Several months ago I noticed my 3 year old Olde English Bulldogge acting a bit "draggy" with his rear toes after a good game of fetch. I assumed it was our temporarily irregular exercise schedule causing him to tire out more quickly, and walk a bit more stiffly, after his beloved fast-paced fetching games. Unfortunately, soon after, when I held the car door open for him to hop inside, he hesitated and looked at me with a pleading look in his eyes. This is a bulldog - he would take great pleasure in blasting through a plate glass window if I'd allow him, so hesitation to hop a few inches up into my car's backseat for a day out, and looking at me with stress in his eyes was not just unusual, it
Several months ago I noticed my 3 year old Olde English Bulldogge acting a bit "draggy" with his rear toes after a good game of fetch. I assumed it was our temporarily irregular exercise schedule causing him to tire out more quickly, and walk a bit more stiffly, after his beloved fast-paced fetching games. Unfortunately, soon after, when I held the car door open for him to hop inside, he hesitated and looked at me with a pleading look in his eyes. This is a bulldog - he would take great pleasure in blasting through a plate glass window if I'd allow him, so hesitation to hop a few inches up into my car's backseat for a day out, and looking at me with stress in his eyes was not just unusual, it was something I knew my vet needed to evaluate immediately. This started the vet x-rays which looked bizarre so we were referred to a veterinary neurologist. The specialists ran a CT scan, spinal tap, and MRI. Final diagnosis - my otherwise healthy, young, athletic, and vibrant 56 lbs OEB has advanced congenital spinal disc disease and what appears on MRI to be completely crumbled 6 to 8 inches of spinal discs (the bottom of his spine looks like oatmeal in the images, the top of the discs are compressed, but intact). Add that to the rest of his back appearing to be a mess of stenosis and bulging discs. We were aghast how this dog was even walking! That 6 to 8 inch section of completely crumbled lower half of spinal discs were especially devastating to look at on images. No signs of trauma related injuries, so it was diagnosed conclusively as congenital (hereditary) spinal disease. The neurologist sat me down and offered to euthanize my beloved bulldog on the day testing was completed. I declined. I was again offered euthanasia as a kindness to my dog due to how severely advanced his spinal deterioration was, by my regular vet. I declined again. In desperation, I took him to a highly regarded veterinarian that practices Eastern medicine. Herbal injections, laser therapy, ozone treatment, more herbs, stem cell therapy, etc... Nothing worked. That vet, too, offered euthanasia. The only signs my dog gave me were mildly dragging rear toes and the rare look of hesitation to jump in the car or on my bed. Otherwise, no one knew he had anything wrong with him. But the prognosis was dire, and the x-ray images shocked the vets, so I don't fault them for the euthanasia offers. I stopped all exercise except light leash walks, lowered his calories to keep his weight lean, learned massage therapy for dogs, and started him on CBD oil in hopes it would alleviate stress or pain and if it did not, it would not have the horrible side effects all of the other pain meds, sedatives, and herbs the vets gave him had caused. Then I read about bovine tracheal cartilage (highly pure chondroitin) and spinal disease. The only dog product with it as a major ingredient is good (and labeled for spinal health), but the levels of bovine tracheal cartilage are not high enough to be therapeutic for my dog. Plus it contained several other herbs that cause side effects for my dog. During months of research and failed trials of popular joint supplements (they all work differently for different dogs), I came across this "Herbsmith Sound Dog Viscosity Joint Support Powder". Although it sources its chondroitin from porcines, rather than bovines, it is still a superior product for the majority. It had the few ingredients my dog was able to ingest, and none of the extras that caused intestinal or allergy issues. The NASC seal was extremely important to me. Few of the newer and more popular pet joint products out there have bothered to earn the NASC seal - which ensures you are actually getting the ingredients and doses in the product you are paying for, and that they meet other quality control standards demanded by the NASC. There are so many "snake-oil-type" joint supplements being sold out there right now that are cheaper, tastier, easier, packaged prettier, more convenient to feed, etc... So I learned the hard way to just stick with the NASC labeled supplements and leave those without it alone. Today, my dog is on a daily total of 2 teaspoons of this Herbsmith Sound Dog Viscosity Joint Support Powder mixed with 4 capsules of dried, powdered beef tracheal cartilage for humans that I buy online. There is no single ingredient powdered beef tracheal cartilage for dogs available, and the slimy, smelly, very fatty beef trachea chews available cause my dog to choke and vomit, so I must order a human supplement for the benefits bovine tracheal cartilage is claimed to have on spinal issues. Combined with this Herbsmith product for dogs, it offers a powerful punch for canine joint mobility issues. My OEB has been on this combination for about two months. Approximately two weeks ago, the same vet that offered to euthanize him after looking, in horror, at his MRI images ran to get a notepad to write down what I was using to cause my dog to look and act so good with such a terrible and progressive joint/spinal disease - I told him: CBD biscuits from Treatibles (calms him so he doesn't care about missing those games of fetch), some powdered bovine tracheal cartilage supplement for humans from Ancestral Supplements, and this Herbsmith Sound Dog Viscosity Joint product in a full dose. I give half a dose of the Herbsmith joint product mixed with two capsules of bovine tracheal cartilage in the morning with his kibble and add one cup of warm water to mix it together. I repeat this dosing and routine again for his evening kibble. It is inevitable that my beautiful dog will eventually lose control of his body from the chest down - but before this Herbsmith product every vet predicted it would happen in less than a year, but now that he has stabilized on this product, the vets have stopped giving me a timeline for his demise and we all now spend our time marveling at his renewed health and new-found comfort.