs and put her on a regimen of hemp oil, Adequan and nutracetucials for joint pain. She is now back to her favorite pastime of shredding rolls of toilet paper and is able to jump on the bed every single night. Most importantly, Marley has her personality back and is a very happy 15-year-old dog.
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