Sadly, there is currently no cure for arthritis. But there are medications that can help reduce the pain and help your dog live a more comfortable life.
If your dog begins to show signs of arthritis pain take them to the vet as quickly as possible.
Limping or favoring one leg over another
Slowing down and not wanting to run or move around much especially after sleeping
Sensitive to touch and appearing snappy
Unable or unwilling to climb stairs or jump up onto furniture
Don’t assume these changes are only due to age. If your dog is suffering from arthritis he is probably feels a lot of pain as well as experiencing a lack of mobility.
Pain medications can help prevent your dog from suffering needlessly.
Types of Medication for Dogs Suffering with Arthritis:
Anti-inflammatory medications such as Deramaxx, Rimadyl, Previcox, and Etogesic are often the first step in controlling pain. By reducing the inflammation they help lower the pain level. These drugs are especially designed for dogs and thus meet their unique requirements. These dogs can be very expensive and it is always a good idea to get your dog a good pet insurance at a young age to protect you from these expenses later in life.
However, these medications can have an adverse side effect on some dogs. Your dog should be monitored to be sure the meds are not causing gastric ulcers, bleeding problems or liver or kidney dysfunction. Because these are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs they are called, NSAIDs for short.
Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen should not be used except under a vet’s guidance due to potential side-effects including gastric ulcers. They can help in reducing inflammation and are sometimes given to dogs in small quantities.
Buffered aspirin is also used as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer for dogs. This should NOT be used for cats. Aspirin can potentially cause gastric problems in dogs so they should be monitored carefully. Aspirin should never be used in combination with NSAIDs.
Steroids are also used to reduce the swelling and inflammation of joints. Some of the most often prescribed are Dexamethasone, Prednisone, and other corticosteroids. There is often a danger in long-term steroid use, though. After a long period of use they can actually cause additional joint damage along with other problems. These medications can be given orally or by injection. Because of the threat of side-effects, these drugs are often only used on older dogs that cannot get pain relief through other ways.
Many types of medications can cause potentially serious problems. If your dog shows any side effects such as not eating, black stools, vomiting or diarrhea – talk to your dog’s vet immediately as he’ll want to stop or change medications.
Rarely will the use of only one drug be sufficient to help a dog suffering with arthritis. The most effective approach is a medication plan that is custom made for your dog. Do not mix medications without talking to your dog’s vet.
Adding supplements is another option but do not add even natural supplements without approval from your dog’s vet. Supplements will sometimes work against the medications your vet has prescribed.
Don’t let your dog continue to suffer with pain. Though pain meds can’t reverse arthritis, they can help your dog live a more comfortable life with less pain.