Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis in dogs is one of the leading causes of chronic pain for our furry friends. A dog with arthritis pain can not tell you where it hurts and will usually attempt to hide it from you. To compensate for the pain, a dog will attempt to alter the way he distributes his weight while moving. While doing this could reduce his pain from the sore joints it can cause new injuries to other areas of his body.

Basicly a dog with arthritis has bone rubbing against bone in one or more of his joints. This occurs when the cartilage that separates and protects bones from the normal wear and tear of your dog's activites has degraded.

Signs of arthritis in dogs:

  • Favoring a limb
  • Difficulty standing or sitting
  • Sleeping more
  • Stiff or sore joints
  • Hesitate to run, jump or climb stairs
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased activity
  • Behavior change

Arthritis affects one in every five adult dogs in the U.S. and is one of the most common sources of chronic pain that veterinarians treat.

Now that you have identify the symptoms of a dog with arthritis and had a veterinarian examine him you can begin to focus on making your dog comfortable so you can get back to your activities together.

  • Determine the best solution for slowing down the rate of deterioration of the bone and cartilage. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) are often used to help slow down the disease and also to help with pain. Be careful with these as they are very strong drugs and your dog will need to be monitored for side effects.

  • Find ways to keep your dog comfortable - weight control is very important as extra weight adds stress to a dogs joints. Exercise is still important to help maintain the muscle around the joints (swimming is a great non weight bearing exercise). Mobility aids such as ramps and stairs are available to help ascend stairs and into vehicles. A comfortable orthopedic bed will provide the support as he sleeps.

  • Provide supplements to help the healthy joints remain strong as they take on more of the weight load. There are non prescription supplements that provide joint support at 1-800-PetMeds 1-800-PetMedsLook for the supplements that contain glucosamine, chondroitin or Omega-3 fatty acid.


Arthritis Supplements

  • Cosequin® Cosequin® is a nutritional supplement that helps dogs maintain healthy joints. Cosequin's active ingredients include glucosamine and chondroitin, and it can have a positive impact on joint health, while avoiding the side effects that can sometimes accompany prescription drugs. Side effects are rare, but may include diarrhea.

  • Glyco-flex® Glyco-flex® for Dogs is nutritional supplement containing glucosamine as well as Perna Canaliculus (green lipped mussel - which is a good source of protein, minerals, and chondroitin sulfates). It is used for maintaining healthy joints, and is recommended for younger dogs or dogs predisposed to hip or joint dysfunction.

  • Perna canaliculus, commonly known as the New Zealand green-lipped mussel, is a natural source of glycosaminoglycans (including chondroitin-4 and -6 sulfates and hyaluronic acid), minerals, amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids - compounds that can make a significant contribution to canine mobility and comfort.

    Synovi-MSM Synovi-MSM is a complete supplement for joint health with MSM, Glucosamine HCL, Perna Canliculus and Vitamin C. It produces significant relief of pain and stiffness along helping reduce swelling and inflammation. Synovi-MSM prevents pressure build up in cells, permitting nutrients in and pushing toxins out.

  • Dimethylglycine(DMG) is a naturally occurring compound that has been shown to support joint structure and function. Studies also indicate that DMG acts as a powerful antioxidant to help promote healthy joints and connective tissues.

    Glyco-Flex III Glyco-Flex III contains Dimethylglycine and is used for maintaining healthy joints, and is recommended for geriatric, working and sporting breed dogs, as well as a follow-up to orthopedic surgery.

  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) has been demonstrated to provide hip and joint support also found in Glyco-Flex III Glyco-Flex III

  • Chondroitin sulfate is a naturally occurring substance in the body. It is a major constituent of cartilage—the tough, elastic connective tissue found in the joints and can be found in a Joint Enhancer Joint Enhancer

  • Omega-3 icon fatty acids are vital for normal function of every organ system in the body, particularly the immune system.  A lack of omega 3s (or relative excess of omega 6s) contributes to allergic and degenerative disorders, causing:
    • Joint inflammation and arthritis
    • Allergy dry itchy skin, recurring skin infection recurring ear infections
    • Autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease
    • Loss of mental alertness in older dogs

Oils such as cod liver oil derived from cold water fish are an excellent source of omega 3s and a more practical way of supplementing our pets’ diets:

  • Omega - 6 essential fatty acids have many important roles in the body, including:
    • Maintenance of healthy skin and hair coat
    • Ensuring normal pregnancy and lactation
    • Ensuring normal growth in kittens and puppies
    • Ensuring normal cell membrane structure and function
    • Enhancing skeletal muscle activity in working dogs

Glucosamine is a natural nutrient occurring in the body that promotes cartilage and joint repair. Glucosamine supplements serve to aid in the body's repair of cartilage and improve the general health of joint formations. Glucosamine can be found in a dry dog food specifically for Older Dogs icon

*** Diabetic dogs or dogs that are overweight and have problems with glucose tolerance should have their blood sugars monitored if they are given glucosamine supplements.


Control Arthritis Pain

Controlling pain and maintaining function of affected joints:

  • Weight control - Arthritis problems can be greatly alleviated in dogs carrying too much weight, simply by shedding those unneeded pounds reducing the stress placed on joints.

  • Exercise - It is important to keep joints moving, so regular moderate exercise is encouraged. Swimming and hydrotherapy may be an option so the joints can be manipulated with minimal pressure.

  • Massage - can be a great way to relieve some of the discomfort of arthritis in dogs.

  • Neutraceutical supplements - such as glucosamine,chondroitin, andomega-3 fatty acids. These act to provide precursors needed to repair damaged arthritic cartilage. (available in some veterinary prescribed diets)

  • Comfortable Bed - Keep your dog warm and comfortable, especially at night.


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What are NSAIDs

Information you should know before giving your dog an NSAID for arthritis pain? - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed medications used to treat arthritis in dogs.

  • Never give aspirin or corticosteroids along with an NSAID to your dog.

  • NSAIDs should be approached cautiously in dogs with kidney, liver, heart and intestinal problems.

  • Never give your dog an NSAID unless directed by your veterinarian.

  • Don’t assume an NSAID for one dog is safe to give to another dog. Always consult your veterinarian before using any medication in your pet.

  • Only give the NSAID as prescribed by your veterinarian. Do not increase the dose, the frequency, or the length of time you use the drug unless first discussing this with your veterinarian.

When giving a pet an NSAID, watch for these side effects:

  • Decrease or increase in appetite

  • Vomiting

  • Change in bowel movements (such as diarrhea or black, tarry, or bloody stools)

  • Change in behavior (such as decreased or increased activity level, seizure, aggression, or lack of coordination)

  • Yellowing of gums, skin, or whites of the eyes (jaundice)

  • Change in drinking habits (frequency or amount consumed)

  • Change in urination habits (frequency, color, or smell)

  • Change in skin (redness, scabs, or scratching)

These side effects are the most common. But not all possible side effects are included on the drug label. Always contact your veterinarian if you have questions about your dog's arthritis medication.


All Natural Arthritis Pain Relief

All Natural Pain relief