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Jack Russell Terrier with Colagen Collapse

Our 4 year old JRT has exhibited pain in her hind quarters and hair loss on her face for almost a year..After frequent visits to the Vet including dermatologist for hair loss..she has only become worse...Finally a visit to the Orthopedist yields a diagnosis of bi-lateral ruptured ligamnents in her hind "knees' and collagen collapse in her front "ankles"...etilology unknown.  Her thyroid and other profiles are within normal limits and he is perplexed as to the nature of the collagen problem. (She looks like she is walking on her ankles and dragging her hind quarters along)... This is a dog that was a typical JRT..Hyper and a jumper.. It is so sad to see her basically having to bne carried around. I have read articles recently on Vitamin C dificiency and the effect on collagen..Given the mystery with our dog...Is it worth a try to start her on Vit C supplement? Is there such a thing as Scurvy in dogs? She is having surgery for her hind legs ..but now we are concerned that she has some type of metabolic problem that makes her a high risk for surgery... Do you have any thoughts?  Thank you so much...
1 Responses
234713 tn?1283530259
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Your dog may have a problem in collagen metabolism, or production such as:
cutaneous asthenia (dermatosparaxis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) which are syndromes characterized by defects in collagen production.  These syndromes can affect the skin integrity (stretchability) and can cause joint laxity, and other connective tissue abnormalities.  Diagnosing these abnormalities is possible through skin and collagen biopsies.   The skin usually shows more than just hair loss though.  So your dogs two problems may be unrelated.

There may be no cure for these problems, but, vitamin C, may indeed help.  Dog's do make their own vitamin C, but your dog may have a problem with vitamin C production, or just not make enough.  Vitamin C may be very helpful for your dog.

Other medications that may help your dog as follows:

1.  Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG):
PSGAG is approved for use in dogs for degenerative or traumatic arthritis.   PSGAG increases the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, proteoglycan, and collagen in joints.  

2.  Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium (PPS):
PPS helps damaged joints.   In canine models of osteoarthritis, IM administration of PPS significantly decreased overall cartilage damage.  

3.  Orgotein:
Orgotein is a water-soluble metalloprotein containing copper and zinc. It scavenges free oxygen radicals which are involved in the damage of joints in dogs (and other species).

I would also add an antioxidant combination supplement for your dog that includes: vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C (of course), beta carotene, zinc, alpha lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10.  Use 1/2 of a human adult dose and frequency of administration.  All the antioxidants work together, add extra Vitamin C (500 to 1000mg)  twice per day.

You may also benefit from a holistic vet.  Please google: American holistic veterinary medical association, and the Chi veterinary institute, and vet-stem websites.

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