PetMeds® Amantadine: A New Pain Relief Option for Dogs and Cats?

 
Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
The topic of pain relief is one of the biggest areas of modern conventional veterinary medicine.  Dogs and cats can often suffer from progressive degenerative joint and spinal disorders that can cause great discomfort and interfere with the quality of life in both dogs and cats. The cornerstone of treatment of chronic pain in dogs and cats in recent years has centered around the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and Previcox in dogs and Metacam and Ketoprofen in cats. Other drugs of the opioid class such as prescription Buprenex and Tramadol have also been used in recent years in aging pets with chronic pain. NSAID pet meds have long been a popular method of treatment for many pet owners with pets suffering from pain

Nutritional therapies with glucosamine/chondroitin supplements such as Super Joint Enhancer or the Glyco-Flex products, as well as omega-3 fatty acids can also help as adjunctive therapies. Alternative therapies such as chiropractic, acupuncture, osteopathy, and physical therapy also offer animal guardians additional options. Recently, however, there has been increasing interest and use in both dogs and to a lesser extent in cats of the drug known as Amantadine, which blocks pain by binding to what are known as NMDA receptors.  While it was first developed as an antiviral drug and to treat drug reactions that affect coordination, veterinarians have recently been increasingly using it in animals whose pain is not sufficiently controlled with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioid derivatives such as Tramadol or Buprenex.

A recent study in dogs showed that the ability to perform every day activities was significantly improved by the addition of Amantadine to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory regimen that the dogs were already on.  Experts suggest perhaps decreasing the dose in pets with reduced kidney function, but the only significant side effects appear to be agitation or diarrhea on rare cases.   This is definitely a prescription medication that may come to play a key role in managing chronic pain in dogs and possibly cats in the future.

Read Related Posts on PetMeds® Blog:

  1. PetMeds® Managing Your Pet’s Pain with Tramadol
  2. PetMeds®: Pain Relief for Cats
  3. PetMeds® Uses for Pet Medication Rimadyl
  4. Pet Medication Metacam Adds Warning to Product Label for Cats
  5. PetMeds® Using Joint Supplements with Pain Pet Medications

49 Comments

  1. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    You are very welcome. Please pass this information and resource of pet information on to your family and friends.

    [Reply]

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted June 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. Please pass info on to family and friends.

    [Reply]

  3. Posted September 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the informative post. We sometimes forget that “pets are people too”.

    [Reply]

  4. Charles A. Cohen, DV
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I have not yet used this drug and am in the process of learning about it. I will suggest that pet owners should more frequently be given the choice of using strong and very helpful narcotics when it comes to trauma or surgery related pain and severe geriatric arthritis. Demerol/meperidine and oxy- and hyrdrocodone are profund and very helpful when indicated. they make Tramadol look like kid’s play. Not every animal needs these, but some do. Too few DVMs recommend them because they do not want to carry them in their offices or they don’t even feel comfortable with Rx pads (which I very much disagree with) or because they want the profit from things they do have. Look around and ask. Your pet should have access to these drugs when appropriate.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thank you Dr Cohen for points well taken. I agree that especially in pain deep soft tissue or orthopedic surgeries that these stronger narcotic pain meds offer stronger protection. As you say, not alot of vets want to deal with the heavier schedule 2 controlled substances in their practice, in terms of monitoring, record keeping and/or potential client exposure or misuse.

    [Reply]

  5. forrestmom
    Posted November 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Amantadine has quite literally been a life saver for my elderly beagle with two frail and hurting hind legs. He also has MCT and takes prednisone. His oncologist prescribed Amantadine over the summer after he hurt one leg while on vacation. The addition of 100 mg of Amantadine daily made the difference between walking and not walking; standing up or not, and we got past the summer injury. Last week, my dog slipped and hurt his “better” leg on a tile floor and I took him to my “regular” vet for help. That vet , who was not familiar with Amantadine, gave me Deramaxx. Three days later, my dog was at the emergency vet at 3 a.m. after more than 12 hours of vomiting and bloody diarrhea as the NSAID destroyed his stomach lining. It was completely heartbreaking to see him with such suffering and I was prepared to have him euthanized. After spending Thanksgiving in the hospital my buddy is back on pred and Amantadine. He is walking and standing up on his own, and feeling fine. It is wonderful to see him in his version of perky. Simply judging by the blank look from my general vet when I mentioned Amantadine, I suppose more vets need to learn about this pain killer. I am very very grateful for my oncologist who keeps up with the latest, and will call her first thing Monday to tell to her so.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks for sharing. Hopefully more vets and animal guardians will share this information on this blog so that more pets can benefit like yours.

    [Reply]

  6. Jen
    Posted December 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    This is a great article but what I don’t understand is why 1800PetMeds isn’t selling the Amantadine (with prescription, of course)?

    While on that topic, I would like to know why 1800PetMeds isn’t selling Methocarbamol (also with prescription)?

    These are used to help my Border Collies intense and daily pain from advanced arthritis (to include a few fused vertebrate in her low back).

    I would love an answer.

    Thank you!
    Jen

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I would check with 1800petmeds pharmacist about whether they plan to carry any of these prescription meds in the future. I have used both of these meds in practice with nice success on certain cases.

    [Reply]

  7. Chris
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi- my vet (neurologist) prescribed Amantadine for our 10 yo maltese. She had 2 hern disks removed about 2 weeks ago, but after a few days of promising recovery, she began showing symptoms of pain.

    She has licked/scratched/bitten almost all the hair off her hind legs. The vet performed another MRI which shows she has an inflamed spinal cord.

    The vet thinks that a second surgery won’t help. They prescribed her Prednisone, Tramadol, Nuerotin and just today added amantadine to her medication.

    Are there any studies on the effects of amantadine and spinal cord pain in dogs?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    No studies that I know of of amantadine on dogs. Its use is emperical use borrowed from human medicine. Sounds like good bunch of meds. Also consider finding vet acupuncturist in your area http://www.AHVMA.org

    [Reply]

  8. Dr. Charles Cohen
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    My instinct would be for you to discuss with the neurosurgeon tossing Tramadol and using meperidine, hydrocodone or oxycodone 1-2 x/day for 5-7 days then reducing the dose ad lib. Digs have a high tolerance if narcotic and mist veterinarians are too lax in prescribing them.

    Dr. Cohen

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    THanks for sharing Dr Cohen. Tramadol and meperidine are certainly excellent options for post surgical pain.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Charles Cohen Reply:

    Michael, where are you located? Could you give me a call sometime? I’m in Marina Del Rey, CA. Cell: (203) 824-4969.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I practice in New Jersey. Thanks

  9. Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Hmmm….

    This is good!

    I may even have to have my dog take this just in case he feels some pain.

    Great article by the way!

    [Reply]

  10. Wendy
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Hello,
    My dog has hemangiosarcoma and is currently taking cytoxin, doxycycline, and carprofin. The amantadine has just been added. Should I discontinue the carprofin?
    Sincerely,
    Wendy

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You able to use both the carprofin and amantidine. However always be in touch with your vet about any med changes or questions as well.

    [Reply]

  11. Brenda
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    My 13-yr-old dog is currently on Rimadyl and Gabapentin for a ruptured ligament and DJD, with added Tramadol when in crisis. We are in the initial stages of treating the condition, and my vet has stated she would prefer amantidine to the gabapentin, and is researching the options for an optimum drug therapy.
    Are there any significant difference between how amantidine and gabapentin work on the pain?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Both work differently on the pain. Amantidine would probably be my first choice given its track record on pain in animals in recent years.

    [Reply]

  12. Posted April 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Very very nice, I think it is great when someone thinks of the pain relief for our very loved pets…They suffer just like we do. keep up the good work

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You are very welcome. Thank you for your kind comments.

    [Reply]

  13. Posted June 26, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    After our dog ‘Pepper’ got excited by some over-zealous chipmunks and jumped up and over the balcony – We rushed him to the Vet and he was prescribed Amantadine for his ruptured ligament…He’s a little down, but recovering nicely.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with amantadine.

    [Reply]

  14. Lisa
    Posted July 16, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Amantadine was recently recommended for my 12 yr old lab. He’s had a very active and fun filled life and is paying for it now in his golden years! He is taking tramadol and rimadyl twice a day. Awhile back gabapentin was recommended to us and he had a really unpleasant reaction to it…like it woke up his nerves in his hips. He started chewing at one hip until it bled and had trouble walking. I actually tried him on it twice to make sure that was the issue. Now, amantadine is being recommended. I’m worried that the same thing will happen. It was really tough on him, but he does need more comfort.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Charles A. Cohen Reply:

    Lisa,

    What does your dog weigh and what strengths and amounts of Rx is he taking? One must distinguish between pain from arthritis and weakness to the hind quarters from nerve degeneration. If severe pain is present Usevof potent opiod narcotics can make a significant difference along with meaningful weight control, if necessary.

    Dr. Cohen

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    Thanks for the quick response! He is 94lbs looks really good. He eats Nutro Senior and takes Fish Oil 1200mg and a Joint Supplement. He takes Rimadyl 100mg (1 dose AM, 1 dose PM) and Tramadol 50mg (2 tablets every 12 hrs). He definitely has weakness in his hind quarters and has suspected lumbosacral disease as well as suspected arthritis (since they hear creaking). His front ankles over the last 1.5yrs have slowly bent down as well. He has started swimming again once per week for a very short period. I don’t think he’s in severe pain. He seems happy and often wants to play (although we have to modify his play to no running, of course, he still tries initially). These are good days and his bad days are like he has a trick knee and he’s much weaker looking. In general he’s still very curious and does not seem to stop moving…so it’s hard to tell pain level on a daily basis. He is slow to get up and hobbles when he walks with some shoulder discomfort when manipulated. He will sit more than he used to and watch from afar until he thinks there is a reason to get up. The suggestions are the amantadine, prescription joint diet, laser therapy and physical therapy.
    Thanks! any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I think the combination therapy you are doing is wonderful. Also consider consulting a veterinary acupuncturist as well which also may help.

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Amantadine is usually quite safe to use in most dogs with little side effects.

    [Reply]

  15. Chris H
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    My dog was just prescribed Amantadine, Carprofen, and Tramadol for her severe hip dysplasia. Although she is now pretty good at getting up and getting down, she ACTUALLY seems to be in more pain. She has taken Carprofen before without issue and I had stopped the Tramadol after 3 doses and then restarted it after talking to the vet.
    Now, at 1:41 AM, my dog seems to be fine one second and in complete agony in the next. My only thoughts are that the doctor said that amantadine could cause agitation and then said because my dog is already prone to agitation, it would be more likely.
    So, I’m about 90% that is it Amantadine causing the yelping for apparently no reason. Therefore, i have 3 questions.
    I just dosed her at 7:30 PM. The doctor said that she “might” become agitated, but if she did, it would go away after a while.
    Questions #1: What is “a while”? This is really hard on me and the dog. Neither of us are sleeping right now.
    Question #2: If I decide to withdraw the drug (after 3 days), will she go into some type of withdrawl?
    Questions #3: If it is the Amantadine causing the agonizing yelping, how long before it is out of her system?

    Thanks in advance for the advice. This is a really good thread and I’m sure it is helping a lot of people.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I dont think think the sudden yelping out in pain is due to amantidine, as its use in animals has been only recent, and there are not alot of case studies on this drug in dogs. We have borrowed its use from human medicine. In case it is causing issues, it should be at least 50% out of system within 24 hours and gone by 2-3days after dosing it.

    [Reply]

  16. Chris H
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks Dr. Dym,
    We did DC the amantadine and the tramadol. We kept the Carprofen and the Dr. added gabapentin. She seems much better as she is not yelping for no reason except for maybe once or twice a day instead of 3 or 4 times an hour.
    Again, I’m not sure if it was the drugs OR if it is just her getting better on her own.
    Either way, I’m pretty happy with the outcome so far. I’d like to see her get even better, but I’ll take what I can get at this time.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Sounds like you have a very progressive vet, as gabapentin only recently being used in veterinary medicine. A good medicine to decrease pain. Let us know how things progress. Have a great holiday.

    [Reply]

  17. Chris H
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Update on my German Shepherd: She had a few good days, but then it got worse. Much worse. We met with the doctor again today and are trying to see if there is anything left in the tank to manage this for her.
    The doctor DC’d the Carprofen and prescribed Vicodin. We kept the gabapentin and he added back in the tramadol. I do have one question though. We dealt with 2 vets today. One was very experienced and was the one who signed the prescription. The other one was very new and she said she had never used it before. However, she is the one who wrote the prescription and I think she wrote it up wrong. She wrote in a generic form (Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen) and it turns out, she actually wrote for Norco, which is twice as strong as Vicodin (10 mg of Hydrocodone vs 5 mg). I called her and she said that it was right and acted a little offended (but she already said she never wrote for it before). The pharmacist suggested that I give her half at first to see if it works.
    I’m in kind of a pickle. Too much could be bad, but not enough would be just as bad. Do you know the dosing for Vicodin/Norco in dogs? Again, she is 80 pounds.
    Any help you can give would be appreciated.
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I have no experience in my own practice of using Vicodin in dogs. I would go with pharmacist’s suggestion of using one half dose initially to see how she does. Only other options I can tell you would be to consider asking your vet for a referral to a vet also skilled in holistic medicines like acupuncture and herbology which may be helpful in this case for pain relief, given that you have not had much response to the various drugs thusfar tried. Good luck and let us know how things go.

    [Reply]

  18. Chris H
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Sadly….today, I lost my best friend. Shakira couldn’t even walk today and although her mind was still all there, her body was done. I miss her so much. Here is her photo:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Ji5YHiTqaF44bhYfSyCVynzHFvbUYG6RVE8n1QLeEFQ?feat=directlink

    PS – Take lots of pictures of your loved ones, including your pets. They are so very important during this hard time.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Sorry to hear of your loss. You obviously loved Shakira very much. My heart and thoughts are with you. In deepest sympathy.

    [Reply]

    Chris H Reply:

    Thanks for all your kind words and for your contribution to the community here seeking knowledge. :)

    [Reply]

  19. Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I have a 6yr. old, 90lbs. Boxer, who has cartilage build up around his knee on the one back leg and bone spurs in that knee. Plus, the ball of that leg is not completely in the hip socket, as it should be.
    The vet I take him to has been giving him chiropractic adjustments on his spine every 8-10 weeks, which helps him along with a half to a whole 100mg. Rimadyl daily, grain free dog food, good joint supplements, and good quality fish oil.
    The Rimadyl relieved the pain for about 2yrs, but now the pain has increased, so the vet prescribed Tramadol. (2 50mg. pills, three times a day , which totals 300mg). The vet said that the arthritis is getting worse, that’s why the pain has increased. My question is this: Since Tramadol is just for pain, can I safely still give him the half to a whole 100mg of Rimadly too, each day?

    [Reply]

  20. Debbie
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    We lost our 10 1/2 year old Great Dane today. He had been on Rimadyl daily for probably close to 2 years. 100 mg 1 -2 tabls twice daily. In the last two months he has been on Tramadol and Amantadine. He has done well except for one previous episode of being unable to stand which really seemed to make him very anxious. This morning he had a second episode of not being able to stand. We gave him his meds and later in the morning he was able to get up and go outside. While outside he went down a couple of times and we wound up having to bring him back inside by dragging him on a blanket. Before going outside he ate a few dog biscuits and greenies and even barked at a noise outside, so he seemd ok. After we got him back inside, he was panting heavily felt hot and began having small seizures which lasted a few seconds, but were very frequent. About an hour later, he had a major seizure which lasted quite some time and was fairly comatose after that. About an hour or so later, he had another seizure, not as violent as the first. Since we could never get in touch with our regular vet, after leaving 2 messages for her while she was in the office, we finally took him to an emergency clinic and had him put down because he appeared to be suffering tremendously. My question is, could there be any connection between the seizures and the medication he has been on? He vomited a huge amount of white foam/liquid/mucous before having the first seizure, but before he was pts he had a brownish liquid coming from his mouth. He has been on 100mg Rimadyl, 1-2 tablets once or twice daily, Amantadine 100mg 2 capsules once daily and Tramadol 50 mg 3 tablets 2-3 times daily. Our vet always said he had hip dysplasia although xrays did not indicate that, but he did have weakness in his hind quarters and initially would squat if not on pain medication, gradually his hind quarters got progressively weaker and he was wobbly when walking. Thank you for any response. We will dearly miss our beloved Wilson.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I dont think the 3 medications involved with neurologic signs and seizures. Sounds like a separate brain issue especially in dog this age that can only be diagnosed by MRI. However it sounds like you did everything possible and living until 10.5 years of age is excellent in this breed.

    [Reply]

  21. Posted July 2, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I have a 7 year old pug with lots of issues with her legs. Vet has had her on prednisone (he since discontinued that), rimadyl, tramadol. She still seems to be in pain. Saturday he prescribed 25mg twice daily of amantadine. She took it yesterday with a greenie, seemed ok. This am, (along with tramadol & deramax)–been on both for awhile–she acted strange. Heavy panting, walking into bathroom for tile floor, trying to lay down, and sitting and looking straight ahead as if she did not know where she was. Now after a 1/2 hour, she seems settled, but exhausted. Should I wait thru the day or call the vet now.? He is very far away, and being a pug I don’t want my girl taking a long car ride. Please help!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    If symptoms continue, best to have vet recheck and evaluation.

    [Reply]

  22. Susan Roehm
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I have a 12 yr old neutered 65-lb Golden Retriever who has a probable nerve sheath tumor attached to his brachial nerve near his spinal cord in his right front leg. The recent MRI (after a year of intermittent limping and repeated vet and specialist visits) also revealed a larger tumor buried deep within his irght shoulder that the neurologist thinks is probably related to the nerve sheath tumor. At this time I am opting not to amputate his right front leg and shoulder to remove the larger tumor because of his age, because the suspected nerve sheath tumor is so near his spinal cord and amputation would not affect it, and I was told by the neurologist that nerve sheath tumors historically have not responded to radiation (plus the radiation might damage his spinal cord). I do not know if doing nothing is the right thing to do, but I want to keep him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. He is taking 110 mg Rimadyl per day, 100-150mg Tramadol 2xday, 100mg Gabapentin twice a day and 100 mg Amantadine once per day. He has a good appetite, still loves to swim and retrieve bumpers and play with and mouth tennis balls (he is no longer allowed to chase them) and most days the pain seems “managed.” Other times, like last night, when he was anxious, panting, standing on 3 legs with his right leg held up and unable to get comfortable for hours, are awful for both of us. Can I increase the Amantadine 100mg dosage to twice a day when he is having a bad time of it? I was the one who suggested Gabapentin and Amantadine to my regular vet so are there other medications I should suggest if the pain continues to worsen? Thank you for your thoughts.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I would check with vet before increasing the amantidine, but I dont see a problem with twice daily dosing. Thanks for sharing cocktail of meds that seem to overall be helping your dog. Also can consider natural remedies as well such as dog gone pain which you can find on line.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Also consider feeding your pet a low grain/low carb natural diet such as wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds.

    [Reply]

  23. Susan R
    Posted July 10, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the quick response.I have an appointment with my vet later this week to discuss Amantadine and other options. I have been feeding him a no grain high protein dry dog food from the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line for about the last 6 months. I am not sure how Blue Buffalo Wildernesss compares to the wysong epigen line of dry dog foods, but all three of my Goldens love the Salmon recipe (not that they are picky eaters).

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Wysong epigen diet a MUCH better diet than Blue Buffalo in terms of nutrient quality and wellness in my experience and opinion.

    [Reply]

  24. Linda
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    My 4 y/o 12lb Doxie just returned from U of Mo’s vet school, after having spinal surgery for IVDD. The first coupla’ days she was OK on Tramadol & pred. However yesterday, she began crying/wincing in major pain, and couldn’t get comfy in her dog bed. She kept turning in circles & yiping off & on….as she turned.
    I decided to try a 25mg dose of Amantadine around dinner-time, which they’d sent home with her as a back-up pain med. I hadn’t tried it at that point. I was skeptical as to how an “anti-viral” could possibly help with pain.
    Surprise! After about an hour? Her crying stopped! Plus, when she walked the 2-3 steps to her nearby pee-pad? Her back was much less arched up, than it had been for most of that day.
    Truly amazing. I’m in shock. It’s now the next morning…and I hope the Amantadine will keep the pain away until her next dose….again at dinner-time. The bottle says to be administered only once daily. I sure hope that’s enough.
    I merely wanted to relate my experience with Amantadine used in conjuction with pred & Tramadol. Sure seems to work well. So far, anyway.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your experience on amantadine.

    [Reply]

  25. Carol L.
    Posted August 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Hello. I am awaiting a return to my vet today for my nearly 8yo, German Shepherd dog. He has a history of gastro problems and liver failure (poisoned by unknown substance at age 2) fully-recovered with all liver panels normal the past 3 years.) Negative for HD but has bilateral sub-luxation of both rear knees.

    We have recently noticed him limping on the rear legs a bit after long walks, days at doggy day camp, or serious romping. After returning from a 4-day boarding with day camp we noticed he seemed more tired than usual. He rested and perked-up after 2 days. This past Sunday, after a good hard romp with a Labradoodle friend he awakened at 3am, whining, pacing, panting; limping on right rear leg and was yelping if the leg or rear rump area was touched.

    Was taken to emergency vet who carefully examined him, drew a CBC & mini-panel, and could find nothing obviously wrong. In fact, he wasn’t sensitive to the vets touch, was able to bear weight on both rear legs. He had full range of motion in all limbs and no obvious gait problem. Vet (who had never seen him before) didn’t think x-ray was needed; sent him home with Tramadol (100mg bid) and Rimadyl (75mg bid). CBC & mini-panel were absolutely normal on all fronts. Dx: suspected muscle or tendon injury.

    His regular vet concurred with Dx. Cautioned us to use full-100mg bid of tramadol & half-dose 37.5mg of rimadyl and watch for liver problems, bring him in if not improved in 4-5 days. Unfortunately, after 4 days he is still having apparently severe (whining, yelping, howling) intermittent pain.

    He has periods when he is pacing & panting (pain?) followed by just standing and staring. He can bear weight on both legs, no toe dragging, not much real limp unless the muscle spasms in the thigh are severe enough that we can see/feel them. I’ve been doing hot-compresses on thigh/spine area which seems to relieve the pain and reduce the spasms.

    I’m worried about what this might be. Does this sound like a typical arthritis presentation? Can you suggest, beyond an x-ray what the next level of treatment might be for his pain? The tramadol & rimadyl don’t seem to be all that effective but I hate to increase the dose with the liver worries.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Not sound like typical arthritis. I would make sure cruciate ligament of hind stifle ruled out, as well as lower spinal disease ie disc, etc May want to talk to vet about increasing rimadyl dose to 75 mg twice daily. May want to do abdominal x rays to make sure no digestive issues or intermittent bloat causing panting and pacing in this breed as well. If x rays dont reveal anything and/or if the tramadol/rimadyl does not help then you may want to consider referral to internist in your area for expert opinion as proper diagnosis would be important.

    [Reply]

    Carol L. Reply:

    Thank you!

    Having lost a Dane many years ago to bloat/torsion I’m a bit concerned about the standing/staring/pacing. But no obvious distention and no vomiting or even drooling. I’m wondering if he’s just altered by the medications and is confused about where he is.

    Will follow-up on the hind stifle and disc disease/tumor/???

    Thanks again, truly appreciate you advice!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You are very welcome.

  26. Carol L.
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr. Dym, A brief follow-up on my earlier post re:GSD with severe leg/hip pain. Turns out my 8yo dog has pretty advanced spondylosis. No obvious herniations but severe arthritis entire length of spine. Odd, since the symptoms began suddenly and are still causing bouts of acute pain. Our vet is continuing tramadol & rimadyl for pain/inflammation but we’re seeing little effect. He’s still not sleeping much and is whining/yelping when moving around. Any suggestions you have for other methods of controlling his pain will be appreciated.

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Aw, just read your note about your GSD. Poor baby. But the Amantadine might work? My Doxie, post-spinal surgery, was put on Tramadol & Prednisone, while recouping. But a coupla’ days after she got home, she began wincing in pain. So, heck…I went ahead & tried adding the Amantadine that the U of MO Vet resident gave me for a back-up pain med. Lo & behold…it worked. Kept her on it for the recommended 7 days. When I quit giving? She seemed to be past the pain. Perhaps, something to try anyway????

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Good suggestion as well as considering Gabapentin, and some of the natural supplements I suggested.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You may want to ask your vet about the drug Gabapentin, or perhaps amantadine. Also consider yucca intensive by azmira from 1800petmeds as well as the antioxidant proanthozone.

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Oh, also? My Doxie was on Gabapentin, as well. I forgot. However, we didn’t see any improvement with the Gaba, after 2 weeks PRE-surgery….so we never chose to administer it post-op. We simply stayed with the Tramadol after surgery, while tapering off the Prednisone . Then as I mentioned? We added the Amantadine a few days post-op (which ultimately seemed to do the trick).
    Might be a different situation with the GSD, tho’. I’m certainly no expert. Merely reporting our particular experience : )

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks for sharing.

    Carol L. Reply:

    Wow, thank you so very much for all the suggestions. Clearly we are all anxious to learn what is happening with Kaiser. He is really showing no improvement on the Rimadyl/Tramadol and seems in quite a bit of pain, now particularly when lying down on either side. He is attempting to sleep in a semi-sit position or worse yet standing. No sign whatsoever of bloat or torsion, but our Doctor was also concerned that something transient could be going on.

    Our vet suggested no supplements since the spine isn’t synovial he felt none of the standard supplements would help with the spondylosis? I’ll be sure to ask about these and the newer alternatives to NSAIDs once we know what we are dealing with. I enjoy a good mystery but not at the expense of my dog’s comfort.

    Again, sincerely appreciate your willingness to discuss. Will most definitely order my next round of dog meds/supplements at this website.

    Best regards!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    There are great companies like Standard process which makes excellent whole food supplements for people and pets with spinal problems. Products like calcifood powder and Ligaplex II have helped many people and animals with spinal issues.

  27. Carol L.
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Linda, Thank you very much for the info on Amatadine & Gabapentin with your little Doxie. I will indeed be asking about these drugs in-lieu of Rimadyl, which has me worried given his history of liver failure. So far his appetite is fine, drinking normally, but his stools have softened-up and become more frequent.

    My poor boy, Kaiser, is still suffering mightily with his back. We have an appointment with a neurologist on Thursday morning and a back-up with an Orthopedist in the same center should the MRI show nothing specific for the neurologist.

    At this point with no improvement after 5 days of restricted activity, rest and meds, my vet is suspicious of ruptured or bulging disc(s) in the thoracic spine. He thinks the neurology consult and MRI are the next logical steps. Whatever is happening his pain isn’t really being well-controlled by the Rimadyl & Tramadol combo. He’s not sleeping and neither are we! Can’t wait for Thursday to arrive.

    Thanks again for your help! Best regards to you & Doxie!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You are very welcome. Keep us informed how your dog does.

    [Reply]

  28. Linda
    Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Golly, good luck with your baby dog. I know it’s difficult….I mean watching him in pain & all.
    As Dr Dym says, please do keep us informed. Kisses & hugs to your sweet Kaiser!!!!

    [Reply]

  29. Lulu
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I have a wonderful rescue dog named Red (sharpei, pit bull mix) who is approximately 14. His walking is very hesitant and he has a head tilt. When you put his back paws under they stay that way. In addition to the back-end issues, he has arthritis in his jaw which makes it difficult to eat anything that isn’t soft. Since he is a rescue, I do not know what kind of abuse/injuries he suffered (he was one of four surrendered). The vet has tried Rimadyl, Gabapentin (made him virtually comatose), Prednisone (didn’t do much for his agility) and now he is recommending Amadatine. What do you think? Can it be given with the Rimadyl? I He also gets Cosequin and Omega-3 daily and he has acupuncture occasionally which seems to help. I just want him to be comfortable for as long as possible and would like a med cocktail that will help him.
    Thank you so much for your suggestions.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Amantidine would be fine to try. Sounds like you are doing everything possible. Keep up with the acupuncture importantly here.

    [Reply]

  30. Lulu
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your input. I will let you know if it has some positive affect. One last question. My regular vet said Red probably had a spine or disc issue which is causing these dramatic symptoms. However, the specialty vet who recommended the Amadatine, suggested an MRI to pinpoint the problems. At his advanced age, do you think that an MRI is prudent or not? They are very expensive. And if it does show something that is fixable, at his age, would you entertain surgery for Red? You are very nice to answer my comments. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You are very welcome. I personally dont think an MRI is that helpuful in dog this age clinically unless you were to consider back surgery for a disc problem.

    [Reply]

    Lulu Reply:

    Thanks for the response. I kind of felt that way too. I have six dogs and three of them are very senior — all with issues. It is a very trying time — my 15 yr. old lab threw up tonight and then collapsed. She is OK now. I was going to take her to the vet but now she is quite but alert so will wait until morning to see how she acts. Never a dull moment. Very emotional and stressful!

    [Reply]

  31. Jenny Schutz
    Posted November 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    My vet gave my 15 and a half year old lab Amantadine to take for 2 weeks and told me it would not be a long term medicine but seeing that she is 15 and a half I can understand that. He told me to come back in 2 weeks so he can re-evaluate her. I told him that she did exceptionally better with the medicine and he informed me that she could not remain on it. I was thoroughly upset because of the fact that she did so well and now we are going to regress backwards. does this medicine have any bad side effects, which would explain why he only wanted her on it for 2 weeks? The only thing I can think of is he tried charging me over 100 dollars for a 2 week supply and I was able to get it at CVS Pharmacy for 15 dollars. Maybe he does not want to see that profit walk out the door, which is very sad because he should have my pets health as his main concern.

    [Reply]

    Jenny Reply:

    She is also taking Tramadol and Novax (carprofen)

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I have not heard of amantadine not being safe when used longer than 2 weeks. Given the improvement in quality of life, I would ask your vet to reconsideer recommendations.

    [Reply]

  32. Jill Stubenvoll
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    My 13 yo choc lab, Mack, has been dealing with arthritis in his front shoulders for years. We started with Rimadyl and increased the dose as needed throughout the years. At 11.5 , he was bumped by a car with no obvious injury except a post limp for a few hours. However, the damage to his back leg was enough to disable his going up stairs. His pain and withdrawal continued to increased. Gabapentin (neurontin) was added with success and later tramadol, all kept him engaged and active(for his age). As he neared 13, he began to decline again and I prepared myself and family for euthanasia. We made a trip to my vet. He had just been to a pain conference and told me he still had a few tricks up his sleeve for my Mack. He introduced amantadine, Welactin, and Cosequin. All I can say is amazing! Mack is again rolling in the snow, getting the paper, and getting in to trouble raiding backpacks. I don’t expect him to ever do stairs again, but he is obviously happy and experiencing less pain! Thanks to my vet for knowing the latest & greatest!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Jill….THanks for sharing the wonderful story of your dog MAck…..Sounds like you have experienced some excellent veterinary care.

    [Reply]

  33. Joanna
    Posted April 13, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Our 12 year old Rott X was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma. She had an ultrasound done for an enlarged spleen and the pathology report came back with that diagnosis. She had two FHO’s when she was young so we have always kept her weight lean knowing she would have hip issues as the years progressed. She is on Prednisone 20mg BID but was not wanting to get up from her bed and seemed depressed. The vet rec Amantadine 100mg SID and after only 3 days of being on it, has made a huge difference. I am a vet tech and before now had never heard of this medication. I am very happy that our dog is now acting more like herself now!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Glad to hear of your excellent results with amantadine. I would also consider working with a holistic oriented vet to see if there are other supportive measures for lymphoma. To learn more see http://www.doctordym.com

    [Reply]

  34. Linda
    Posted April 13, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Yes, isn’t Amantadine something, Joanna? My Doxie had back surgery a while back at the university. The neurologist prescribed Amantadine plus something else, for post-op pain. At first, I used the other med she’d been given. But she started whining a day or two after we got her home. So I switched and gave Amantadine a try. Wow. Just like you said? The change in her, was next to miraculous! Odd, since it’s classified as an anti-viral med. Go figure, huh?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Linda. Thanks for sharing your experience with amantadine.

    [Reply]

  35. Debbie Z
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Hello. Thank you very much for your article and posts. It is wonderful to see a community supporting each other. My Zoey is a 17 month old pit mix who recently had a paw injury. We’ve had many xrays and it doesn’t show any breaks. There is a strange bump on the top of her paw between a couple of toes that I truly think is the injury site. It isn’t mushy, kinda hard. My vet last night prescribed a 60lb dose of Metacam per day plus 100 mg of Amantidine per day. This injury happened over 3 weeks ago and last night was my second visit and second round of X-rays (with this new drugs added to the treatment plan) bc she doesn’t seem to be getting better. She is walking around on 3 legs a lot . . .of course on the exception for our walks outside or around other dogs (you’d never think she was even hurt – - until we get home and she is a tripod again).

    My baby Zoey was in great health for the first year of her life and since Jan, we’ve been back and forth to the vets for random vomiting and diarrhea. She’s been on several meds for the past few months, changes in food and to be honest, I think her digestive system is just in a funk from all of it. I was hoping to get her back on one type of dog food and no meds but now with this paw – - the treatment is more meds. She is off other meds right now even though the vet I think would like to see her still on tylan powder.

    I’m just looking for some advice from someone different. I don’t really know what is wrong with her – - maybe ligament or tendon damage since it isn’t bone. I am not sure this injury will just get better with time. I’m afraid, the metacam and amantidine will mask the pain and she will think she feels better . . .run around like the playful pup she is and keep re-injurying her paw. I certainly don’t want her in constant pain either but it is hard keeping this 60lbs beautiful pittie calm. The vet only prescribed this for 21 days – -so it isn’t for a long time – - but I just don’t feel “great” inside to keep giving her all kinds of meds. Sorry, in summary – -thoughts on this paw injury and amantidine? Is there anything to do with a soft-tissue injury? It is her back left paw. And do you think if I give her this med, will it just mask the pain and convince her she is better causing her to run and play like the tough girl she is?? Thank you so much for any advice.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Amantadine can often be an effective pain medicine for dogs. As for diet, I would consider a home made diet as described on the website http://www.k9petchef.com Also consider working with a holistic vet if you prefer that type of approach. To learn more see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com

    [Reply]

  36. Linda
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you may have an injury which has yet to be definitively diagnosed. It might be advisable to get a second opinion on that foot. I dunno’…if you’re not sure of who to get another opinion from? The vet at your local humane society might be worth a try. Those vets see a lot of injuries, no doubt…and might have seen a similar injury before. Otherwise, if it is indeed a soft-tissue problem? An X-ray wouldn’t probably show that.
    As for Amatadine….it was prescribed for my Doxie’s post-op pain after a spinal surgery, and worked well. So, it’s very possible it may mask pain as you mentioned. The neurologist who did my pup’s back-surgery also suggested confinement for 4 weeks during the healing process, which could be what your pup may need? (The minimal amount of down-time for bone, muscles, tendons, ligaments & nerve-endings to heal, he explained.) So I merely gated her in my tiny office with a pee-pad & doggie bed where there wasn’t much room for anything else, other than a few steps here & there. Far better than the crating, he’d suggested. : (
    Also, I am a dog food rep, and can tell you that the many pittie parents I’ve spoken with, have told me their pups have sensitive digestive systems. Actually, I’ve found that most of the bully-breeds suffer from sensitivities to grains. So, in choosing Zoey’s food, I would recommend corn-free & wheat-free formulas. Read the first 6-7 ingredients on her present food, and be sure no corn and wheat of ANY kind, are listed. Beef can occaisionally, be an intestinal aggravant, as well.
    Good luck Debbie, in figuring this all out. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya’! ; )

    [Reply]

    Debbie Z Reply:

    Hi Linda

    Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate the time and advice so very deeply. Yes, I agree on all fronts. I’ve been confining Zoey more and just, hopefully, let time heal the paw. And yes, she would need a MRI or something similar to really see if there is a soft tissue injury and well, I haven’t gone that route yet. I did pick up the Amatadine and will give that to her as well as the metacam.

    Thanks for your feedback on the food as well. This is what’s making me pull my hair out. I’ve had similar conversations with my vets (there are 4 at the practice and I’ve seen them all the past 4 months) about the possibility Zoey now has a food sensitivity. In Jan, I started weaning Zoey off puppy food (Royal Canin – - suggested by the Vets and she did well on it). But I started wondering about other brands . . . I’ve tried Merrick’s (buffalo and sweet potato), Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Chicken, and Wellness 6 Ingredient food. Merrick’s is very expensive and her stools weren’t great; RR’s – - more affordable but still loose stools, and the wellness – - well — Zoey threw up some really ugly stuff the 2 times I fed her that so I stopped that brand. I know that switching her food so much isn’t great either — – but she’s been randomly vomiting and having loose stools with all of those. The Vet says that she may have an issue with protein – – so he put her on the low fat – - mostly grain food. Can you see my confusion – I went with the Merrick and Wellness to get away from the grains but then the vet wants her away from the proteins and to the more “grain” food. I appreciate you validating that more bullies are grain sensitive vs protein sensitive. Ugh. hee hee.

    I feel her poor digestive system is so messed up with all the meds and food changes. So my course of action – - – give her these meds for the next 10+ prescribed days, get her on one food, someone suggested pumpkin and yogurt to help with another switch of food, and to also get a second opinion. I spent hours at a Pet Supplies Plus and the manager talked to me at length about Zoey. Her, her mom, and another employee take their beloved pets to a Vets that is literally 4 mins from my house. So – - I made an appt. She is the only vet at the practice so there is a 3 week waiting period for newbies. But, that will give me time to get her records and see how she is doing. I also want to focus in on one vet who will get to know Zoey and really understand her changes as she ages. I’m trying to not feel bad about it all – - I know the vets at my current practice care about me and Zoey and doing their best – - but well, we need to advocate for our own and our pet’s health above all . . .and well, something isn’t sitting well. heeh ee – - see me convincing myself it is ok to look elsewhere.

    Many thanks Linda!!!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Linda. Thanks for excellent comments and suggestions.

    [Reply]

  37. Posted June 16, 2013 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    I do consider all of the ideas you have introduced in your post.
    They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thank you for the suggestions.

    [Reply]

  38. Patty
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I have 5 Cats. They are inside/outside as they wish having 3 cat doors to use during the day. At night we bring them all in and lock the cat doors. I haven’t read any posts about Amantadine for Cats. My feline fur balls are my best friends. I am disabled and homebound on 5 acres. These incredible loving companions have made my life worth living and I’d Love to return the compassion in the form of pain relief. Two of my Cats are 14 y/o, Jasper runs and plays like a kitten. Smokey however can hardly move. I took him to the vet and they did all the blood work up and said ” Smokey is very boring” meaning according to his blood work everything is great! I’ve used this vet for 15 years and think she’s the greatest ever. I need to also say that these cats were all “dumped” strays and we took them all to the vet immediately and they are vaccinated to the hilt including for feline leukemia. They were all fixed also so there would be no kittens.
    We have made stairs so poor Smokey can get on the bed. We have modified a few other places in the house so he can get up high where he feels safest.
    Jasper has had Thyroid surgery and suffers from chronic intestinal inflammation. Smokey has been healthy his whole life until about 1 year ago. These 2 are constant companions and it is heart wrenching to watch these two outside while Jasper has to keep stopping, looking back and wait for poor limping Smokey.
    My question sir, Can this medication Amantadine be prescribed to cats? Smokey deserves to live out his senior years happy and semi pain-free. I’m not willing to give Metacam to Smokey because I’ve read too many articles suggesting it causes kidney failure. Do you have any suggestions of any other methods available to ease his pain? I printed up your thoughts about Amantadine and I’m taking it to the Vet this afternoon. She is a wonderful Dr. and I’m sure if it’s available she will give it to Smokey.
    Thank you for your valuable time.
    Patty Cruikshank in Oregon

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Hi Patty. Sounds like you truly love your feline companions. I have not heard of or have experience using amantadine in cats. I would consider a product called Dev Cor Mobility from company Vetriscience which you can find on line, and I have had wonderful results with that natural product. Also glycoflex II from 1800petmeds is excellent joint supplement for cats as well.

    [Reply]

  39. Patty
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Also, Jackson is my 4 y/o Cat suffers from seasonal allergies. This is the weirdest thing ever……July, August & September he get these blister sized bloody oozing ulcers on his nose!!! Per Dr. orders he get 1/2 5mg pill of prednisone every 24 hours. He has also had prednisone (spelling)
    This is the third year he’s been on this med (as he wasn’t allowed outside the first year). This year it isn’t really working. He’s constantly itching his nose (on top) and it looks uglier than previous years. Do you have any ideas of perhaps a different treatment that could possible 100% work? I’m taking him to the vet this after noon because Jackson has decided he doesn’t like me pushing pills down his throat everyday so I’m requesting the shot method which I’ve been told can work 2-6 weeks.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Yes Patty, a shot of depomedrol from your vet may be more effective and easier and can last 6 to 8 weeks or more. Also consider supplements like proanthozone from 1800petmeds, as well as yucca intensive. Add fatty acid like nordic naturals cod liver oil to meals.

    [Reply]

  40. Patty
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very Dr. Dym,

    You are a wealth of information and I for one am very grateful for you donating your valuable time helping all us pet owners. Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday.
    Patty~

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You are very welcome Patty. Please pass your compliments on to the 1800petmeds brass including Vanessa.

    [Reply]

  41. Kim
    Posted July 13, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    Starting my dog on Amantadine tonight. It’s being added to a multimodal combination of carprofen, gabapentin and +/- tramadol for chronic cervical pain, OA and phantom pain from an amputation. There is some other pain as well. Is there a better time of day to give this medicine? She eats better in the evenings.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Should not be a problem no matter which time of day

    [Reply]

  42. Have4Paws
    Posted July 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Hello Dr Dym, I have a 6 y/o beagle, Zeppelin, who unfortunately was hit by a car 3 years ago. His iliac was broken, tailbone broken, and hip dislocated as well as other soft tissue issues. They were able to put the hip back in and he has plates for the iliac and at one time had a screw in the tailbone which unfortunately only lasted a month or so and then migrated into his thigh. It was subsequently removed. He has been ok once he healed from allof it but it take a serious toll on him and he aged to looing like a 10 y/o dog instead of 3 at the time. We have not had any ortho issues since however until all of a sudden a coupple weeks ago he began tentatively holding up his right foot when he would be standing, however he would walk fine when moving. It has progressed & when I took him tot he vet they found that the one he was holding up wasnt the one bothering him (based on exam and reaction) and the other one which was the dislocated hip one in the past was the one he screamed on upon extension. He was put on Rimadyl and Tramadol. They provided minimal pain relief but enough to keep him from screaming. Unfortunately it has continued to get worse and last weekend he was in serious pain. Back to the vet, they exrayed his hips to see if the restored one had dislocated again and it was inthe socket but showed both had bad arthritis. In addition, based on exam the vet said he had a partially torn cruciate (not sure if it was anterior or posterior) in the leg he had been originally holding up. When he tried to touch his back he screamed as well so he went back and looked at the xrays again saying he also thought he had a bad disc at S4-5. SInce RImadyl and Tramadol didnt seem tobe helping he prescribed Amandatine explaining to me how it works. I have had a heck of a time finding the tablets and am praying for this one pharmacy who thinks they may get it today. In the meantime my poor beagle is in horrible pain and the last three nights I have been up all night with him screaming and shaking and miserable. He eventually settles if I am with him stroking him and finally goes to sleep. Today the vet is now syaing he changed his mind (based on thinking we wont find the amantidine in tabs) and wants him back on Rimadyl, Tramadol and Robaxin. I am hesitant to do this since we never even tried the amandatine and I have subseuqnetly found out it comes in liquid form so want to try to find that if I cant find the tablets (everyone only has capsules). He had recommended he take only 25 mg bid which by looking at other peoples posts seems like a low dose. Please give me your opinion on all this and some input. My poor Zeppelin is in so much pain and something has to be done to relieve it for him. Incidently he also has a bunch of other respiratory issues going on which they are labeling as mysterious, he just got over aspirate pneumonia but has remained with a strange constant mucoid nasal discharge, excessive sneezing and congestion but his lungs are clear. This poor boy just can’t catch a break and has had so much trauma in his short 6 years :(

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Sounds like the back may be an issue causing this much pain. Dose of amantadine is 3 mg per kg of weight during a 24 hour period. In case like this I find with likely disc issue that prednisone or cortisone may be best medicine for pain relief if amantadine does not work. Also can ask vet about drug called Gabapentin as well which can be used with the cocktail. For long term I would put your dog on proanthozone antioxidant supplement from 1800petmeds and super joint enhancer. I would also recommend a wonderful new product which I know can help long term which is called Canine Health by Life Vantage. Look at the video on http://www.abcliveit.com for more info on how this product works and to try it go to http://www.mylifevantage.com/drdym and use ID number 784891 to order.

    [Reply]

    have4paws Reply:

    Thank you so much for replying. I found and got the amantadine. Gave him 25 mg last night and it was the first night he slept through with no crying or screaming in pain!! So if I am doing this right and he is 30# he would get around 40 mg ? Is that correct? He is taking 25 mg bid. I have no way to do only 40 mg d/t pills being 100 mg and can only split 4 ways and that is pushing it since
    they are so small so hopefully the added 10 mg isnt a problem.
    Talked to the vet today and he wants to keep him on tramadol, back on rimadyl and add robaxin, as well as continue the amantadine. I am not happy about him being on so much medication but also don’t want him to be in pain. Just hope he keeps eating well so his stomach isnt empty on all of these meds. He is pretty much not using the one leg at all now unless he has to pee, poop or
    eat and then he immediately lies down when done. I realize he needs to be fully immobile for now so he can heal whatever can be healed and that doesnt seem to be an issue, he doesnt want to be mobile. Can a cruciate ligament repair itself? a protruding disc?

    There is no way I can either afford surgery anymore nor would I put him through any more surgeries. Is there any hope?

    I will look into the other products your recommended. I used to have him on Chon/glucos/MSM and reecntly ran out.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Great job. He may slowly heal an ACL over time or back issue may calm down. I would also consider the wonderful antioxidant protandim or Canine Health by Life Vantage which I have seen help many dogs with joint or back issues. To learn more on this see the video http://www.abcliveit.com If you would like to order it go to http://www.mylifevantage.com/drdym

  43. Posted November 3, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Have a 5 year old maltese spayed female diagnosed via MRI with GMS, syringomyelia due to COMS and appears to have ruptured C2 about 5 days ago, She has been on pred, pregabalin, tramadol and was just prescribed amantadine about 6 days ago due to worsening symptoms of loss of proprioception and hind end weakness, phantom scratching and intermittent severe neck and shoulder pain. 5 days ago, could not get up and was in agonizing pain. Was ready to euthanize but decided to try HBOT and improvement has been very good. Added acupuncture yesterday. Still wobbly but able to stand again and walk around a bit in the grass. Question is – severe panting and agitation after giving amantatine in the evenings…wondering if I can back off or lower dose now with success from the alternatives…her neurologist of course poo poo’d it all. Never seen her pant and be so anxious until we added amantadine into the mix. She did show some increased respiration at first with the pred but not like this. Thanks

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I have not seen this side effect with amantadine.

    [Reply]

  44. Posted November 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    sorry – GME

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    All I can tell you is that after my Dachshund had spinal surgery, Amantadine was prescribed. Surprisingly it helped relieve her post-op pain, but she never exhibited any respiratory issues while on it. My Doxie is about 12lbs, and we were given a 25mg bottle of liquid Amantadine. The instructions on the label said to give 2.5mls once a day. She was also prescribed Gabapentin (100mg capsule/3xdaily), which I don’t think helped that much. Btw, these were prescribed by the neuro-surgeon who performed her surgery at the U of Missouri Vet School.
    Panting can be caused by increased pain, among many other things….so targeting the cause of her panting will be difficult. I wish you all the luck in the world. ; )

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    HI Linda. Thanks for sharing. I think amantadine is an excellent pain medicine for many dogs.

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    Yes, Dr Dym…I think Amantadine IS a good pain med. Just baffles me that it’s an “anti-viral”. Hmmm…doesn’t make sense to me. But…whatever works, huh? : )

  45. Posted November 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    My Newfie, Poohbear weights, 165 pounds and is 7 and half years old. She is in excellent health for her age despite chronic arthritis. She could hardly get up herself and stopped her evening walks. After taking her to Emergency she is now on Adequan injections that we give her at home, Amentidine and Cosquin q. My question is this. We are giving her the injections twice a week for the first month and giving them in the ruff around the neck. That is what my Vet said to do. The Dr. at emergency said the shots must go into the muscle so I am somewhat confused.Also I forgot she is also on Remadyl. This sounds like a lot of meds to me and we have just started this regime. Would like an opinion.
    She is doing amazing well, and even jumped into the car which she hasnt done in a year.Needless to say she is also on a diet, I am going on one as well…hah

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Sounds like great progress. The adequan can be given either way in the ruff of neck or in muscle. The muscle allows for more rapid and easy absorption to some degree but I dont think that much difference. The amantadine is great idea. Not sure if cosequin is necessary while on adequan as they are both similar. I would consider antioxidant like proanthozone rom 1800petmeds, as well as yucca intensive Rimadyl fine as well.

    [Reply]

  46. Elaine
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I have 5 yr old French Spaniel that had a failed Elbow Arthrodesis last year. She had a few complications after the surgery and recently went to UT Knoxville for a second opininion. The veterinarian we saw was great. He told us to stop the Metacam and suggested trying different NSAID. She takes Gabapentin for another breed issue, but it doesn’t seem to do anything for the pain. Amantodine was suggested by a member of a Ortho group I belong to. We had a liver issue after her 3rd surgery and watch what medications she takes. We also check her liver levels every 3 months. Does this have any known effects on the liver?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Any drug may potentially cause rare liver reactions, but unusual as far as I know with this drug in veterinary medicine. Also consider supporting her liver with supplements like denamarin and proanthozone from 1800petmeds.

    [Reply]

  47. Linda
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Ah, French Spaniels are such beautiful dogs! Now as for the Amantadine? Believe it or not, it’s classified as an anti-viral. So I’m thinking there’d be little risk or a lower risk to the liver. Provided of course, it’s administered properly.
    My Doxie had spinal surgery for a vertebral disc issue. She was prescribed Gaba post-op, but it did little to relieve her pain. However, the 2nd day she was back home…I decided to give the Amantadine a try. And surprisingly, it did the trick!
    I was hesitant to give too many meds at the same time, for the reason you stated regarding the liver. So I discontinued the Gaba & started her on the Amantadine, which worked unexpectedly well. She stayed on it for maybe a week…at which time, I quit administering. During that week, there were no hints of any liver dysfunction or any other side-effects that I saw.
    Ha! I’m still mystified how an “anti-viral” ended up being so effective in addressing her pain. Who’d have thunk….

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    PS? The Amantadine was prescribed by the U of Missouri Vet School neurosurgeon, who performed her procedure.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Thanks for sharing. So wonderful to hear such nice news about the effects of Amantadine on pain relief.

    [Reply]

  48. Posted April 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    My dog is 11yr rottx, has well managed Addisons Dx-with 2mg Pred & percoten but now has bad arthritis in hips and front legs. Also dx’ed with MCT. One Vet put her on Vetprofen which she responded well to but is contraindicated in Addison dogs. She’s on Tramadol 100mg BID and Dasquin but I think we could do better. She’s not as Rompy as she was with Vetprofen- but liver enzymes were getting high and I don’t want a GI bleed. Do you think Amantadine might be a good option? I gave her 1 300mg Gabapectin and she was really wonky for 12 hours. Would that dissipate the longer she’s on it?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    HI Diana. The sedation with Gabapentin may or may not wear off with further use. Sounds like a low enough dose. Problem is that drugs like this and tramadol, etc are all processed by the liver, which becomes problematic. I would not use vetprofen if possible because of pred and GI ulcer risks. Iwould actually consult with a holistic/homeopathic vet like myself for a more individualized supplement and holistic approach. To learn more about my practice go to http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations. As for amantadine, it may be worth exploring for you, however in dog this size I would imagine it would be QUITE expensive

    [Reply]

    Linda Reply:

    So sorry about your pup, Diana. But the Amantadine may possibly be a good option for her. My Doxie had vertebral/spinal surgery a while back, and was given some pain meds, which didn’t seem to relieve her post-op pain. She was also prescribed the Amantadine, which initially, I didn’t try. But after a day or two of watching my pup remain in noticeable discomfort, I decided to try adding the Amantadine. Surprisingly, it seemed to have an immediate & positive effect. As for safety of long-term usage, however…I think that’s yet to be determined. I too, tried Gabapentin, with similar results to yours…just maybe a bit more mild.
    Also, I agree with Dr. Cohen regarding narcotics and their effectiveness in cases like yours. However, as was pointed out? The potential misuse, is a consideration that vet’s take quite seriously. Frankly, I’ve only had one vet in my lifetime, who never hesitated prescribing narcotics, when my dog’s condition warranted. But then, he implicitly trusted me.
    The odd thing in my opinion, is that altho’ Amantadine did work well in my Doxie’s case? I found it rather curious that it’s classified as an “anti-viral”. Go figure, huh?

    [Reply]

  49. Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    He believed that it caused too many problems, like ulcers with previous patients.

    This can cause the intended therapy to backfire by increasing
    pain and swelling. When you see some cracks in the walls you
    immediately check if the house lacks foundation.

    [Reply]

One Trackback

  1. By Q&A: Suggestions for dog pain relief? on September 29, 2011 at 9:17 am

    [...] Fasciitis Pain ReliefHappy DogsThe Anxiety Wrap – Dog’s Best FriendDog DepressionPetMeds® Amantadine: A New Pain Relief Option for Dogs and Cats? var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*