A few cat caregivers have posed questions regarding their cats’ arthritis recently on some online forums. My Omaha has severe arthritis. We started acupuncture in 2004 and the results were amazing! At the time we started, he was having trouble standing up. After about three weekly sessions, he was RUNNING. We continued with the treatments for some time, but honestly it was a struggle as Omaha is NOT generally able to be handled by anyone but me. (He has to be sedated for most anything, including blood draws or x-rays. During acupuncture he’d scream and thrash, pee and poop everywhere, and once when I wasn’t sufficiently careful I was bitten very badly. We generally have to muzzle him.) We tried to keep up with maintenance treatments, but the last one we got had little to no effect, so I knew I’d either have to take him more often or give up – and I’m sorry to say I just can’t bring myself to commit to more frequent treatments. To locate a veterinary acupuncturist, I suggest consulting the AHVMA website. Keep your search broad in order to get the best results. (An acupuncturist could be listed in one discipline/area, but not another.)
Omaha’s arthritis has worsened dramatically this year, to the point he once again was having trouble standing up. (In fact, I came home one night to find him lying in a pool of his own urine.) He’s doing MUCH better now, though, and walking well and able to stand up on his own. His current regime is:
* Adequan – 0.3 cc’s injected weekly (at home – for obvious reasons). My vet has me injecting it into the muscle (IM) – but I know others use Adequan and give it as a sub-q injection.
* Glucosamine/chondroitin: orally daily – I just use the human Now Foods brand – cheaper than Cosequin
* Gabapentin (Neurontin) – We’re now up to 2.5 mL (50 mg) twice daily. That’s the standard starting dose, but we started lower as my vet has no experience with the drug. It’s very new for use in cats – supposedly blocks the pain recepters. Only noted side effect has been drowsiness, which I have not seen in Omaha. Ours is compounded into a chicken-flavored liquid.
* Metacam (meloxicam) – We’re giving the 2 pound line of the 0.5 mg/mL suspension every other day. I think that’s 0.2 cc’s. (It comes with a special syringe that fits on the tip of the bottle and just notes “pounds”.) I know there may be risks with Metacam, but despite Omaha’s age of 18, his bloodwork looks great.